Graphs from 1900 that depict a snapshot of African American life

In 1900, W. E. B. Du Bois and his students drew a series of charts for The Exhibit of American Negroes. They’re not all winners, but these were hand-drawn in 1900, so there’s some leeway there. There are also a handful of graphics that use graphic devices that we sometimes mistake for modern methods, like cartograms to compare values and a bent bar graph to allow smaller values some space on a zoomed-in axis.

The stacked bar graph above, which shows marital status by age, struck me especially because I made a similar chart for the current population. I am like, so 1900. [via @michalmigurski]


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.

Life expectancy changes

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

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

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

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.