Which preposition should one use after statistic when one wants to say what object this statistic describes? Consider, for instance, the following sentence taken from Google Translate:
He quoted a government statistic that suggests foreign coverage has gone down on British television by 40% in the last decade.
If one was to say what he quoted, would one say
- “a government statistic about foreign coverage on British television,”
- “a government statistic for foreign coverage on British television,”
- “a government statistic of foreign coverage on British television,” or
- “a government statistic on foreign coverage on British television”?
Personally, I want to use about, but then I was corrected for doing so. Google Ngram also disagrees with me.
I originally phrased this question focusing primarily on the singular form, statistic, as I assumed there would be no difference with respect to the plural one, statistics. However, according to the comments, there is a different. Since I’m equally much interested in the plural form, I’m extending this question to cover statistics as well.
Regarding statistics, I’ve found the following examples:
If all the industries belong to one economic area over which, so far as we can tell from general statistics of wages and prices, and other information, fairly homogeneous conditions prevailed, we may be able to reach some useful conclusions as to the operation of the act.
The statistics of civil proceedings vary considerably from province to province.
The Trans-Caspian railway has been an important factor; almost all the cotton exported passes over this line, and the statistics of this trade indicate the progress made.
Statistics of offences, including contravvenzioni or breaches of by-laws and regulations, exhibit a considerable increase per 100,000 inhabitants since 1887, and only a slight diminution on the figures of 1897.
So which preposition should one use after statistics?