Last week the New York Times published a nice interactive about the minimum wage and just how difficult it is to live on it. (We will for now spare the charts that show how the actual purchasing power has declined over the years.) First you pick your state because not every state pays the same minimum wage. Then as you begin to enter figures for your expenses, or a hypothetical person as in this screenshot, you find how quickly a minimum wage earner runs out of money. And then how much debt they owe and how much more they have to work to pay it off.
This piece from the Washington Post examines the idea of economic mobility. That is, what is the likelihood that children born and raised in an impoverished family will surpass their parents’ standard of living.
Credit for the piece goes to Darla Cameron and Ted Mellnik.
The Olympics opened in Sochi this past weekend. Many of us may well be familiar with photographs of urinals without piping, or unfinished hotel rooms, or many other infrastructure problems, but there is a bigger issue facing Sochi. It exists on what the New York Times terms the edge of a war zone. Their overall piece is more text-heavy than graphic-heavy, but several maps lend context to this complicated region of the Russian Federation. If you’re curious to better understand the region, this is a good primer.
The linguistics of the Caucasus
Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times graphics department.
Today’s post comes via one of my coworkers. She sent me this graphic from Thomson Reuters that uses a Sankey diagram to show the movement of European Union citizens within the EU. As with my post yesterday, I feel this piece would benefit from even limited interactivity. Exploring individual countries or individual flows by touch or by mouse would be more useful than relying on annotations. But also as I said, that might not have been possible within the production constraints of this piece.
Today’s post looks at education across a set of 65 countries from a standardised test backed by the OECD, basically a group of wealthy countries. The test results found that some poor countries have surprisingly good education systems whereas some of the world’s wealthiest countries—here’s looking at you, United States—perform poorly. The Huffington Post created this graphic to plot the data.
I really enjoy this piece. It plots each income decile’s results, blocks the countries into OECD members versus their partners, and then each country’s average socioeconomic status is shown as being above or below the OECD average. This is the type of piece I see as a static image that I would want to see made interactively—though I fully understand how difficult and time-consuming that can be—so that I could begin to filter and re-arrange the data. Could discoveries be made by organising countries by geographic regions? Could one just look at the top or bottom deciles?
If you have been living under a rock, Sochi, Russia is hosting the winter Olympics this year. A year in which the Russian government passed legislation banning not same-sex relationships but advocacy for said relationships. Several countries, including the United States, take issue with the legislation. But this graphic from the National Journal hints that in order to reverse such barriers to same-sex marriages, the United States and like-minded societies have a long way to go to convince not just Russians, but many other societies across the world.
Last week I was asked what was the population of Canada. I first said 30 million. I then figured that was too small so I said more like 50–60 million. Turns out I was closer to being correct the first time. A Google search that cites the World Bank among its sources listed the population as nearer to 35 million. But what does that mean?
Over at I Love Charts, the United States was broken down into units shaped by the size of the population of Canada. Roughly, the United States = 10 Canadas.
How many Canadas in the US?
Credit for the piece goes to an unknown individual. If discovered, I would appreciate being informed.
Let’s start this week off with cartograms. Sometimes I like the idea, sometimes not so much. Here is a case where I really do not care for the New York Times’ visualisation of the data. Probably because the two cartograms, a before and after of health policy renewals, do not really allow for a great side-by-side comparison. I imagine there is probably a way of condensing all of that information into a single chart or graphic component.
The before map
Credit for the piece goes to Keith Collins, Josh Katz, Katie Thomas, Archie Tse, and Karen Yourish.