Hockey players' birth months from Gladwell (2008).

In his 2008 book Outliers Malcolm Gladwell presents a table showing the birth dates of the members of the 2007 Medicine Hat Alberta hockey players. The table illustrates a clustering of birth dates in the early months of the year:

gladwell hockey data


The table from the book

gladwell hockey table

The original table is difficult to interpret. The numbers in the first column may be the players' jersey numbers. Their names don't appear to be relevant to the discussion. Nevertheless, providing the data does give an opportunity - as here - to analyze the data for oneself.

A more picayune point is whether the horizontal lines are necessary. The table also spans 2 pages (I've removed the break) but could be on one; this is true of other tables in the book as well. This placement allows the narrative to refer to the data without the use of "Table 1" etc numbers, which may be off-putting to some readers (?) but is less attractive.

Revisions and discussion

Source: Gladwell, Malcolm 2008 Outliers NY Little Brown, pp. 20-21.