Eighteen per cent of Canadian erections are the result of Lululemon yoga pants. About one in nine Ontarians are really just clumps of smog.
If those stats strike you as unlikely, that’s because 73.5 per cent of all statistics are made up on the spot. Or, at least, that’s the philosophy behind “Stats Canada,” a Twitter account of statistics about Canada that are most definitively not from the government agency known as Statistics Canada.
No one is quite sure where these stats come from, because the group behind the satirical twitter feed are keeping their identities secret.
It was one year ago this month that Stats Canada started amusing (and perhaps confusing) Canadians with improbable statistics about the country.
And while some of those tweets have been controversial (one declared that "French-Canadians are easily recognizable by their berets and sad faces," while another opined that “4 out of 5 baby seals were asking for it”), it hasn’t stopped the unnamed individuals behind the account from landing a book contract. “Stats Canada: Satire on a National Scale” is scheduled to be released in November of this year, sans author names.
The Twitter feed’s popularity now far exceeds that of the real Statistics Canada. The government statistical agency had some 57,000 followers on its English-language Twitter as of Monday, less than a third of Stats Canada’s 191,000 followers -- proof, perhaps, that Canadians want to be amused a little bit more than they want to be informed.
Here are some of Stats Canada’s greatest tweets in the first year of, um, “data collection.”
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