Mapping Police Officer Slayings by State

Newly sworn police officer Ashley Guindon, center, was killed responding to a 911 call on her first day working for the Prince William County (Va.) Police Department. She was 28. Image via Twitter.

Newly sworn in police officer Ashley Guindon, center, was killed responding to a 911 call on her first day working for the Prince William County (Va.) Police Department. She was 28. Image via Twitter.

A rookie Virginia police officer working her first official shift was shot and killed Saturday while responding to a domestic violence dispute, authorities say. The officer, Ashley Guindon, was killed a day after being sworn in to the Prince William County Police Department.

Guindon, 28, was the 22nd police officer killed in the United States this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which has among the most comprehensive and timely national statistics on the Web. It was the first such incident this year in Virginia.

Since 1791, according to the site, more than 22,000 police personnel — federal, state, local and tribal (and K-9) — have been killed in the line of duty. The country’s most populous states — California, Texas and New York — lead the nation in police killings. That’s no surprise given the size of their populations.

The map below, however, attempts to normalize the state totals by adjusting for the total number of police officers in each state as of 2011 — the latest data available from the FBI. (Police forces by state vary in size based on a number of factors, including density. The District of Columbia, for example, is among the least-populous “states” listed in the data, but it has the highest rate of officers per capita in the country. That’s because it experiences a huge influx of daily commuters from Virginia and Maryland each day — and because of the tourism and security that comes with being the nation’s capital).

By that crude measure, Kentucky has proportionally had the highest number of killings, with roughly 85 per 1,000 officers, followed by West Virginia (47) and Montana (42). Florida (11), Arizona (12) and New Hampshire (13) — states, incidentally, with older populations — have the lowest rates, respectively. Again, this rate isn’t perfect, but it’s better than viewing the raw totals (which looks like a population map).

Police killings per 1,000 officers: 1791-2016. Data source: Officer Down Memorial Page. Map by Matt Stiles/The Daily Viz.

Police deaths per 1,000 officers: 1791-2016. Data sources: Officer Down Memorial Page, FBI. Map by Matt Stiles/The Daily Viz.

“Where Sanders could win, and other things to watch for on Super Tuesday”


Super Tuesday is Hillary Clinton’s chance for an armload of victories that would give her full claim to front-runner status in the Democratic primary race. But Bernie Sanders could spoil it with big wins somewhere outside his native Northeast. Here’s how the Super Tuesday states break down.

Read more at: www.washingtonpost.com

“A Statistical Analysis Of Stephen Colbert’s First 100 Episodes Of ‘The Late Show'”


In the post-FDR era, it’s customary, if not necessarily telling, to assess a newly elected president’s performance after the hundredth day in power, when the electoral mandate dwindles and the honeymoon effect starts to subside. There’s no reason we can’t look at late-night TV hosts through the same lens.

Read more at: fivethirtyeight.com

Charting a Sky-High Electricity Bill

What of the biggest surprises about moving to Seoul, South Korea — aside from the impenetrable language and other cultural adjustments — was the pricey cost of electricity.

The monthly power bills in our high-rise apartment, which doesn’t have western-style central air conditioning, have been shockingly expensive — and not just in the summer months.

In the past year the bills have totaled nearly 8 million won, or about $6,500, for power. The building also adds on a host of fees, from common-area electricity charges to trash collection. Those have totaled an additional 5 million won, or $4,000. Ouch.

Seoul is relatively mild during the summer, much like Washington, D.C., but it still gets sticky from June through August. So we ran the ceiling air units in each room a lot. Way too much, apparently.

Here’s a chart for the energy portion of bill, which spiked markedly as summer temperatures last year began to rise.

Map: Where Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Might Appear in the United States

U.S. Health officials are investigating the possibility that the Zika virus could be spread through sex, The New York Times reports.

If confirmed, this development could seriously complicate efforts to control the spread of the disease, which health officials suspect causes birth defects in children whose mothers were infected during pregnancy.

The disease has spread in Brazil and other tropical climates, primarily through mosquito bites, including those by a species that thrives in the southern and western United States: aedes aegypti. It’s still winter in the United States, but some are readying for the day when the airborne pests move the disease north.

Still, experts believe a widespread outbreak across the United States is unlikely. They note that the mosquitoes only thrive in tropical areas, and that the prevalence of air conditioning, window screens and the expected abatement efforts by local governmental agencies will reduce their threat.

The mosquitoes’ habitat may seem small geographically compared the country as a whole, but it does includes about one in five American counties. They are home to roughly 80 million people, according to a Daily Viz analysis of data released by the mapping company Esri and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The rough map below shows the species’ habitat (shaded in pink) and its respective counties’ population density (red dots represent 50,000 residents). The area includes roughly 29 million households — some of which, of course, will include pregnant women this summer.

Aedes Aegypti habitat in the United States.

Aedes Aegypti habitat in the United States. Credit: Matt Stiles/The Daily Viz.

“How Much Warmer Was Your City in 2015?”

Seoul was on average 5.8 degrees warmer than usual last year. Check your city…


Scientists declared that 2015 was Earth’s hottest year on record. In a database of 3,116 cities provided by AccuWeather, about 90 percent of them were warmer than normal. Enter your city in the field below to see how much warmer it was last year.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

Charting Billions of (Endangered?) $100 Bills

hundred-face

The ubiquitous $100 currency note — the Bill, the C-Note, the Benjamin — might be ready to cash out, at least if a group of influential economists have their way.

In a recent paper, scholars at Harvard University argue that the elimination of the $100 bill, along with other high-value currency notes around the world, could reduce corruption and restrict criminal enterprises.

Their findings even prompted a former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers, to suggest that governments should stop printing $50 and $100 notes, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“I’d guess the idea of removing existing notes is a step too far. But a moratorium on printing new high-denomination notes would make the world a better place,” Mr. Summers wrote in an item for The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

As the Journal reports, though, the $100 bill isn’t quite spent. About 10 billion of them — roughly $1 trillion in currency — are still circulating through the world economy (though far too few are in my wallet these days).

They’ve been printed at a steady rate during the last 30 years, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. And another 1.5 billion have been ordered for the 2016 fiscal year, the agency says.

This chart plots the printing rates of the various U.S. dollar notes since 1980. Note the recent spike in $100 printing during the 2013 fiscal year. That fall the government began issuing a new round of $100 bills with enhanced security features. The printing fell off again last year to reflect the burst in new paper.

Government Currency Printing: 1980-2014

See a full-screen version.

Data: U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

“Supreme Court Nominees Considered in Election Years Are Usually Confirmed”


Since 1900, the Senate has voted on eight Supreme Court nominees during an election year. Six were confirmed. But several of those were for seats that had become vacant in the previous year.

The Senate has never taken more than 125 days to vote on a successor from the time of nomination; on average, a nominee has been confirmed, rejected or withdrawn within 25 days. When Justice Antonin Scalia died, 342 days remained in President Obama’s term.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

“How Scalia Compared With Other Justices”

A measure of ideology based on Martin-Quinn scores shows that Scalia moderated his views somewhat in recent years, though he remained one of the court’s most conservative jurists.


Justice Antonin Scalia was a leader of the Supreme Court’s conservative wing and the longest serving member of the current court.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com