Ron Johnston

This paper suggests an alternative procedure to the rating of places according to the assumption that averaging data on a number of different criteria presents a valid representation of a general pattern. The UK media frequently publish articles reporting on research that rates places on various criteria, with indices that can be structured into league tables. Such indices are frequently based on statistical procedures that over-simplify the differences between places. Following a critique of such methods, an alternative procedure is presented and applied to the data used for the recent production of the UK Prosperity Index. It shows that the geographies of the 43 separate variables deployed in producing that index are more complex than can reasonably be assumed.

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