How I Made That: Animated Difference Charts in R

A combination of a bivariate area chart, animation, and a population pyramid, with a sprinkling of detail and annotation.

The How I Made That series describes the process behind a graphic and includes code and data to work with.

I made a difference chart, also known as a bivariate area chart, that showed the male and female population in the United States over time and by age. The colored area in between the lines indicate whether there were more men or women:

Here’s how I made it.

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About the Author

Nathan Yau is a statistician who works primarily with visualization. He earned his PhD in statistics from UCLA, is the author of two best-selling books — Data Points and Visualize This — and runs FlowingData. Introvert. Likes food. Likes beer.