## statistical prediction

Predicting the final Olympic medal count is a black art. Sport, with all its intricacies and vagaries, is always susceptible to variations in form, weather conditions and simple random events. But we like a challenge! So without further ado, here is our predicted 2012 London Olympic medal count.

Well, no-one knows exactly, but using stats you can make a good guess. This article tells you how and has an interactive life expectancy calculator. Do you dare to find out?

This is the second part of our new column on risk and uncertainty. David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, continues examining league tables using the Premier League as an example. Find out just how much — or how little — these simple rankings can tell you.

League tables are controversial and for good reason. Few things are simple enough to be measured by a single outcome like, for example, the number of exam passes or successful heart operations. But even if we do accept a single yardstick, we haven't yet reckoned with chance, which by itself can produce apparent patterns to delight any tabloid editor.

*Plus*talks to the Government Actuary, Chris Daykin about the

**pensions crisis**, and how actuaries use statistical and modelling techniques to plan for all our futures.

Along with nuclear proliferation and the deteriorating condition of the natural environment, human population growth has become an issue of significant public concern during the past century. With the global population increasing at an ever-accelerating rate, how can the world continue to support its freight of humanity?