Dear 100 Hour Board,
RE Board Question #41581 - Just to clarify for readers, I don't think the numbers given in this response should be taken too seriously (despite the asterisk). I could sense a humorous feel to the response, but at the the risk of confusion, I figured something should be clarified.
The question submitted could come from a reader who is in a subset of the Church population which has vastly different numbers than the entire Church population. (e.g. Average primary sizes in Utah County will vary greatly compared to those in Istanbul.) The analysis given by Portia is fun conjecture, but in terms of statistical analysis it falls short of any real value.
-wired, who served in mission that had a ward with over 1300 membership records in it
Ooh, them's are fightin' words. I didn't do that for my own amusement, yo!
I think I will leave it to Quandary to more fully address the statisical tools used. Thank you.
Well, of course, things like this can only ever be guesses since I don't think the real numbers are officially tracked. Statistical analysis can be useful in coming up with rough estimates, though. They can't be taken as being 100% accurate, but I would still say that it is extremely unlikely that one ward would have more than 200 kids under 2. Even if the vast majority of members on the ward's records were inactive leading to large ward sizes, it's not very likely that that many young children would make it onto the membership rolls.
Thanks for your comment, though. It's always a good idea to think critically about any statistical analysis; it's way too easy for a biased statistician or reporter to make statistics say whatever they want. I don't think that's what Portia was trying to do, but it's an important consideration anyway.