Improve your statistical literacy

Issues ranging from finance, life expectancy and understanding the world around us can all be informed by statistics.

There are a number of radio and TV programmes, YouTube videos and books that can help improve your understanding of statistics. Here are just a few of them.


More or Less is a half-hour show on BBC Radio 4 where Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. BBC World Service broadcasts a short edition over the weekend.  

Moneybox, hosted by journalist Paul Lewis, also on BBC Radio 4, explores how to understand money and how to handle finances by thinking statistically.  

TV programmes and videos  

Professor Hans Rosling proved that statistics is anything but boring in The Joy of Stats.

 Tails you win: the science of chance is presented by former RSS president Sir David Spiegelhalter.  

Climate Change by Numbers is a BBC show where a group of mathematicians clarify all the important questions around climate change.

The Royal Statistical Society's YouTube account features a plethora of talks, webinars, seminars and meetings that we have hosted over the past few years.


The Tiger That Isn’t: Seeing Through a World of Numbers by Andrew Dilnot and Michael Blastland  

The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger by Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter  

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread From Data by Charles Whelan  

The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow  

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail But Others Don’t  by Nate Silverman  

Statistics: A Very Short Introduction by David J Hand  

Information Generation: How Data Rules Our World by David J Hand

The Art of Statistics: Learning from Data by David Spiegelhalter

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics: A Neuroscientist on How to Make Sense of a Complex World by Daniel Levitin

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil

Big Data: Does Size Matter? by Timandra Harkness

How Not to Be Wrong: The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life by Jordan Ellenberg

I Think You’ll Find It’s a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre

The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom by Stephen M Stigler


Significance - the Royal Statistical Society’s bi-monthly popular magazine looks at all kinds of interesting topics and themes through the prism of statistics.