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Maths is not my strong suit but I'm pretty sure "1.2 per cent per 100,000 people" doesn't make a lot of sense? Am I misunderstanding?

@hugh I guess if you treated "per" like "of" in the 2nd instance (which is similar to how Italian sometimes substitutes "di" (of) where you might have mean per/for), then by that somewhat tenuous stretch, it might, just maybe, make sense.... after a pint or two.

@dadegroot @hugh to me, it sounds like they took a sample of 100.000 and calculated the % from that

@dadegroot @hugh It's written pretty poorly, but it's clear, I think.
Out of a pool of 100000 events, this particular event happened 1.2 times on 100 occurrence.

@PierreM @dadegroot I still don’t get it. Surely if there are 1 million events the total goes up accordingly but the percentage stays the same? Why is the “per 100,000” necessary?

@hugh @dadegroot because knowing the size of the event pool (there is probably a better name, but I am not a native English speaker) allows you to judge the robustness of this statistic.

@PierreM ahh yep I see, the Law of Small Numbers etc. Thanks that does make sense. The context I didn’t provide is this is deaths by gunfire in rural Australia (as a proportion of all rural deaths). So knowing the conceptual sample size is indeed important. @dadegroot

@hugh If this was spoken I'd forgive it as something along the lines of 1.2% in a sample of 100,000. But if somebody wrote that down I'd want to throw something at them.

@stibbons what if ..and this is, of course, entirely hypothetical... it was written TWICE in the same article on the national broadcaster's website?

@hugh @stibbons

two different kinds of denominators, I think:

for instance, number of positive tests (numerator) per 100 tests administered (main denominator) normalized for 100,000 total population (whether tested or not)

the numerators both are "people" but not entirely the *same* people

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