Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Correcting CNN is really like shooting fish in a barrel

In an article entitled "People in affluent nations may be more depression-prone", Amanda MacMillan quotes Evelyn Bromet as saying:
Moreover, she adds, the richest countries in the world also tend to have the greatest levels of income inequality, which has been linked to higher rates of depression as well as many other chronic diseases.
I'm not qualified to comment on inequality's links to depression, but as far as the first claim? Right in my wheel-house. Consulting the extremely handy UNDP Data explorer (Go play with that data; hours of fun for the whole family!), I quickly produced the following graph (graphs are cool!):
There is no clear relationship between income and inequality. The United States, for example has high income (GDP per capita, in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) dollars), but medium inequality (until you narrow the field to 'advanced' countries. So long story short, either the SUNY Stonybrook psychologist or the Health.com reporter got it wrong.
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