Tag Archives: QL

How many people are employed in manufacturing?

Elections seem to bring out various statements about manufacturing employment in the U.S. So, here is a review of manufacturing in the U.S. The graph here was created using FRED, which is a great resource for economic data. As a percent of all employees, manufacturing peaked in the early 1940s at 38% and has been declining ever since to now below 9%. As a total number of workers the peak was in 1979 at 19,428,00 people and bottomed out at the end of the great recession at 11,529,00 people. The numbers have recovered slightly to 12,839,00 people in 2019, but this is still shy of the 13,403,00 people in 2008 before the recession. Kevin Drum has a point on fact checking related to this in his post Fact of the Day: Manufacturing as a % of the Workforce, 1985-2020.

What are the best news sources?

The PEW article Americans Who Mainly Get Their News on Social Media Are Less Engaged, Less Knowledgeable by Amy Mitchell, Mark Jurkowitz, J. Baxter Oliphant and Elisa Shearer (7/30/2020) answers the question with the graph copied here.

As of late last year, 18% of U.S. adults say they turn most to social media for political and election news. That’s lower than the share who use news websites and apps (25%), but about on par with the percent who say their primary pathway is cable television (16%) or local television (16%), and higher than the shares who turn to three other pathways mentioned in the survey (network TV, radio and print).

One specific set of nine questions focused on foundational political knowledge, such as the federal budget deficit and which party supports certain policy positions. Researchers created an index of high, middle or low political knowledge based on how many of these nine questions respondents got right (high knowledge answered eight to nine questions correctly, middle got six or seven right and low got five or fewer right; see here for more details of the political knowledge index). While at least four-in-ten individuals who turn mainly to news websites and apps (45%), radio (42%) and print (41%) for news fall into the high political knowledge category, the same is true of just 17% of those who turn most to social media. Only those in the local TV group scored lower, with 10% in the high political knowledge category.

Even as Americans who primarily turn to social media for political news are less aware and knowledgeable about a wide range of events and issues in the news, they are more likely than other Americans to have heard about a number of false or unproven claims.

This is an extensive article with numerous charts and  graphs. There is also a detailed methodology section.

How has U.S. population changed since 2010?

The Census Bureau report Last Census Population Estimates of the Decade (4/6/2020) has a great interactive graphic of U.S. population change for each state. The image here is what it looks like and if you scroll over a state the data is highlighted in the other graphs. Overall,

The U.S. population was at 328.2 million on July 1, 2019, up 0.48% since July 1, 2018. Growth has slowed every year since 2015, when the population increased 0.73% relative to the previous year.

The three states with the most growth were Texas (3,849,790), Florida (2,673,173) and California (2,257,704). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage change (17.3%), followed by Utah, Texas and Colorado.

Four states have lost population since the 2010 Census: Vermont (-1,748), Connecticut (-8,860), West Virginia (-60,871) and Illinois (-159,751).

The article and graphic are an excellent QL resources. Also, the data is cited at the bottom and the Census Bureau posts all of its data.

Urban/Rural Red/Blue?

FiveThirtyEight has the interesting graph copied here from their article How Urban or Rural is Your State? And What Does That Mean For The 2020 Election? by Nathaniel Rakich (4/14/2020). How did they measure urbanization?

Essentially, we calculated the average number of people living within a five-mile radius of every census tract and took the natural logarithm to create an “urbanization index,” or a calculation of how urban or rural a given area is.

The article has a table of data that goes with the graph and they look at the 2020 election if urbanization dictated the outcome.

What is a gigatonne of ice?

The picture here is a snapshot from an animation by NASA in the article Visualizing the Quantities of Climate Change – Ice Sheet Loss in Greenland and Antarctica by Matt Conlen (3/9/2020) that shows a gigatonne of ice. A gigatonne isn’t much since

Satellite data show that Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass at a rate of 283 gigatonnes per year and 145 gigatonnes per year, respectively.

There are three animations one for 1 gigatonne, 5,000 gigatonnes (about the amount lost from the polar ice caps from 2002-2017), and 49,000 gigatones (estimate of the amount lost in the 20th century). Each animation also has an associated math box for the related calculation.

Who has the highest Gini of G7 countries?

The Pew article 6 facts about economic inequality in the U.S. by Katherine Schaeffer (2/7/2020) provides the chart copied here (2017 data). One of the other facts mentioned in the article:

In 1989, the richest 5% of families had 114 times as much wealth as families in the second quintile (one tier above the lowest), at the median $2.3 million compared with $20,300. By 2016, the top 5% held 248 times as much wealth at the median. (The median wealth of the poorest 20% is either zero or negative in most years we examined.)

There are 6 (surprise) charts and the data is cited. Great QL article.

What are people’s view of C-19?

The Pew article Worries About Coronavirus Surge, as Most Americans Expect a Recession – or Worse (3/26/2020) reports the results from a survey related to COVID-19. Most of it is not too surprising:

There is broad public agreement that the nation is confronting a crisis. Two-thirds of Americans – including majorities in all major demographic and partisan groups – say COVID-19 is a “significant crisis.”

But, then there is the graphic copied here. Ok, the partisan split on the news media and the President aren’t that surprising, while still quit stark. Interestingly, Dem/Lean Dem rank the top four categories consistently lower than Rep/Lean Rep. The CDC gets 10 percentage points lower and ordinary people 8 percentage points lower.

There are numerous charts of survey responses and the article has a methodology section with data.

What does it mean to “flatten the curve”?

The New York Times article How Much Worse the Coronavirus Could Get, in Charts by Nicholas Kristof and  Stuart A. Thompson (3/13/2020) has a great interactive set of graphs that illustrate the importance of flattening the curve. The graphs start with the one copied here.

What’s at stake in this coronavirus pandemic? How many Americans can become infected? How many might die?

The answers depend on the actions we take — and, crucially, on when we take them. Working with infectious disease epidemiologists, we developed this interactive tool that lets you see what may lie ahead in the United States and how much of a difference it could make if officials act quickly.

One of the interesting features is that the user can drag a bar which is the date interventions begin and see how the curve changes.

How is spring changing?

Climate Central has put together their 2020 Spring Package (2/2/2020) with information and a selection of city graphs. For example

Analyzing average spring temperatures since 1970, the top increases occurred in the Southwestwhere spring is the fastest warming season. Reno, Nev. topped the list with an increase of 7.2°F, followed by Las Vegas, Nev. (6.4°F), El Paso, Texas (5.8°F), and Tucson (5.8°F). In general, 81% (197) of the 242 cities analyzed warmed by at least 1°F over the past fifty years. 

There are four different graph selections for spring: Average Temperature, Days Above Normal, Last Freeze, and a National Map. For the first three you can select from various cities. For example, I chose the graph for last freeze for Duluth, MN, which shows that on average the last freeze is occurring almost two weeks sooner.

The graphs are set up for easy download but there isn’t corresponding data. A previous post How much have fall nighttime temperatures risen? provides details on how to obtain this type of data.