The sluggish economic recovery and changes to participation guidelines have led to a steady increase in the number of individuals relying on food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In January 2013, 47.3 million Americans, or 15% of the total population, received food stamps (Nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty, according to recent Census Bureau estimates, but individuals and families slightly above the poverty line are eligible for SNAP as well).
The Wall Street Journal recently released a fantastic interactive graphic that shows trends in monthly food stamp participation, by state, from 1990 through 2013. Most states follow the overall national trend: participation rises in the mid-1990s, gradually declines through the boom years of the late 1990s and early 2000s, flattens slightly through the 2000s, and then sharply increases following 2008.
By popular demand, I’m attaching dot density maps for more Virginia cities plus a new statewide map…enjoy:
Plus the ones from the previous post:
Our recent post on dot density mapping of U.S., Canadian, and Mexico census data by MIT’s Media Lab got a lot of attention…so we decided to give it a try ourselves, taking a deeper look into census data for Virginia’s major urban centers and smaller cities. All of the dots on the following maps represent one person, as enumerated by the 2010 Census, with a little bit of a twist. Rather than giving everyone a black dot, as MIT’s Media Lab did, we added another layer of data by assigning color dots based on race and ethnicity. The results are quite illuminating…
Even if you don’t follow NCAA men’s basketball, you’re probably aware that the 2013 NCAA Tourney is upon us. The first round games start tonight, so if you’re planning on filling out a bracket this year, I hope you’ve gotten started.
In the spirit of March Madness, the Census Bureau has developed their own bracketology-themed population game. You should take a few minutes and play a round. It’s pretty fun.
You’ll find match-ups of states or metro areas, and you simply pick the one with the larger population. You’ll go through all the pairings until you’ve selected what you think is the state or metro area with the largest population in the country.
The Census Bureau has developed quite a few tools and games like this to showcase their data. You can find the entire gallery on their webpage: http://www.census.gov/dataviz/
Among those of us who love old maps, the good people at the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries project have digitized and uploaded historical information on the shape of American counties. With this data one can animate how America’s political boundaries have changed since the founding of the Massachusetts Bay and Virginia Colonies. The above video shows historic county boundaries from 1630 to 1910 (shortly after Oklahoma and Indian Territory joined to form the State of Oklahoma in 1907). Please note these boundaries show the creation of government-defined geographic units, not necessarily where population is located.
Another great thing about this data is the level of detail available. For instance, focusing on the monumental changes that Virginia has gone through is quite interesting:
Note the emergence of many of Virginia’s Independent Cities at the turn of the 20th Century.
Things get more interesting when these county files are merged with historical census data. Inspired by our previous post on “Every person gets a dot,” I decided to look at county population dot densities from the first United States Census of 1790 to the recent 2010 Census. Here, every dot represents 5,000 people:
Dustin Cable is a Policy Associate at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service where he conducts research on topics that lie at the intersection of demographics, politics, and public policy.
Artist Neil Freeman published a map of the United States redrawn to have 50 states with equal population, an art project that addresses what he says is “the fundamental problem of the electoral college”: “that the states of the United States are too disparate in size and influence.”
Brandon Martin-Anderson from the MIT Media Lab created a great visualization tool showing the location of every resident of North America.
Although this interactive calculator was released by the White House in April of this year, I had not seen it until recently. With all of the current politicking and campaigning, it was nice to see something that allowed me to drill down into some details of tax spending– normally presented in a pretty dry and boring way — with this tool that is easy to understand.
You can either enter your own 2011 tax payments for Social Security, Medicare, and income tax, or choose an income estimate. The income estimates include various income scenarios and family compositions–from $25,000 income for a single individual with no children to an $80,000 income for a family that was married with two children–and clearly specify the assumptions made about deductions and tax credits. The scenarios enable you to see how the proportion of taxes paid shifts according to total income and family structure, and the receipt provides a detailed breakdown of the disbursement of federal income taxes.
2011 Receipt for a married couple with one child earning $50,000 Continue reading