Data Literacy: The Composition Effect

The composition effect makes it difficult to describe diverse populations with a single statistic.

The lesson focuses on the composition effect. Students evaluate unemployment data from different racial and ethnic groups to determine how accurately the national rate of unemployment describes the labor market experiences of different groups of workers. Through a guided discussion and review of data, students learn how to identify the composition effect and why it is important to take it into account when describing a diverse group with a single statistic. They also identify the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the source of the data used in the lesson and discuss the methodology used to create a statistic from data.

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This lesson received the 2021 Curriculum Bronze Award from the National Association of Economic Educators.
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Education Level: 9-12 College Non-educators
Subjects: Economics STEM Data Literacy
Concepts: Unemployment
Resource Types: Activity Charts/Graphs
Languages: English
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