Union Membership by State

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

In the early 1970s, one in four American workers belong to a labor union. Last year, they represented about 12 percent of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

This map shows membership by state, with darker shades representing higher proportions of the workforce in unions. North Carolina has the lowest percentage of union workers: 3.2 percent. New York has the highest: 24.2 percent. 

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This map has the same data, but in an interactive format: 

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Download data

Goodbye Irene

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Hurricane Irene is now gone, though the storm damage is still being felt across the East Coast. In D.C., at least for me, that meant a short disruption in power and a few snapped tree limbs. That’s largely because we didn’t get the high winds: 

Here’s wider view: 

Source: NOAA | Made with ArcGIS | Download GIS data

A Sea of Hurricanes

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

I thought moving to Texas might spare me the nuisance of hurricanes. I was wrong. Hurricane Irene is churning north through the Atlantic, threatening to knock out power in D.C. — and to do more destructive things elsewhere. With that in mind, I created this map showing all Atlantic hurricane tracks since 1970:

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Source: National Weather Service | Download shapefiles

Update: Stormpulse has interactive maps back to 1852: 

Mapping Earthquake Intensity By East Coast Zip Codes

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Early tonight the USGS released data summarizing Americans’ responses to today’s earthquake by ZIP code. The agency uses a complicated formula that’s different from the commonly known Richter magnitude scale, but basically the data show how people experienced the event.

Here’s a quick map I made in ArcGIS of the states closest to the epicenter. Darker hot colors represent greater magnitude: 

Here’s a view of DC. My ZIP code, at the top right of the DC diamond, apparently received the most dramatic responses. All I noticed at home was a toppled bobblehead doll (though that could easily be attributed to one of our cats, I suppose). 

Download data | Idea via PBS

Rick Perry: Fundraiser

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, is officially in the presidential race, reporters are noting his campaign fundraising prowess as a possible strength that could propel him to the GOP nomination: 

But it is a credential Mr. Perry is unlikely to highlight that could make him the most formidable entrant in the Republican race so far: he is among the top political fund-raisers in the country, with a vast network of wealthy supporters eager to bankroll his presidential ambitions, and he has the potential to energize Republican donors who have shown only limited enthusiasm for the candidates already in the race.

Indeed, Perry has raised more than $100 million in his decade-long tenure as governor, including $39 million in the his 2010 re-election effort, according to electronic campaign reports in Texas.

Here are his fundraising totals by year: 

And a breakdown of how much he’s raised from individual donors versus entities, such as law firms and political action committees: 

Nine in 10 dollars collected by Perry came from Texas donors, but he has raised money from every state (darker shades represent higher dollar amounts): 

Here’s a map that visualizes totals donated per household in each state. You can see that Colorado, Delaware and Washington, D.C., gave at higher proportions than other states (except for Texas, of course): 

Finally, here’s a word cloud that highlights the most common donor occupations listed by Perry’s campaigns over the years, eliminating the phrase “Best Efforts.” The latter phrase is required in state law if a campaign can’t identify a donor’s occupation. (The Perry team has done that quite a bit over the years). 

Download data: CSV

Mapping the New York Senate Same-Sex Marriage Vote

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

As we all know, the New York Senate on Friday voted to approve same-sex marriages. These maps, made with ArcGIS, visualize the districts by vote, seniority and political party. First, the vote: 

And seniority by years: 

And, finally, political party: 

Here’s an interactive version of the vote:

Download data | Source: NY State Senate | Map shapefiles

Mapping Unemployment Change by U.S. Counties

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell less than one percentage point from April 2010 to April 2011. But not all areas of the country are the same.

This map, made with ArcGIS, shows all 3,100 U.S. counties, with darker green shades representing counties that saw their unemployment rates decrease over the year. Darker reds represent higher unemployment rates during that time.

It appears that Nevada and Michigan had counties that improved the most (of course, they had the most room for improvement). Idaho and Louisiana have seen their respective rates increase in many counties: 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Download data

The Politics of Redistricting

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

A cross-post from my work blog:

As state Sen. Kel Seliger said last week, the decennial process of drawing the boundaries around legislative districts is inherently political, a fact that’s apparent by looking at the maps themselves.

Take the case of state Rep. Aaron Peña, R-Edinburg, who followed his 2010 election as a Democrat last year by switching to the GOP, which now has the largest majority for either party since 1983.

In the statewide map proposed by the House’s redistricting chair, Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, Peña’s district is redrawn to boost his chances for re-election as a Republican in Democrat-friendly Hidalgo County. First, this map shows current districts in the Rio Grande Valley. Peña is the lone Republican.

Here’s the proposed change. Notice the new district drops the northern, rural and sparsely populated portions of Hidalgo County, and the Sullivan City area in the far southwest corner along the border with Starr County and Mexico.

This thematic map shows voting tabulation districts — the U.S. Census Bureau’s version of a precinct — in Hidalgo County, and how they voted in the 2010 governor’s race. Darker shades represent stronger supoort for the Republican in the governor’s race. See how Peña’s proposed district now captures the more Republican-leaning areas.

The two voting districts in the far northwest portion of the county lean Republican, but they contain few voters. This map shows the raw vote totals for both parties during the 2010 governor’s race. Look at the GOP vote map again in the context of Peña’s current and proposed districts. You’ll see he traded high raw vote areas that lean Democratic in favor of those that lean Republican:

His district is also now changed demographically. The current district is 94 percent Hispanic. The proposed boundaries would lower that to 76 percent. Hidalgo County as a whole is 90 percent Hispanic, according to the census count.

Will it work, assuming these boundaries don’t change? We’ll see. In the end, it’s a numbers game. Peña’s current district voted 76 percent for Bill White, the Democrat who lost the governor’s race against Gov. Rick Perry. The governor won the proposed district with 50.1 percent of the vote.

Go here to download all the data used to make these maps. Let us know if you have feedback or ideas for other data-related content, and be sure to follow @TribData on Twitter for updates.