Statistics jokes

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

There’s a fun CrossValidated thread on statistics jokes. Here’s the one with the top votes:

A statistician’s wife had twins. He was delighted. He rang the minister who was also delighted. “Bring them to church on Sunday and we’ll baptize them,” said the minister. “No,” replied the statistician. “Baptize one. We’ll keep the other as a control.

This line by George Burns is my favorite though:

If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.

Any other good ones?

This is still one of my favorites:

Two kinds of people

And this:

Best Math Question EVAR

[via @alexlundry]


  • A physicist, an engineer, and a statistician go hunting. They see a deer in the distance and the physicist takes the first shot, missing low because in his calculations he assumed he was shooting in a vacuum. The engineer shoots next, raising her rifle too much to account for air resistance, and misses high. The statistician yells, “we got it!”.

  • This isn’t exactly stats, but stats-influenced psych joke:
    A psychologist has a child. Soon after, he publishes a well-regarded text book called “Child development”.
    A year later, he has a second child, and publishes a follow-up textbook called “Variations in child development”.
    Soon after, he has a third child. He retires.

  • There are two kinds of statisticians: 1) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.

  • Not quite on topic, but . . .

    There are 10 types of people in this world: Those who understand binary, those who don’t, and those who didn’t expect this joke to be in base 3.

  • How can you tell if a statistician is an extrovert? He looks at your shoes when he talks to you.

  • How does a statistician cure constipation. He works it out with a pencil.

    • Corollary: how does the engineer cure constipation? He works it out with a calculator.
      (Sorry about the ‘he’ – i jst couldn’t bring myself to write She on this one)

  • Birthdays are proven to be good for you – the more you have, the longer you live.

  • “Y’know, you can’t please all the people all the time… and last night, all those people were at my show.” -Mitch Hedberg. I often begin explaining sampling bias with this joke.

  • My favorite stats joke ever:

  • There are dozens of statistical jokes here:

  • I was told this about 20 years ago, didn’t get it at all, and then when it was explained to me I have never forgotten it:
    Q: Why do mathematicians confuse Halloween and Christmas?
    A: Because Oct 31 = Dec 25.
    (That is, octal 31 = decimal 25.)

  • The antonym of Big Data: Minority Report


The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

Divorce and Occupation

Some jobs tend towards higher divorce rates. Some towards lower. Salary also probably plays a role.

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.