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.
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?