Fill the space between lines to highlight the greater-than and less-than differences over time.
Tutorials and Guides
How to Make Difference Charts in Excel
Also known as a bivariate area chart, the plot type focuses on the comparison between two time series.
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.
Ask the Question, Visualize the Answer
Let's work through a practical example to see how asking and answering questions helps guide you towards more focused data graphics.
How I Made That: Searchable Time Series Chart
When there are too many options or categories, it can be helpful to make the data searchable.
In the 1950s, less than 10% of families with children were single-parent. In 2022, among families with children, 31% were single-parent — more than three times as common.
Partisan excess deaths
Excess deaths is the difference between expected deaths based on historical data and…
When There Were More Deaths Than Births in the U.S.
The two counts have been getting closer to each other. The past couple of years accelerated the process.
World Chess Championship in charts
Magnus Carlsen continued to assert his dominance at the World Chess Championship. FiveThirtyEight…
Case rates adjusted for the unvaccinated
Covid-19 cases in the United States were down, but they’re moving up again,…
Slowing and then renewed interest in getting vaccinated
When countries gained access to vaccines, there was an initial burst of vaccinations,…
Hospitalization rates for the unvaccinated
Overall, Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are down in the United States, but much…
Tracking airfare as a proxy for summer travel plans
Quoctrung Bui and Sarah Kliff for NYT’s The Upshot used difference charts to…
Excess deaths, by race
It’s clear that Covid-19 has affected groups differently across the United States. By…
Cases vs. testing
There have been assertions that increased case counts are all from increased testing.…
The Most Gender-Switched Names in US History
We use some names mostly for boys and some mostly for girls, but then there is a small percentage that, over time, switched from one gender to another. Which names made the biggest switch?