Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Visualizing Immigration

The Assignment: Visualize Immigration.

My first entry shows the distribution of immigrants to the US from continent of origin. The problem with this visulaization is that it does not give you a sense of the changes in the total number of immigrants per yer.

Despite using color brewer, I went with a diverging data color scheme even though this is not diverging data. I felt the qualitative data color schemes suggested did not provide a stark enough contrast. Below I just made up some color combos. The second entry, uses data on US population to put the immigrant flows into perspective. Now we have a stacked area chart which represents the percentage of the US population that are new immigrants and their continent of origin.

Africa and Oceania get totally lost when visualizing the data using a stacked area chart. But short of including more info, I'm not sure how else to represent the data. After all some of that is justified by the small amount of immigration from Africa and Oceania, but it is not zero and you should be able to discern it. It is clear from the above that before WWII there was massive immigration, almost entirely from Europe, and after immigration has been rising from everywhere but Europe.

No comments: