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Better Life
10-13-2014, 07:00 PM
Post: #11
RE: Better Life
First, a stacked bar chart is useful when we are concerned with the total which I think is the case here. So the main comparison is between spending on necessities (food, clothing and housing) and others. The author has added percentage to the others bar which I think was an excellent decision because the baseline for each year was different because of the stacking and because of this it would have been very difficult to observe any trend in spending in the other category if it had not been for the percentage annotations.

I dont think the 2009 line is unnecessary, it provides an important cue to the story the author is trying to convey which is that the spendings on basic necessities have become a small percentage of the overall budget (less than 50%). And then the author shows the spending distribution across various income groups for 2009.

Overall, this is a good visualization which conveys the story well.
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10-19-2014, 11:20 PM
Post: #12
RE: Better Life
The visualization is good and simple. The color chosen is visually appealing and the icons in the left side near the y axis are really good for quick understanding of the fields. I agree with Aditya that the 2009 line doesn’t add much to the visualization and there is no useful take away from that. Actually in the graph while comparing from one year to year we cannot come to conclusion by seeing the percentage. Because 5% of income in 2002 is same as 15% of income in 1901. So, amount spent in one category may be same in different years though the percentage vary. The graph would have been plotted better showing the amount of money spent.
The author said that the average family in beginning of 20th century was poorer relative to low income families today and to show that he created second graph, but actually it’s difficult to compare by looking at two graphs. There would have been a single graph plotting the expenses in two cases which will be easier to understand the difference.
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