Tag Archives: QL

What is the distribution of global income?

The Our World in Data article How much economic growth is necessary to reduce global poverty by Max Roser (2/15/2021) includes the graph copied here. Note that all countries incomes are adjusted for price differences so it is fair comparison from county to country. It is easy to forget how much wealthier the U.S. is compared to almost all other countries.

The reason why such substantial economic growth is necessary for reducing global poverty is that the average income in many countries in the world is very low: 82% of the world population live in countries where the mean income is less than $20 per day.

There are three other graphs in the article, which is suitable for a QL based course. There isn’t data associated with these particular graphs but there are links at the top of the article with related economic data.

What did the 116th Congress do more of?

From the Pew article, Though not especially productive in passing bills, the 116th Congress set new marks for social media use, by Aaron Smith and Sono Shah (1/25/2021):

Voting members of the 116th Congress collectively produced more than 2.2 million tweets and Facebook posts in 2019 and 2020. That means the median member of Congress produced more than 3,000 posts across their profiles on the two social media platforms during this span.

The 3000 sound like a lot but amounts to only about 8 posts a day and I have to imagine that some of it is done by aides.

There are two other charts in the article and a detailed methodology section. There is also a link to a related article which includes the number of laws passed from the 101st through 116th congress.

Which 6 states together use more than half the jet fuel?

The eia article Six states accounted for more than half of U.S. jet fuel consumption in 2019 by Mickey Francis (1/27/2021) provides the graph here. Now, this isn’t surprising as CA, TX, FL, and NY are the four most populous states in that order. IL comes in 6 and GA 8. The article essentially notes this in the last line here:

In 2019, more than half of the jet fuel consumed in the United States was consumed in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, and Georgia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) State Energy Data System. These states are home to many of the nation’s busiest airports and headquarters for many of the largest U.S. airlines. The six states are also among the most populous, accounting for about 40% of the U.S. population in 2019.

These six states represent 40% of the population but use 53% of the jet fuel and so there is a discrepancy. What accounts for the difference? For example, these 6 states account for about 44% of the GDP in the U.S. (BEA page 6), which closes the gap some. A stats project in the making. The eia page has links to their data.

Is this chart misleading?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics posts the chart (partially) copied here and last updated Sept 2020. An initial look at the graph and we see that the top 5 each have a median pay higher than the median pay in the U.S. (about $35k), but this is based on growth rate. On the other hand, if we look at the number of jobs the top 5 here are predicted to create, Table 1.3 from the BLS, we get 152.2 thousand jobs.  The sixth job on this list, home health and personal care aides, has a below median pay but is predicted to create 1,159.5 thousand jobs. There are 30 jobs listed in table 1.3 and home health and personal care aides represents about 45% of predicted new jobs created on this table. One can download the data in table 1.3 in an xlsx file.

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.