John Burn-Murdoch

Two weeks out from from Britain’s historic EU referendum, opinion polls are dominating the debate. The question is: are they adding or removing clarity about the eventual outcome?

Today we published an overview of some of the challenges facing pollsters as they look to demonstrate that the 2015 general election mis-fire was a one-off. What follows here is a look at how some of these issues are affecting our own poll-of-polls — and how we might deal with them — as well as an exploration of some of the alternatives to pure polling when it comes to forecasting the result on June 23. Read more

London’s population overtook New York’s in 2014 and last year surpassed its pre-World War II peak for the first time ever. Yet there are increasingly news stories about how the UK’s capital is becoming a place where people work but don’t live, or how sharply rising house prices are forcing out the poor, the young or those with families.

What is actually happening? How to square the anecdotal evidence with the fact that London adds as many people as the entire city of Bath (>100,000) to its population every single year?

 Read more

Just two weeks to go before Britons can finally stop those Eurocrats in Brussels from dictating how much cleavage barmaids can display when serving customers.

Wait – what?

Discussions over the UK’s membership of the EU and how it affects the British have been crowding the airwaves for years. Read more

Valentina Romei

Eastern Europe’s population is shrinking like no other regional population in modern history. Read more

Concern about the European Union is at the highest level recorded this century.

At 30%, it’s the third most important issue behind immigration and the NHS. Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

Earlier this month Londoners voted in Sadiq Khan as mayor. The Labour candidate won 59 per cent of the vote and in so doing became the first Muslim mayor of a major European capital. But beyond the top-line figures, what do we know about how the election was won, and who voted for whom?

To answer these questions, we downloaded 140 datasets from the 2011 census, describing the demographic and socioeconomic composition of each of London’s 570 electoral wards: the same units over which the mayoral election vote was tallied. Read more

Leicester were bottom of the Premier League on April 10 2015, but a year later had climbed to the top, winning 91 points along the way. No team beginning at the foot of the top flight has ever won that many points* over the subsequent year since English league football began Read more

Valentina Romei

This week the European Commission let Italy off the hook, granting the country extra flexibility – to the tune of 14 billion euros – in its debt reduction targets for 2016.

The extra “flexibility” includes allowances for investments (0.25 per cent of GDP), for the refugees crisis (0.04 per cent of GDP) and for extra security measures (0.06 per cent of GDP). In return the Commission wants a ‘clear and credible commitment’ from Italy that the country will respect its budget targets in 2017. Read more

Valentina Romei

Life expectancy has increased sharply across advanced nations over the last fifty years. In 2014, people residing in OECD countries were, for the first time, expected to live beyond 80 years according World Bank data. That’s 13 years longer than in 1960.

But not all countries improved at the same pace Read more

Valentina Romei

“Start a new rewarding career this September” writes the Department for Education on a website inviting people to become teachers, “places are still available.” They might be available for a long time, if data on teachers’ satisfaction, recruitment and retention is to be considered. Read more

Andrew Whiffin

The link between corruption and economic success is clear, Afghanistan, one of the world’s most corrupt counties is also one the poorest. Economies endowed with natural resources are likely to be wealthier, but also tend to be some of the most corrupt

The tourism industry contributed 3.7 per cent to the nation’s gross value added with tourists spending around £59 billion in the last year alone.

And London isn’t the primary beneficiary… Read more

The Brazilian president’s approval ratings remains near to its all-time low with just 13% of respondents across the country saying Dilma Rousseff was doing a “good or excellent” job, compared with 65 percent in the spring of 2013, ​according to ​a nationwide poll by Datafolha​.​

Meanwhile sixty-t​hree percent of ​Brazilians rate Dilma Rousseff’s government as “bad” or “terrible”, ​the worst approval ratings for a Brazilian president since 1992​.​

Valentina Romei

The world’s GDP growth forecast for 2016 has been revised down nearly 1 percentage point to 2.4 per since since January 2015. Brazil’s economy weighs in the steep downward revision for Latin America, while growth prospects for Eastern Europe look brighter now than they did last month.

Valentina Romei

Last year things were looking up in Italy. Employment, a sore subject after the international crisis, was growing and the unemployment rate began to fall in 2015 .

But in the last few months this progress flattened. What’s happened? Read more

Valentina Romei

As the world faces a slowdown in economic growth, we look at what is happening in France and it’s not looking good.

France is one of the worst performing economies in Europe Read more

Valentina Romei

While the UK can cheer for being nominated for the second year in a row the most open country in the world for data transparency, a warning has been sounded over the widening gap between data haves and have-nots.

Advanced economies top the list of most transparent Read more

John Burn-Murdoch

The 2015-16 El Niño episode has been either the most or one of the most intense on record, depending on which measure you use.

Going on sea surface temperatures alone, the latest El Niño narrowly edges out 1997-98, the previous strongest. Temperatures in the Niño 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean — the most commonly used of the regions scientists measure for signs of an developing El Niño or La Niña conditions — peaked at 2.37°C above the long term trend in November 2015, just ahead of the 2.33°C mark reached in 1997. Read more

Andrew Whiffin

A survey of leading European economists has put the probability of the UK voting to leave the EU at 41.3 per cent. The experts also believe that a British exit could trim half a percentage point off growth over the next two years

Valentina Romei

Commodities prices are generally falling but lithium spot price tripled in the past year, driven by demand for batteries used in electric cars and devices. Read more