Human brain size compared to animals’

Feb 11, 2015

Mosaic provides a simple comparison of brain size in a handful of animals so that you can compare to the average human. Select among several measures such as actual weigh, percent of body mass, or number of neurons. These measures don’t seem to say much about smarts.

Absolute brain size clearly isn’t what really matters, otherwise people would be cognitive pygmies compared to whales and elephants. But brain size relative to body size doesn’t seem to be a particularly informative measure either. Marmosets — diminutive monkeys that are not thought to be among the brightest of primates — have brains that tip the scales at around 2.7 per cent of body mass, easily beating our own 2.0 per cent.

However, there are measurements that seem to matter.

Favorites

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

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