Meaningless numbers on inheritance

Averages many times do not provide information. But when comparing the Untied States to the world by looking at only 15 counties I have to wonder what the authors of the piece posted at CNN titled “Average American inheritance: $177,000” with the byline “The United States is lagging behind other parts of the world when it comes to leaving inheritances for future generations.”

Click on the graphic and you will find that Europe is represented by only two counties, South America is represented by Brazil, Africa is not represented at all. In short the comparison is between a rather unrepresentative set of countries in the world.

Next, inheritance is a likely a very skewed distribution. The size of the skew likely determines the average. At least they could have used the median, or better yet in this case give me the quartiles.

The shortcomings in this piece are so obvious and pervasive that it provides virtually no meaningful data.

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