Author Archives: Matt Stiles

I'm a data journalist at The Wall Street Journal. Let me know if you have ideas for future visualizations. Contact me: mattstiles at gmail.

Gay Marriage State by State: A Trickle Became a Torrent


Note: Ohio passed a statute and a constitutional amendment in the same year. Sources: Information for the maps was gathered from the Human Rights Campaign, the Movement Advancement Project, Freedom to Marry, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Congressional Research Service. Additional work by K.K. Rebecca Lai

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

200 Years Of U.S. Immigration


In 1819, Congress passed a law requiring that the arrival of all immigrants be recorded. Immigrant workers were needed, and the rest of the 19th century saw their numbers grow. From that period through today, America has seen waves of immigration, which Natalia Bronshtein has captured in a colorful interactive graphic.

Read more at: www.citylab.com

Diversity in the Toss-Up States

“Mr. Bush, the former governor of Florida, would likely target more diverse states with growing Hispanic populations, while Mr. Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, would focus on working-class white voters in the Midwest.”


Should Jeb Bush or Scott Walker become the Republican presidential nominee, their paths to victory would look very different.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

A Century Of Global Plane Crashes

Investigators still want to know what caused a civilian airliner to crash Tuesday morning in the French Alps. The incident, which likely killed 144 passengers and six crew members aboard the Airbus A320 destined for Germany, is one of at least 17 major crashes this year, according to the Bureau of Aircraft Accident Archives.

The group maintains a detailed database of each crash back to 1918, the early days of flight, allowing users to search 22,000 cases by year, operator, plane type and cause, among several other variables. This one is at least the 18th involving an Airbus A320, according to the database.

The chart below shows the number of crashes catalogued by the group during that time. You can see a spike in 1944, during World War II, when many military aircraft went down in battle, resulting in more than 4,300 casualties:

Since then, the number of crashes peaked in 1978 and has declined over time. There were about 120 crashes last year, according to the bureau’s records.

DC, Seoul Share Similar Climate — Until The Summer Rains Come

As I noted yesterday, we can expect similar weather here in Seoul as we experienced in Washington, D.C., where we lived until earlier this month. The two capital cities are located about the same distance from the Equator, along the 38th parallel north.

We’ll be in for something different this summer, however. That’s when the rains come. On average, Seoul gets about 35 inches of rain during July and August alone. To put that in perspective, our former home city, Austin, receives about the same amount annually. Seoul gets more rain in these months than most major cities in the American West, in fact.

Compare Austin, Seoul and Washington, D.C., in this chart:

The number of days with some rain also spikes a bit during the Seoul summer. Again, compare the cities:

The Toddler Is An Outlier

In preparation for her new school, our 30-month-old daughter had her first doctor’s appointment in Korea this morning. Fortunately, the checkup went well. The pediatrician also offered something I hadn’t before received in the United States: information graphics!

Eva has always been larger than other kids her age. Not overweight — just a bit taller and heavier. These charts from the doctor show that she’s in the 97th percentile for her age in both categories:

eva-percentile

How’s The Weather In Seoul? Pretty Temperate. (Sorry, Austin Friends)

Note: My family recently relocated to Seoul, where my wife is working as a foreign correspondent for NPR. This post is the first in an occasional series profiling the peninsula’s demographics and politics (and occasionally weather).

I enjoy Austin, and I still consider it “home,” even after moving to Washington, D.C., and, now, Seoul. But one of my top complaints about the Texas capital is the blazing summer heat. And by “summer” I mean March to October, essentially. In 2011, the year we left, there were 69 days in which the high temperature reached triple digits — only tying a record.

So, yes, I’ve enjoyed D.C.’s relatively temperate weather, despite the occasional winter snow or those few sticky days in August. But I wasn’t sure what to expect in Seoul, other than I suspected the winters were chilly. Turns out the temperatures are much like those in D.C., which makes sense because both cities are near the 38th north parallel above the Equator.

These simple charts show the average high and low temperatures in each place:

Tomorrow, I’ll chart the average number of rainy days — and the average monthly rainfall totals — in each place. Hint: Summer is the rainy season in Seoul.

Sources: WorldWeatherOnline.com (average temps.); Highcharts JS (charting library); ColorBrewer (color palette).

Korean Emigration At Record Low; Where Do Expatriates Live Now?

Note: My family recently relocated to Seoul, where my wife is working as a foreign correspondent for NPR. This post is the first in an occasional series profiling the peninsula’s demographics and politics.

Korean media reported last week that the number of residents moving to other counties fell to the lowest level since 1962, when the government’s foreign ministry began collecting such data. The reports speculated that South Korea’s relatively healthy economy — the 13th-largest in the world — was prompting residents to stay.

Emigration had been on a sharp rise until 1976 as more and more people had been choosing to live in foreign countries for a better life. The Korean economy underwent fast industrialization in the 1970s after rising from the ashes of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Since then, the number has been declining, and it fell below the 10,000 mark, down to 9,509, for the first time in 2003, the data showed.

The roughly 7 million expatriate Koreans are scattered across the world, but mostly in China, Japan and the United States. This map shows the distribution:

Sources: Wikipedia (Korean diaspora); Highcharts JS (map library); ColorBrewer (color palette).

D.C.’s Snowy Winter (Ugh, In One Chart)

It’s been a bit more wintry in Washington, D.C., this winter. More so than usual, as one might guess from today’s snowfall.

The average annual snowfall total in the last three decades, according to the National Weather Service, is about 15 inches. This year we’ve received about 26 inches (and counting, as I look out the window). Last year, though, we received only about 3 inches of snow.

Clearly, this is a strange year. Here’s a chart of snowfall totals by month over time. This February and March were unusual:

DC snow