Japan fertility rate forecasts versus reality

It’s hard to predict the future, especially when humans are involved. Oftentimes, there are just too many variables to control for to estimate accurately. In the chart above from the Washington Post Wonkblog, Japan’s fertility rate is plotted against various forecasts over the years, and you see forecasts headed upwards, but in reality it decreased consistently since the 1970s. This is based on work from Katagiri, et al (pdf).

See also a similar porcupine chart from Amanda Cox in 2010 that compared US deficit against forecasts.

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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.

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.

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

Most popular porn searches, by state

We’ve seen that we can learn from what people search for, through the eyes of Google suggestions: state stereotypes, national …