Last week I published a new heatmap exploring the popularity of American birthdays. The chart, which uses darker shades to represent higher average birth counts on specific days, can give the impression that some birthdays are much more common than others.
In reality, outside of some special occasions, namely major holidays, there isn’t a huge amount of diversity in the data set, which has two decades of births aggregated by day. Most birthdays, including my own, are fairly average — especially in the first six months of the year. For example:
It’s baby season in America, with September the busiest month for births on average in the last two decades. So it seemed like the right time to remix this blog’s most-popular post: How Common is Your Birthday?
That old heatmap, which highlighted specific dates for popularity, has been viewed more than 500,000 times here and published across the web. But it was flawed, namely that it used ordinal data (birthday ranks by date) rather than continuous data (actual births counts by date). This graphic finally addresses that problem:
Note: I followed my wife, a foreign correspondent for NPR News, to Seoul last year. This is one of a series of posts exploring our adopted country’s demographics, politics and other nerdy data stuff. Let me know if you have ideas for future posts.
I’ve been away from Seoul for much of the summer, but now that I’m back it’s impossible not to hear all the complaining — among expats and locals alike — about the heat.
They have a point, at least in terms of their expectations. This summer has indeed been hotter than usual, especially this month, when the daily low temperature on one recent day actually exceeded the average high. (I updated the chart on Aug. 24).
Earlier this week I posted two scatterplots examining the relationship between a country’s average temperature and its male residents’ average height. The data show some correlation, but there probably are several of other factors affecting height as well.
The earlier plots shaded the country dots by income and region, allowing more context about the groupings of countries (hint: Europe is colder and taller).
This next version, however, proportionally sizes the dots by population, adding another layer of context (or perhaps unnecessary complexity).
I got married in Amsterdam. One thing I remember most about my time in The Netherlands is the obvious height of the locals. Both men and women, generally, are quite tall.
A new study supports my anecdotal observation. Dutch men are the tallest people in the world (women there are second), followed closely by some of their European neighbors. People in Southeast Asian and African countries are, on the other hand, shorter.
I’ve always wondered why the Dutch are so tall. Is it their dairy-rich diet, perhaps? Or could there be a correlation between the lower average temperatures in Northern Europe and its apparent height advantage? Are people taller in colder countries?
Scooters at a Taipei intersection. Credit: Quatro Valvole/Wikimieda
I’m in Taiwan this month to study Mandarin. During breaks, I’ll be posting occasionally about the island nation’s demographics, politics and (sticky) weather.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the streets of Taiwan — other than the excellent food, sweet people and formidable humidity, of course — is the constant buzz of scooters. They are everywhere — and loud and perhaps a little unsafe.
That’s true even in Taipei, the capitol region, which has a world-class subway system and yet about 1 million motorcycles on the roads (as opposed to roughly 800,000 cars and trucks).
It turns out there’s a proportionally startling number of motorcycles, as the government classifies them, on the roads across this country: More than 13 million in nation of just 23 million.
Most homes have them, for example:
And there are nearly twice as many motorcycles on the roads than cars and trucks, according to the government:
Though the rate of motorcycles per 1,000 population is declining:
Members of South Korea’s legislative branch, known as the National Assembly, recently took a poll to determine where they land on the ideological spectrum. The group as a whole appears to be getting more liberal, according to an analysis of the results.
The poll, conducted by the Korea JoongAng Daily and the Korean Political Science Association, gave lawmakers a 15-question ideological test. The questions focused on the Korean alliance with the United States, relations with North Korea, corporate reform, welfare and gay marriage, among other topics.
Each lawmaker scored on a scale from 0 (liberal) to 10 (conservative). According to JoongAng Daily:
Scores below 4 are considered liberals. Scores between 4 and 6 are considered moderates while scores higher than 6 are seen as conservatives.
The outcome of the poll shows an average score for the lawmakers of 3.9, 0.7 points lower, or more left-leaning, than the last joint survey conducted in the early days of the 19th National Assembly four years ago….
The outcome showed that the 20th Assembly, though 83 lawmakers weren’t polled, has moved to the left on the ideological spectrum in what some see as a response to growing calls from the public to rein in widening economic inequality.
A sample of the South Korean public also took the poll. The respondents were moderate, scoring 5 on average — more conservative than the average score for lawmakers: 3.9. The public is more liberal than the Saenuri party and more conservative than the Minjoo, the ideologically differing parties that control the assembly.
I remixed the newspaper’s graphic a bit, choosing a dot chart over a line chart. The result:
I woke one recent morning at 5 a.m. obsessing about, of all things, the people of New York City — specifically how the population is distributed among the five boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. And how that’s changed over time.
I had a general idea. But my nerd brain needed to know for sure. So I went to Wikipedia for data. These charts show the total population, by borough, since 1790.
This chart shows how the proportion of New York City residents in each borough has shifted over time. Decades ago, Manhattan was the center of population. Not anymore, of course:
Are states proportionally represented on the historical list of National Football League players? That’s the question I had four years ago when I posted two simple state-by-state maps summarizing players’ birth places.
That post has been surprisingly popular, so I decided to remix the visualization a bit — replacing the old choropleth maps with tile grids.