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Better Life
10-01-2014, 11:15 PM (This post was last modified: 10-01-2014 11:17 PM by DaveAditya.)
Post: #1
Rainbow Better Life
Better Life?

http://visualizingeconomics.com/blog/201...-in-the-us

The visualization shows percentage distribution of consumer spending in the US between the years 1901 and 2002. It categorizes an Average family spending into four: Housing, Food, Clothing, & Other. The chart aspires to show the shrinkage in the combined percentages of (Housing+Food+Clothing) over time. It also indicates the average family income over the years at the bottom of every bar, this of course is adjusted for inflation using the value of 2010 US Dollar as benchmark. In a way it represents the success of the American economic system.

The visualization is very impressive; my first criterion while judging a visualization of any kind is how quickly can you discern the bottom line. The creator of this chart has kept it simple, yet very informative. Just the right amount of data one would wish to see in such context. The pictures to the left and the colors were well chosen, to create just enough contrast. There is also a dotted line in the center, which represents the total in the year 2009 (not present in the dataset). The total percentage of other spending is specified, as well as the color chosen here is unpretentious. Since the data is not evenly available, the gaps between the years are proportional to the hiatus. Only major thresholds (25%) are printed on the y-axis. There isn’t too much writing, which makes gleaning the entire chart at once, very feasible.

A couple of imperfections to point out would include- the 2009 line was rather unnecessary. If the point about <50% was so crucial I would have added another bar to represent that. This chart assumes certain contextual knowledge. The reason for the decreased percentage might not be obvious to some people, and the creator would fail to make his point to that group. It is not that the families consume less of those commodities or that they have compromised with quality over time. If anything the opposite is true, we’re consuming more and better, yet spending lesser percentage of the total income on that stuff. The visualization by itself may not relate that, it requires some additional knowledge to be possessed by the viewer, so as to get the author’s point.

- Aditya Dave
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Messages In This Thread
Better Life - DaveAditya - 10-01-2014 11:15 PM
RE: Better Life - Derek Nelson - 10-05-2014, 10:22 PM
RE: Better Life - u0788158 - 10-06-2014, 01:02 PM
RE: Better Life - allywarner - 10-06-2014, 09:03 PM
RE: Better Life - u0866707 - 10-09-2014, 10:06 AM
RE: Better Life - Aravind - 10-11-2014, 01:30 AM
RE: Better Life - Shravanthi - 10-12-2014, 12:30 PM
RE: Better Life - ankit - 10-13-2014, 11:49 AM
RE: Better Life - mcarter - 10-13-2014, 01:53 PM
RE: Better Life - gita - 10-13-2014, 06:03 PM
RE: Better Life - MukteshKhole - 10-13-2014, 07:00 PM
RE: Better Life - tulasi - 10-19-2014, 11:20 PM

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