Economist

42 posts
Diverging paths for rich and poor, infographically

Ray Vella (link) asked me to comment on a chart about regional wealth distribution, which I wrote about here. He also asked students in his NYU infographics class to create their own versions. This effort caught my eye: This work is creative, and I like the concept of using two staircases to illustrate the diverging fortunes of the two groups. This is worlds away from the original Economist chart. The...

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Fifty-nine intersections supporting forty dots of data

My friend Ray V. asked how this chart can be improved: Let's try to read this chart. The Economist is always the best at writing headlines, and this one is simple and to the point: the rich get richer. This is about inequality but not just inequality - the growth in inequality over time. Each country has four dots, divided into two pairs. From the legend, we learn that the...

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Confuse, confuses, confused, confusing

Via Twitter, @Stoltzmaniac sent me this chart, from the Economist (link to article): There is simply too much going on on the right side of the chart. The designer seems not to be able to decide which metric is more important, the cumulative growth rate of vehicles in use from 2005 to 2014, or the vehicles per 1,000 people in 2014. So both set of numbers are placed on the...

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If Clinton and Trump go to dinner, do they sit face to face, or side by side?

One of my students tipped me to an August article in the Economist, published when last the media proclaimed Donald Trump's campaign in deep water. The headline said "Donald Trump's Media Advantage Falters." Who would have known, judging from the chart that accompanies the article? There is something very confusing about the red line, showing "Trump August 2015 = 1." The data are disaggregated by media channel, and yet the...

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Graphical inequity ruins the chart

This Economist chart has a great concept but I find it difficult to find the story: (link) I am a fan of color-coding the text as they have done here so that part is good. The journalist has this neat idea of comparing those who are apathetic ("don't care about whether Britain is in or out") and those who are passionate ("strongly prefer" that Britain is either in or out)....

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Confusion is not limited to complex dataviz

This chart looks simple and harmless but I find it disarming. I usually love the cheeky titles in the Economist but this title is very destructive to the data visualization. The chart has nothing to do with credit scores. In fact, credit scoring is associated with consumers while countries have credit ratings. Also, I am not a fan of the Economist way of labeling negative axes. The negative sign situated...

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Batmen not as interesting as it seems

When this post appears, I will be on my way to Seattle. Maybe I will meet some of you there. You can still register here. I held onto this tip from a reader for a while. I think it came from Twitter: The Economist found a fun topic but what's up with the axis not starting at zero? The height x weight gimmick seems cool but on second thought, weight...

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Technology sector, share of market over time

Here's a straightforward stacked area chart from the Economist that shows shifting market share in the technology sector. It highlights the quick shrinkage of IBM in the 1990s, Microsoft reign soon after, and the apple surge mid-2000s. Be sure to look at the nominal and real views too, because even though relative dominance shifted, the sector as a whole is up and up. Tags: Economist, technology

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Black and White America compared as if they were countries

The Economist made a simple yet effective comparison of Black America and White America against metrics of countries that are part of the Human Development Index and the OECD. In incarcerations and homicides, you see Black America (red line) at and towards the bottom. Tags: Economist, race

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