Why do we say "Lies, damn lies and statistics"?

Well-Known Expressions

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Meaning:

Statistics are just another form of lie

Background:

In the hands of the unscrupulous most statistics can be bent to create the desired result. So never take a statistic at face value unless you're aware of exactly what questions were asked, how they were asked, when they were asked, who asked them (and why) and who answered them!

Many sources quote Disraeli (1804-81) as being the originator of this expression. He certainly said many clever things in his life, one of which could have been this, but there is no record of the phrase in his writings, or in any reports of his speeches.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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