From the FlowingData Forums [July 3-17]

Posted to Forums  |  Nathan Yau

Visualize This: Obesity Rates by State

obesity mapThis segment of Visualize This is all about obesity rates in America. The data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2008, every state in the US, except for one had an obesity rate greater than 20%. In 1994, there were zero. Here is the data for 2008. You can find data from 1985 to 2008 from the CDC site. Share your visualizations in this forum thread.

Thanks to all those who participated in the last Visualize This with Rambo kill counts. A little bit of Tableau, some R, and dare I say, Powerpoint. Be sure to check those out in the forums.

Interesting Threads


  • It appears to spread like a disease. In fact that is one theory: that the increse in obesity is being caused by some type of virus.

    On the other hand it looks remarkably similar to that visualization of the growth of Wal-Mart. The increased availability of cheap food is the most prominent theory for the phenomenon.

  • Nice visualization, too bad the underlying metric is BMI (total crap). So that whole infographic is meaningless.

    see, for example:


Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2017

It was a rough year, which brought about a lot of good work. Here are my favorite data visualization projects of the year.