An average life as interpretive dance

Posted to Data Art  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

BuzzFeed used interpretive dance to describe the average age of the milestones in our lives, from birth, losing the first tooth, marriage, and death. The data points serve more as background, as a way to provide a timeline of events, and the dancing is the primary focus.

I found myself drawn to the comments on YouTube. Typically a cesspool of idiocy and more idiocy, the comment section in this case might be a good representation for how a (younger) general audience interprets averages. All of the top comments are basically, “I guess I’m not average” and “There’s no way that’s the average. [Insert comparison to self.]”

This of course is because averages are just that. They’re the sum of all individuals divided by the total population, and average values represent one aspect of a range or distribution of things.

So in the case of these average ages, most people either fall below or above instead of right in the middle.

But I digress.

Favorites

Marrying Age

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

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.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

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.