(Here's the part where I commented on the numbers of contingent migrant workers in New Zealand and the UK. Afterwards, I proceeded to make comments on the ratio of these workers)... However, the proportions of these workers in the two mentioned countries were dramatically different from the numbers of them, which were 21.1 and 4.4 per 1000 population for New Zealand and the UK respectively.

Above is what I wrote, but I'm not happy with the bolded part. I find it unclear and not able to present my idea precisely. There, I meant that even though the number of workers in the UK was higher, the opposite was true for the ratio of workers per 1000 people. Please suggest a way to express my idea with minimal change to the sentence.

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    But the ratio of migrant workers to the countries' total populations differed greatly; in New Zealand it was about five times as many as in the UK.
    – TimR
    Apr 12 at 9:53
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    "dramatically" is a weird word for a formal scientific text. It implies something that's shocking or very surprising, rather than just "very".
    – Stuart F
    Apr 12 at 10:30
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    It does raise the question of why you're making a comparison between the countries if the situations are very different. How you express your final bit will depend on whether you've already said the countries are the same or different - is it an explanation for the difference or a confounding factor that may make comparisons difficult?
    – Stuart F
    Apr 12 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


Not everybody understands statistics, so while someone good at data visualisation should be able to make information understandable and accessible, it may be a stretch to call it "natural" speech, which most people use to describe 'everyday' language.

What you're talking about is per capita normalisation or normalisation by population size. A number can be misrepresentative if you compare it to another number from a different population, so we adjust it to make it comparable. I think you know this, as you have used per 1000 population, but if you think your audience needs an explanation you could say:

Although the numbers of workers in the UK and New Zealand are dramatically different, so are the population sizes. The population-adjusted figures are 21.1 and 4.4 per 1000 population for New Zealand and the UK respectively.

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