Author Archive

Majority of Americans Lost Wealth in the Past Thirty Years

July 28, 2014

changeinwealth

American median household wealth has declined 20% since 1984, in 2013 dollars. While the 75 percentile and higher gained wealth since then, the majority of Americans lost money over those thirty years. As a striking example, the median wealth fell from $87,992 in 2003 to $56,335 today.

–from Stanford

American Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Climbing after Two Decades of Stagnation

July 17, 2014

Fuel efficiency in American automobiles has been rapidly increasing since 2007, when the US passed a law requiring a MPG of 35 by 2020. It had previously spiked in the 1970’s from similar legislation, but stagnated for decades before the recent run-up.

–from Citylab.com 

Commercial Weather Forecasts Most Accurate Within One Week’s Time

July 4, 2014

Commercial weather forecasts are most accurate within one week’s time. After nine days, climatology models, or predicting the temperature based on previous year’s temperatures, is the most accurate. Within three days, predictions are accurate to within four degrees Fahrenheit.

–from randalolson.com

World Incarceration Rates if Every State was a Country

June 26, 2014

University-Educated Americans Moving to Different Cities than High-School Dropouts

June 17, 2014

This chart shows the net domestic migration between US cities from 2011 to 2012 by educational attainment. Cities like San Francisco and Seattle gained highly educated workers while losing those with high school diplomas or less, while cities like Tampa and Atlanta gained less-educated new arrivals. Large cities like New York still gained population overall via immigration, but lost domestic population.

–from The Atlantic’s CityLab 

The World Cup of Everything (Except Soccer)

June 12, 2014

WorldCups

This interactive visualization at the Wall Street Journal shows who “wins” in a variety of variable match-ups from having the highest murder rate to eating the most beans. Population is shown above.

–From The Wall Street Journal

Airplanes Exceptionally Safe

June 4, 2014

Airplanes continue to get safer both in absolute numbers as well as compared to the number of passengers. In 1970, there ~250 million passengers and 1,500 deaths. Today, there are nearly three billion passengers, but only 500 deaths, or a negligible risk of death.

–from The Economist

Female-Named Hurricanes Kill More People, Are Not Perceived as Threatening

June 3, 2014

The perceived masculinity of a hurricane’s name, where a 1 is most masculine, greatly influences the number of people killed by the storm. As feminine-named hurricanes are perceived as less threatening, people do not prepare as seriously. Fewer than ten people die from high-damage storms with the butch-est name, while five times as many die from the most feminine-named storms.

–from The Economist

Real US GDP Shrank in First Quarter of 2014

May 29, 2014

The real US GDP growth rate declined this quarter and is now at -1%, the first quarter of negative growth since 2011. Nominal GDP is up 11.7 billion, to $17.1 trillion. Click the chart to see our detailed GDP report.

–data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve

US Civil War Had More Casualties than All Other Major American Wars Combined

May 27, 2014

According to this Pew Research report, more Americans died during the US Civil War than in all other major American wars combined. That includes both Union and Confederate losses.

–from Pew Research


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