Mayor’s Order trivia

2011 is over, which means that we have a final tally of Mayor’s Orders for the year. I don’t know why we have a tendency to ascribe significance to numbers ending in a zero (or, even better, two zeroes), but we do, and in 2011, there were 200 Mayor’s Orders.

I took two semesters of statistics in college, one in the math department and one with a social science bent, but I don’t remember anything I learned. This means that I can’t analyze what I’m about to share with you. Nevertheless…

I was curious whether there has ever before been a year when the number of Mayor’s Orders issued was a multiple of 100. By “before” I mean since Home Rule.

Imagine my surprise, not to find that the answer is yes, but to find that this is the fifth time starting with 1974 that the number of Orders issued ends in a double zero. Three years with 200 Orders (2011, 1991, and 1985) and two years with 300 (1987 and 1979). Is this more than should be expected to occur at random? I have no idea, because I don’t remember any of the statistics I learned.

Data can be found here. (Please let me know if you can’t access the spreadsheet.)



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