Compare your curve to reality for income versus college attendance

Those who grow up in poorer families are less likely to go to college, and those who grow up in richer families are more likely. The question is: How much does the likelihood of college attendance increase as family income increases? Gregor Aisch, Amanda Cox, and Kevin Quealy for the Upshot ask you this question. Draw a curve on a blank chart, and then compare your guess to reality and other readers’ guesses.

This is great.

From a technical point of view, the interaction is straightforward for readers, and with simple cues as you draw, it’s clear how to complete the task. Nice.

More interesting to me though is the challenge to readers to think about the relationship between income and college attendance. That seems like a pretty advanced task for a wide audience. (Although I’m guessing Upshot readers are more accustomed to reading and using x-y plots than the average person. Update: Then again, it’s currently on the front page, so there’s that.) So there’s some teaching along the way, namely a handful of curve examples within the text.

But the key is the comparison after you draw a curve. You get short bullet points about how you did relative to other readers, and of course, a comparison against reality.

And well, here, just try it yourself.


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.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

Marrying Age

People get married at various ages, but there are definite trends that vary across demographic groups. What do these trends look like?

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.