Mailvox: Nice try, Pythagoras

Aziz needs a reading comprehension course for Christmas:

The divorce rate is measured as the number of divorces per marriage, not as the number of divorcees in the general population. So it doesnt matter whether 10%, 50%, or 95% or MA residents are getting married, the divorce rate will always be a measure of divorces per marriage–it has nothing to do with the proportion of the population getting married. Krugman isn’t lying, he just knows how to count better than you do.

Krugman is being deceptive and you, my dear math savant, need to learn how to read. Right at the top of the report it clearly states: Rates are per 1,000 total population residing in area. Now, obviously Aziz is hopelessly wrong, but because I actually have a brain and know how to use it, we’ll trouble to verify our statement.

MA divorce rate 2000: 2.5

MA divorces, 2000: 16,524

Now, how many residents of MA were there in 2000? 6,349,097. Dividing 6,349,097 by 1,000 equals 6349. Dividing the number of divorces, 16,524, by 6349 = 2.60*. Hmmm, that looks familiar, doesn’t it… maybe that’s because IT IS THE DIVORCE RATE PER 1,000 POPULATION, YOU MORON! The number of divorces per marriage doesn’t enter into it.

*I believe the .1 difference between my calculation and the CDC number is probabaly based on slightly different divorce and population numbers for Massachusetts. I don’t have access to theirs; I used US Census, the CDC report only says that populations are “consistent with the 2000 Census”.