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Significant Figures of Numbers in Statistical Tables


IT is a well-known fact that most numbers in statistical tables start with a small digit. For example, in population tables almost one third of the entries begin with the digit 1. The same holds true for most tables of the type occurring in the World's Almanac.

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  1. Benford, Frank, Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc., 78, 551 (1938).

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  2. Nature, in the press.

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GOUDSMIT, S., FURRY, W. Significant Figures of Numbers in Statistical Tables. Nature 154, 800–801 (1944).

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