Average Spending of Jordanians on Alcohol and Cigarettes JD481 Annually, Not JD4800

AKEED, Anwar Ziadat

A number of local newspapers and news sites published erroneous figures about the average spending by Jordanians on alcohol and cigarettes, indicating that the annual average spending of a Jordanian family on alcohol and cigarettes totaled JD4800, which is incorrect. The correct figure is JD481 annually, according to the data of the Department of Statistics for 2013.

The Jordanian Media Credibility Monitor has followed a lot of news on this subject published by media outlets that used incorrect information, such as "Jordanians Spend JD4800 Annually on Alcohol and Cigarettes." Other sites confined the average spending of JD4800 to cigarettes only. This is inaccurate information, through which the media tried to use the figure to attract readers. 

Other media and newspapers had the headline "10000 Dinars Average Annual Spending of Families in Jordan," while the erroneous piece of information in the body of the news referred to the average spending of a family on alcohol and cigarettes. It said that the source of the story was the Jordan News Agency (Petra), citing a statement by the Department of Statistics on the International Day of Families. However, the Petra story included the figure JD450.

Other sites steered clear of the incorrect information and published logical information under a different headline, which is "Jordanian Spends JD450 on Alcohol." The details of the story explained that the average spending on alcohol and cigarettes was JD450.

On 15 May 2017, which marks the International Day of Families, the Department of Statistics published a statement on its website, noting that the average annual spending of the Jordanian family was around JD10251.6, including JD3499.9 on foodstuffs, JD481.6 on alcohol and cigarettes, and JD6270.1 on non-food goods and services.

Husni al-Daajah, official spokesman for the Department of Statistics, told AKEED that the Jordanian family"s average annual spending on alcohol and cigarettes was JD481, and not JD4800. The media added another zero to the right side of the correct figure to make it incorrect. He indicated that when adding up all the other figures, which include the average spending on food items, alcohol and cigarettes, and non-food goods and services, the total will be "the average annual spending of the family in Jordan."

He pointed out that when adding up JD4800 instead of JD480, we will see a rise in the average spending of families from the declared and correct figure by an amount that totals around JD4300 annually.

The AKEED Monitor is of the opinion that it is necessary to avoid incorrect content and to report information as carried by the source exactly without any addition or deletion to avoid errors in information, figures, and indicators.