RSS Statistic of the Year 2018: Winners announced


  • Date: 21 December 2018
  • Copyright: image copyright of

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) have announced the winner of their annual Statistic of the Year competition for 2018.

The winner of the UK Statistic of 2018 is 27.8%: the peak percentage of all electricity produced in the UK due to solar power on 30 June this year. The record was reached during a heatwave which saw soaring temperatures and blue skies across the UK. On this day solar power was, briefly, the country’s number one electricity source, ahead of gas. The statistic demonstrates the growing contribution of solar towards the UK’s power grid and how far this energy source has come in the last decade alone.

thumbnail image: RSS Statistic of the Year 2018: Winners announced

Continuing the environmental theme, the winning International Statistic of 2018 is 90.5%: the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled. Around 30% of the plastic ever produced, worldwide, is still in use. Of the remaining amount, it is thought that only 9.5% has been recycled, while 12% has been incinerated and roughly 79% left accumulating in either landfill or the natural environment.

RSS President, Sir David Spiegelhalter, who chaired the Stats of the Year judging panel, said: “The really low level of recycling has resulted in far too much waste leaching out into the world’s environment… This statistic helps to show the scale of the challenge we all face.”

A wide variety of statistics were chosen as ‘highly commended’, including the percentage point reduction in worldwide ‘absolute poverty’ over the last ten years and the total amount wiped off Snapchat’s value within a day of one Kylie Jenner tweet. The full list can be viewed on the Royal Statistical Society site here.

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