Charting Billions of (Endangered?) $100 Bills

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Economy & Finance, Policy & Politics

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.

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

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: South Korea, Weather

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).

Charting The Premier League Season

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Sports

Last fall I posted some Tufte-inspired sparkline charts to visualize how Major League Baseball teams fared during the 2012 season.

I’ve created something similar for clubs in the English Premier League, where the season is winding down with Manchester United holding a strong lead in points. This chart shows how they’ve done it — by winning, not just drawing, with their opponents. United has 21 wins so far, while their cross-town rivals — Manchester City — have just 15.

Matches that end in draws are still important to a club’s success in the league, but I wanted to see their performance in wins and losses. The lines on the chart represent the total number of games over .500 for all 20 clubs. Click here to see the interactive version.

TheDailyViz

TheDailyViz

Charting Views On Gun Control

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Crime

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows support among Americans for stricter gun control laws:

The massacre of children at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., appears to be profoundly swaying Americans’ views on guns, galvanizing the broadest support for stricter gun laws in about a decade, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.

This chart shows the trend:

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 7.52.30 AM

See the full graphic to see the interesting regional differences in Americans’ attitudes toward gun control.

Charting Americans’ Turkey Consumption Per Household: 1967-2012

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Demographics, Economy & Finance

Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving generally enjoy a good bird, myself included. But is that the case in some years more than others?

This chart shows turkey production (254 million this year) normalized by the number of households estimated each year by the U.S. Census Bureau. In the sixties, turkeys were produced at lower per-household rates than, say, the 1990s. We’re back down to about two turkeys per household now:

Who knows why this shift occurred. Perhaps diets changed, or people purchased more food in bustling economic times, like the 1990s, or we started importing turkey from China. Any ideas?

You can gobble up the turkey data here.

Charting MLB Standings With Tufte-Inspired Sparklines

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Sports

Last week I attended a day-long session with Edward Tufte, the “Leonardo Di Vinci of data,” as The New York Times once dubbed him. The session has inspired me to take the blog off paternity leave. About time.

Inside Tufte’s book “Beautiful Evidence” is a section on “sparklines,” which are small, word-sized line graphs. The section includes a visualization of a baseball season, with lines for each team showing their day-to-day trends above or below the .500 line.

The line graphs I made below, inspired by Tufte’s sparklines on page 54, show each team’s progress in the 2012 season.

First, the National League West, which includes the eventual World Series winner San Francisco. The Giants passed Los Angeles around the middle of the season and never looked back. The chart also shows Colorado’s steep collapse at the end:

Now the National League East, in which Washington led for most of the season and Philadelphia closed strong to finish its season above the .500 win-loss line.

And the National League Central, in which Houston had a terrible season:

In the American League East, New York held off Baltimore’s surge after the all-star break, and Toronto and Boston collapsed in August and September:

Detroit overtook Chicago during the last days of the season in the American League Central:

In the American League West, Texas closed poorly finish second to late-surging Oakland:

Finally, I added all the teams to one graph to show the difference in team performance. This makes color-coding lines impossible, so I included a table with each squad’s over-under .500 figure. You can see how San Francisco performed in bold black:

Notes: The charts depict each day of the season, not each game. Also, the charts should be viewed separately. Because of the variance in each division, the y axes differ. I’ve uploaded the data to Google Docs. Feel free to download the file and send me visualizations of your own.

Data source: Baseball-Reference.com

The Viz On Paternity Leave

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

My wife Elise gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday, meaning it’s time for me to take a guilt-free vacation from the blog, which I’ve been neglecting already in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, here’s a parting viz, showing the interval between her contractions as we labored from home. They began around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, coming and going erratically until the late afternoon.

At that point the contractions came every three minutes, our baseline for going to the hospital (that’s also when we stopped collecting data, which admittedly aren’t perfect because we missed a few contractions along the way). Baby Eva came three hours later.

See you soon…

Tracking Worldwide HIV Infections

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Demographics

This week Washington is hosting the International AIDS Conference, and one of my colleagues crafted this interactive to show how HIV infection rates differ by country and region.

According to STDAware, the red lines below show the percentage of the adult population infected with the disease in Middle, Eastern and Southern Africa, regions in which about eight percent of the population is infected. In some countries, though, the rate is higher than 20 percent:

Is Mom More Important Than Dad?

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Demographics

Perhaps mom is more important online, at least according to Google’s Insights for Search. This chart shows search volume in the United States over the years for the words “mother” and “father,” suggesting that more people online want information about mothers:

Here’s a similar chart for “mother’s day” and “father’s day”. Same trend, though dad did OK last year: