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Tag Archives: QL

How has the economic situation of college students changed?

The Pew article A Rising Share of Undergraduates Are From Poor Families, Especially at Less Selective Colleges, by Richard Fry and Anthony Cilluffo (5/22/19) summarizes the change in the economic background of students from 1996 to 2016.

As of the 2015-16 academic year (the most recent data available), about 20 million students were enrolled in undergraduate education, up from 16.7 million in 1995-96.1 Of those enrolled in 2015-16, 47% were nonwhite and 31% were in poverty, up from 29% and 21%, respectively, 20 years earlier.2

The rising proportion of undergraduates in poverty does not mirror wider trends in society. The official poverty rate for adults age 18 to 64 (12%) was similar in 1996 and 2016, suggesting that access to college for students from lower-income backgrounds has increased since 1996.

As the graph copied here shows:

The growth in the share of dependent students from families in poverty has been uneven across postsecondary education. Their growing presence has been most dramatic among less selective institutions.

The article has a eight charts, a methodology section, and links to the data sources.

QL Blooper

The graph is from Amazon and attempting to graphically represent the number of pages printed from two different toner cartridges. Maybe the designers took into account the compression from the weight of the paper. Enjoy.

What are the economic prospects for 2019 college grads?

The yearly EPI report on economic prospects for young college grads Class of 2019 College Edition by Elise Gould, Zane Makhiber, and Julia Wolfe (5/14/19) is now available. The report has 19 key finding and 10 graphs with available data. A few highlights:

Women make up half of 21- to 24-year-olds but well over half (57.4 percent) of young college degree holders.

One out of every 20 young college graduates is unemployed, a higher rate than in 2000, when only one in 25 was.

After falling in the aftermath of the Great Recession, wages for young college graduates have been growing steadily since 2014 and have (just barely) surpassed the 2000 benchmark; however, nearly two decades of wage growth for young college graduates have been lost.

Related Post: What are the prospects for new college grads? (5/21/18)

Why is Black maternal mortality higher?

Kevin Drum provides an excellent example of quantitative reasoning in his (5/6/19) post How Can We Reduce Black Maternal Mortality? The story begins with his chart here that shows maternal mortality increasing in general, but it has increased faster and is much higher for Black mothers as compared to White. Drum begins by addressing the toxic stress hypothesis, in other words, the differences are do to the stress caused by societal and systemic racism which leads to physiological issues.  But,

One reason for this is the “Hispanic paradox”: Hispanics certainly encounter systemic racism too, but the maternal mortality rate for Hispanic mothers is about the same as for white mothers.

The article has a graph of “allostatic load” which looks to quantify long-term stress.

The differences in allostatic load are tiny—about the equivalent of one IQ point on an intelligence test—and Hispanics have a higher allostatic load than either blacks or whites but the lowest maternal mortality rate.

Another chart looks at self-reported stress by race for poor individuals, but

Poor blacks report less stress and higher levels of optimism than both poor whites and poor Hispanics. Put all this together and the toxic stress/weathering hypotheses look shaky. The racial differences are modest and don’t seem to correlate well with maternal mortality anyway. The problem is that every other hypothesis seems wrong too. Researchers have looked at poverty, education, drinking, smoking, and genetic causes. None of them appear to be the answer.

There are two more charts as part of Drum’s article. The article is worth reading, he cites his data, and is it perfect for a QL based course. His general conclusion at this point:

This is shocking: we still have almost no idea of what’s going on even though this has been a well-known problem for more than two decades.

 

 

 

What is earth overshoot day?

According to Earth Overshoot Day:

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. We maintain this deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The graph here is from statista and is from data posted by Earth Overshoot Day.  The Earth Overshoot website has useful materials for teachers.

Should you move to Duluth, MN?

(Chart by Rebecca Pollock and Jon Erdman, data from Climate Central/RCC-ACIS.org)

 

The Weather Channel article It’s the Year 2100 and Everyone’s Moving to Duluth by Neil Katz (4/16/19) notes

In a climate-changed future many people, says Keenan, “are looking for affordability, accessibility and actually qualitatively some degree of environmental amenities, which we believe Duluth, Lake Superior, and that part of northeast Minnesota, among other places may offer.”

Huttner is right to point out that winter weather in Duluth remains brutally cold, snowy and difficult. But it is changing, and it’s changing faster than many other places. Winters are now five degrees warmer than they were in 1970, according to NOAA data analyzed by Climate Central.

The Weather Channel isn’t the only one praising Duluth as a future place to live. The NYT article Want to Escape Global Warming? These Cities Promise Cool Relief by Kendra Pierre-Louis (4/15/19) lists Duluth and Buffalo as cities of the future (Note: Both articles quote Keenan, a lecturer at Harvard University Graduate School of Design). The Weather Channel article has a couple of nice charts (such as the one copied here) and both are a starting point for conversations about adapting to climate change.

PS On a personal note, I lived in the Twin Ports (Duluth MN and Superior WI) for a couple of years around 2000. Beautiful place.

 

How do we visualize changing temperature distributions?

This recent video (3/29/19) by Robert Rohde shows how temperature distributions have changed. Each year the graph is a distribution of temperature anomalies.  As noted “This essentially the same data that was previous shown as an animated map:”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JObGveVUz7k  The video here is useful in any statistics or QL course and the two videos together provide an illustration of how to display data. The data is from Berkeley Earth.

What is the state of Arctic Ice?

The melting season for Arctic Sea Ice has started with a quick drop in ice. The total ice is at a record low for this time of year (orange line in chart). But, how this plays out throughout the melting seasons is hard to predict based solely on past seasons. For instance, 2012 is the year of the record low (dashed line), but numerous seasons have been lower than 2012 at this time of year (2016 – yellow, 2015 – green, 2007 – blue shown here).  Arctic Sea Ice extent is updated daily on the Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph by NSIDC. This graph allows the user to select years, download the image, and choose between Arctic and Antarctic ice extent. NSIDC posts the data and there is a project on both the Calculus and Statistics page using this data, as well as an interactive graph.

What’s new at sustainabilitymath?

There are three more interactive graphs on the Interactive Graphs page for a total of five.  One is Arctic Sea Ice extent by year for the months of March (high month), June, September (low month), and December, along with regression lines and residual plots (snapshot here). The other two represent the expected years to live at a given age. One of these is by race and gender, while the other is all females and males. Both graphs include a regression line and residual plot. The purpose of these graphs is to not only be interesting and informative, but to also be useful as classroom resource for projects or exercises.

What is Population Bracketology?

The Census Bureau has a new interactive data visualization called Population Bracketology (see the screen shot here). In the game, players have to choose the city (or state for the state version) with the largest population.  Once the game is completed users can scroll over the cities (or states) to get the size of their population.  So, how much do you know about city and state population sizes? Play the game and find out.