Basic chart, wrong conclusions

Posted to Mistaken Data  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

A short post on Bloomberg from 2013 describes the fall of U.S. mens’ income for the past forty years. To illustrate, the author uses the chart above, and we’re like, “Oh gee willikers, that sure is a big drop in income. I guess mens’ income is well on its way to zero dollars. Gosh darn it to heck.”

But maybe we’re riled up for nothing.

Eric Portelance takes a small step back to see what’s going on in this simple chart. It’s the classic case of cherry-picked data points, less attention to axes, and ignoring the details.

Favorites

Shifting Incomes for American Jobs

For various occupations, the difference between the person who makes the most and the one who makes the least can be significant.

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.

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.