Mapping Poverty in America

Data from the Census Bureau show where the poor live.

Mapping Poverty in America is an interactive recently published by the New York Times that visualizes data about poverty from the Census Bureau. It does so by presenting it on an interactive map that colors regions based on the percent of people that live below poverty thresholds, which is quantified for people that don’t know what the poverty threshold is.

Upon loading, the site asks for your location, and (if given) displays the data for your general location, as well as previews of other major cities in the US. Hovering over a colored region will display an info-box with that region’s poverty rate and the amount of poor people in that region. The interactive also has two different views, which visualize either regions colored by poverty rate or circles representing the amount of poor people in a region.

(source: New York Times)

This interactive aims to visualize data that would otherwise not be seen by the general public, especially since the NYT has such a large readership. Though the interactive makes no politically charged statements, you can’t help but think that this was made with the intention of sparking conversation about poverty in the US. This interactive shows that poverty is indeed still a problem that is faced by many regions of the US, and by making this information available, easy to understand/visualize, and localized to each individual reader, hopefully this problem will no longer be ignored.

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