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Datapresentation: Unskilled Workers Die Prematurely

Written the 08. November 2009 by Nils Mulvad

The biggest Danish analysis of detailed data on death rates for unskilled workers in Denmark showed exactly where and of what diseases the workers have a higher mortality rate compared to the average dane. The lessons was presented at the Danish conference on investigative journalism Saturday the 7th of November 2009 by editor Jonas Højlund, Fagbladet, Chase Davis from Hottype Consulting and Nils Mulvad.
See story and data on the web.
See magazine story in English.
See description of methods in English.
The story investigated death records of all members of the union 3F (unskilled workers) comparing it to standard death rates for the whole population. The aim was to see where the mortality rate was higher (and lower) for the members of the union, and which causes of death were higher and lower compared to the whole population.
This is the first time an analysis of Standard Mortality Rates has been done on such a big group and on such a detailed level in Denmark. It’s also the first time a web-presentation this ambitious was attempted in Denmark.
Major findings
1. The total number of deaths in the group analyzed was 121,054, compared to the expected figure (according to the standard mortality rate) of 113,200, i.e. 7,854 more deaths than normal. The total group consisted of 1.035.072 persons – then this was the biggest investigations of deaths for unskilled workers in Denmark.
2. Apart from homicide, of which there are relatively few cases, accidents are the primary cause of 3F members’ high rate of excessive mortality. Accidents caused 1,242 more deaths than the norm in the period studied. If 3F members had conformed to the national average (i.e. the standard mortality rate), there were would have been 5,224 deaths caused by accidents. But the actual number of fatal accidents was 6,466.
Other examples
Chase Davis pointed out at the conference that this project was adwanced – also compared to US standard.
He pointed to these examples:
Banktracker.
Texas Tribune elected official directory.
PolitiFact.
EveryBlock.
Hilary Clinton schedules.
Mug Shots.

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