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 nytimes.com 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.

Favorites

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

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.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.