Social Studies 201

Fall 2003

Problem Set 2

Due Monday, September 29, 2003

Note:  If you hand this problem set in on Friday, September 26, Liam Conway will attempt to mark the problem set by Tuesday, September 30.  If handed in on Monday, September 29, it may not be marked prior to the midterm examination.  The model answers will be available in the Library and web site by Tuesday, September 30.

1.      Table 1 contains the responses of 707 Saskatchewan respondents to the question, “How often do you feel rushed?”  These responses come from the General Social Survey, Cycle 12: time use (1998), conducted by Statistics Canada.  Table 1 gives the number of respondents who stated each response, for respondents less than age 45 and for respondents aged 45 plus.  Use these data to construct histograms of the distribution of number of times per year each set of respondents feels rushed.  Also compute the mode and mean for each group.  Explain which category contains the median of each group.  In words, briefly describe similarities and differences between the two distributions.

# Table 1.  Frequency distribution for responses to the question

“How often do you feel rushed?”

 Number of times per year respondent feels rushed Number of respondents by age Under age 45 Age 45 plus Never (0) 2 69 Less than once a month (1-10) 8 54 Once a month (10-20) 15 23 Once a week (20-80) 39 40 Few times per week (80-300) 118 61 Every day (300-365) 173 105 Total 355 352

Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey, Cycle 12: time use (1998).

1. Explain which concept of average (mode, median, or mean) appears to be used or implied in each of the following quotes.

a. Average student debt in Saskatchewan is approximately \$12,000, which is below the national average.  The Carillon, January 25, 2001, p. 3.

b. Services in smaller, isolated communities – about two-thirds of Canada’s 630 First Nations – are “much less than what Canadians enjoy as an average.”  The Leader-Post, January 6, 2001, p. A1.

c. An international comparison show’s Canada’s teenage pregnancy rate as middling among those of industrial nations.  National Post, October 20, 2000, p. A4.

1. For the data on homicides in Table 2,

a. Which of the thirteen provinces and territories has the median value of (i) number of homicides, and (ii) homicide rate?  Indicate your reasoning.  Why might the province or territory with the median value differ in the two cases?

b. Use the numbers in the last two columns to calculate the mean value (i) for number of homicides and (ii) for homicide rate across the thirteen provinces and territories.  Show your work.  Why does the mean homicide rate across the thirteen provinces and territories differ from the homicide rate for Canada?

Table 2.  Number and rate of homicide offences, Canadian provinces and territories, 2001

 Province or territory Number of homicides Homicide rate Newfoundland and Labrador 1 0.19 Prince Edward Island 2 1.44 Nova Scotia 9 0.95 New Brunswick 8 1.06 Quebec 140 1.89 Ontario 170 1.43 Manitoba 34 2.96 Saskatchewan 27 2.66 Alberta 70 2.28 British Columbia 85 2.08 Yukon 1 3.35 Northwest Territories 4 9.79 Nunavut 3 10.65 Canada 554 1.78

Note: The homicide rate is the number of homicides per 100,000 population.

Source: Statistics Canada web site: http://www.statcan.ca/english/Pgdb/legal12a.htm and 12b.htm, September 18, 2003

1. In Canada, sociologists sometimes rank the occupations of people by computing their Blishen score – a combination of education and income of the occupation in which they work.  Occupations with high Blishen scores generally require high levels of education and have high incomes; occupation with low Blishen scores generally require less education and have lower incomes.  For example, the Blishen scores for cashiers is 28.31, for radio and TV repair 43.76, for teachers 63.64, and for lawyers 75.60.

Table 3 provides data on the Blishen scores for 433 residents of Saskatchewan and 1,541 residents of Ontario, from Cycle 12 of the General Social Survey.   Use the data in this table to answer the following.

1. Calculate the mean Blishen score for each province.
2. Calculate the median and interquartile range of Blishen scores for each province.
3. Using the statistics in a. and b., along with the distributions in Table 3, in words briefly compare the distribution of Blishen scores for the two provinces.

Table 3.  Per Cent Distribution of Blishen Scores for Saskatchewan and Ontario Respondents

 Blishen Score Per Cent of Respondents Saskatchewan Ontario 15-25 12.9 6.6 25-35 35.3 25.9 35-45 18.7 24.2 45-55 13.4 15.9 55-65 14.8 19.9 65-85 4.9 7.5 Total 100.0 100.0

Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey, Cycle 12: time use (1998).

Handed out in class on September 19, 2003.