Archives For: Chart Of The Day

Chart Of The Day

Dec 8 2014 @ 1:19pm

Grand Juries

Aaron Blake highlights a poll finding “that 60 percent of Americans disagree with the lack of an indictment against officer Daniel Pantaleo”:

Although 40 percent disagree “strongly” with there being no indictment in Garner’s case, just 24 percent say the same about the case in Ferguson. And in Ferguson, there’s majority support — 52 percent — for no indictment. So basically, Americans as a whole favor no indictment in Ferguson. In Garner’s case, they overwhelmingly think there should have been one. And in fact, just one-quarter of Americans agree with the grand jury’s decision not to indict.

This suggests, does it not, that the gloomiest assessments of America’s ability to see through race are too dire. If we were truly racially polarized, we’d see similar responses to similar white-cop-black-victim scenarios. Which means we have some common ground to stand on.

Chart Of The Day

Dec 5 2014 @ 1:15pm

Minor Crimes

Ben Casselman and Andrew Flowers examine police stats on Eric Garner’s neighborhood:

The New York City Police Department collects data on criminal complaints by precinct, broken down by the level of the alleged offense — felonies, misdemeanors and “violations,” which are minor crimes such as harassment, disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana. We can use felonies per capita as a measure of the serious crimes people are most concerned about. Violations per capita, meanwhile, is a measure of broken windows-type offenses, which usually involve more discretion from the police. (The data we’re using lumps together cases where a police officer witnesses a crime directly and cases where a member of the public calls in a complaint. A police spokesman said most violation-level offenses are witnessed by an officer.) As the chart [above] shows, there’s a strong relationship between the two: Neighborhoods with more felonies also have more minor violations. That’s what we’d expect in a city using the broken windows approach.

But look at the red dot representing Staten Island’s 120th precinct, which includes Tompkinsville. It’s significantly above the trend line, meaning it has a higher rate of violations than expected based on its underlying crime rate. From 2008 to 2012, the precinct averaged 11 violations annually per 1,000 residents; based on its felony rate, we’d only expect about seven. Only one of New York’s 76 precincts has a larger disparity.

Chart Of The Day

Dec 3 2014 @ 11:25am

Crime Perception

Ana Swanson flags a 2012 paper in which “researchers argued that black people commit a much lower share of crimes than whites assume”:

The paper compares two surveys of people’s perceptions about violent crime with actual statistics. The “mean perceived percentage” figures are based on responses of white people in two telephone surveys: A random telephone survey of 1,575 adults conducted in Florida by the Research Network in 2005, and a nationally representative sample of 961 respondents directed by Oppenheimer Research in the summer of 2010. The “actual percentage” figures are drawn from various annual statistics published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Chart Of The Day

Nov 25 2014 @ 8:37am


Update from a reader:

I’m a lawyer and I studied Epidemiology at Harvard, so I know bad and misleading statistics when I see them. Yes, failures to indict are rare, because under normal circumstances prosecutors only seek indictments when they have strong cases!

Read On

Chart Of The Day

Nov 18 2014 @ 12:17pm

Marijuana Kids

Poison control centers don’t get many calls about pot:

What you can see is that for kids 12-and-under, cases of marijuana poisoning are incredibly rare. There were 254 such calls in 2012. By contrast, there were about 1,000 calls related to kids ingesting energy drinks, 1,600 for kids drinking contact lens fluid, and over 4,000 for children who ate birth control pills.

Calls for caterpillar stings were twice as common as calls for marijuana exposure, and ingestions of liquid fabric softener were nearly three times as common.

Chart Of The Day

Nov 13 2014 @ 11:30am


Dara Lind shares an important one:

An analysis by the Pew Public Safety Performance Project found that the states that shrunk their incarceration rates the most over the last five years experienced a slightly bigger drop in crime as the states where incarceration rates grew: 12 percent versus 10 percent. What about all fifty states? We made a scatterplot based on Pew’s data, mapping how a state’s imprisonment rate changed from 2008-2013 on the horizontal x axis, and how its crime rate changed on the vertical y axis. The result is, well, a scatter – there’s no clear relationship at all between prison and crime. That makes it a lot harder to justify the US’ current level of incarceration.

Meanwhile, Stephen Lurie urges Obama to cut off the money for mass incarceration:

Read On

Chart Of The Day

Oct 23 2014 @ 6:13pm

Pew finds that men and women experience different sorts of online harassment:

Online Harassment

Jake Swearingen sees how “men, on the whole, report higher rates of less severe types of harassment (with the exception of physical threats), while women are more likely to be the focus of the two most frightening forms of it: sexual harassment and stalking.” Elise Hu connects the Pew survey to Gamergate:

The Pew research supports the notion that women are less welcome in the world of online gaming. Survey respondents, who were both men and women, were asked about a series of online platforms — social networks and online commenting forums, for example — and whether they thought those platforms were more welcoming to women, equally welcome to both sexes or more welcoming toward men. The findings show that while most online environments are viewed as equally welcoming, gaming is not. “The starkest results were for online gaming,” the researchers write, where 44 percent of respondents said the platform was more welcoming to men.

But Amanda Hess acknowledges the limits of Pew’s survey:

Pew asked respondents to elaborate on their experiences with harassment, and the resulting collection of anonymous accounts speaks to the difficulty of arriving at a shared definition of what “harassment” even is.

Read On

Chart Of The Day

Oct 16 2014 @ 3:42pm

Wealth one percent

Yglesias eyes the wealthiest Americans:

The basic punchline is that wealth — accumulated asset ownership — is very, very concentrated and has been growing more concentrated for a generation. Back in 1980, 0.01 percent of the population owned three percent of national wealth. Today that top 0.01 percent, about 32,000 people, owns about 11 percent of national wealth. That’s a staggering increase from an already high base.

Chart Of The Day

Oct 14 2014 @ 3:43pm

Gallup asked “registered voters to rate the importance of 13 issues to their vote for Congress, and then to indicate which party would do a better job on each issue.” Republicans came out ahead:

Midterm Issues

Aaron Blake captions:

The GOP has an advantage on eight of the nine most important issues tested by Gallup, while Democrats lead on the four least-important. Among the issues the GOP leads on: the economy, the Islamic State (ISIS), the budget deficit, foreign affairs and even immigration.

Democrats, meanwhile, have finally gained an advantage on the Affordable Care Act — a.k.a. Obamacare — only to see it wane in importance as an issue. The lone big issue on which Democrats have an advantage (and a big one, at that) is equal pay for women.

Chart Of The Day

Oct 8 2014 @ 12:10pm

xkcd’s Randall Munroe contrasts the history of interracial marriage with that of marriage equality: