Poverty Rate By Age in America


Nathan, from Flowing Data, posted a data set and asked readers to visualize it. This is my visualization.

The first thing I wanted to avoid was showing this over a map. This, for me, is a common mistake, people tend to show numbers using maps. But maps are the visual representation of geographic data, therefor there’s no real relation between the size of the states and the number of people that live in those states (this was a common mistake on most maps during the last USA elections). By doing a cloud of words, where each state name was represented with the type size relating to the number of it’s population, one can be more accurate on the info.

Another thing to take into account is that 17% of the California is very different to 17% of the Wyoming population, so by charting just percentages without taking into account the number of people each state has is not the best way to approach this. So I went to the Census Bereau and got the population by state data.

But even after doing the word cloud, I wasn’t representing the amount of people that lives in poverty, at least not in a visible way. I then made the circles in the background all in proportion to the total of people living in poverty in each state. Please notice that the intention of this circles is to give a visual understanding of the number of people, but not to give the precise number of people that live under poverty.

Well, this is my approach to this ‘problem’ that Nathan presented. My guess is that there are a number of questions that my visualization didn’t answer and that there are much better ways of solving this. Please let me know what you think of this. You can download the pdf here.

By: Pedro Monteiro

Type: Helvetica


About Pedro Monteiro

As Digital Art Coordinator I've been working on planing and designing solutions to publish across different digital platforms, as the iPad, Android tablets, etc. As an consultant for INNOVATION I've been working on concept, project managing and designing applications for several media.
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1 Response to Poverty Rate By Age in America

  1. chris says:

    hey pedro, like the visual style, very clean and bold complemented with helvetica. like your ideas about the geogr[ahic map not really depicitng size of population in contrast to its size. also would be intersting way from your point could be graduating according to density with geog map… you got me thinking.

    cheers pedro

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