Tag Archives: Visualizations

Following are visualizations of data. Many are interactive and created using Tableau Public. In some cases I’ve recorded myself using the visualization to tell a story, and all you have to do is watch.

Job growth in the states

How does your state compare to others in job growth? Is your state growing private sector or government jobs fastest? The interactive visualization below can help you explore this data.

To use the visualization, click the check boxes to add or remove states from the charts. Click on a single job type to display, and select a range of years. Use the visualization below, or click here to open it in a new window. Data is from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA); visualization created by myself using Tableau Public.

State and local government employees, a visualization

How does your state compare to others in the number of state and local government employees, and the payroll costs of these employees?

The following interactive visualization lets you compare any states. Data is presented separately for state government employees and local government employees. The number of employees is presented as full-time equivalent employees per thousand population. Payroll costs are presented as annual payroll costs per capita population.

To use the visualization, click the check boxes to add or remove states from the charts. Click on axis labels to display a sorting menu. Use the visualization below, or click here to open it in a new window. Data is for 2011, obtained from U.S. Census Bureau; visualization created by myself using Tableau Public.

State and local tax burden visualized

For two decades the Tax Foundation has estimated the combined state and local tax burden for all the states. I’ve created an interactive visualization that lets you compare states and see trends in rank over time.

In its publication, the Tax Foundation explains:

For each state, we compute this measure of tax burden by totaling the amount of state and local taxes paid by state residents to both their own and other governments and then divide these totals by each state’s total income. We not only make this calculation for the most recent year, but also for earlier years due to the fact that income and tax revenue data are periodically revised by government agencies.

Our goal here is to move the focus from the tax collector to the taxpayer. We aim to find what percentage of state income residents are paying in state and local taxes and whether those taxes are paid to their own state or to others.

The most recent version of the report is located at Annual State-Local Tax Burden Ranking (2010) – New York Citizens Pay the Most, Alaska the Least.

To use the visualization, click on any state from the map. To add states, use Ctrl+click. Use the visualization below, or click here to open it in a new window. Data from Tax Foundation; visualization created using Tableau Public.

Obama will need more economic growth

To pay for the Obama taxing and spending agenda, the country will need much more economic growth. Unfortunately, the rate of growth is slowing just when we need greater rates of growth.

It’s commonly thought that annual real (after-inflation) growth of three percent is required just to keep up with population. More than that is needed to restore the loss in middle-class income during Obama’s first term. But here’s what has happened to the rate of growth.

Gross Domestic Product, Real, Annual Change

The direction of change in economic growth is moving in the wrong direction, and it’s far below what is needed. Darkening the horizon are the planned increases in spending, in particular ObamaCare, will be a further drag on the economy. Other Obama policies are distinctly anti-growth. It’s difficult to have an optimistic outlook.

Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer told the story last summer in the Wall Street Journal:

The first is how much government spending fell during President Bill Clinton’s eight years in office and how low it was when he left office. When he became president in 1992, government spending was 23.5% of GDP, and when he left in 2001 it was 19.5% of GDP. President Clinton, in conjunction with a solid Republican Congress, cut government spending by more than any other president in modern times, and oversaw one of the greatest periods of economic growth and prosperity in U.S. history.

Sadly for fiscal conservatives, the biggest surge in government spending came during the last two years of President George W. Bush’s eight years in office (2007-2008). A weakened Republican president dealing with a strident Democratic Congress, led by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, resulted in an orgy of spending.

Mr. Bush and Republicans in Congress capitulated to and even promoted each and every government bailout and populist redistribution canard put before them. It’s a long list, starting with the 2003 trillion-dollar Medicare prescription drug benefit and culminating with the actions taken to stem the 2008 financial meltdown — the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, the bailout of insurance giant AIG and government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the ill-advised 2008 $600-per-person tax rebate, the stimulus add-ons to 2007’s housing and farm bills, etc. The script had it that greedy right-wingers were the cause of our collapse, and deficit spending and easy money the answer.

The numbers are mind boggling. From the second quarter of 2007, i.e., the first full quarter of a Pelosi-Reid dominated Congress and a politically weakened President Bush, to the second quarter of 2009 when President Obama assumed office, government spending skyrocketed to 27.3% of GDP from 21.4%. It was the largest peacetime expansion of government spending in U.S. history.

Following is an interactive visualization of federal revenues, expenditures, and the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product that illustrates these trends. Use the visualization below, or click here to open it in a new window.

Growth in Gross Domestic Product by metropolitan area

Here’s an interactive visualization that illustrates the growth in Gross Domestic Product by metropolitan area. Dollar amounts are in chained 2005 dollars to eliminate the effects of inflation. Each metropolitan area is indexed to start at 100% so we can see the relative rates of growth.

The top two charts show the growth in GDP for government, and then for the private sector. The bottom chart shows growth in GDP per capita (per person).

Highlight one or more metropolitan areas to make the line stand out from the others. Use Ctrl+Click to add or subtract others. Use the visualization below, or click here to open in a new window.

Data from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Visualization created using Tableau Public.

Growth in Gross Domestic Product by state

Here’s an interactive visualization that illustrates the growth in Gross Domestic Product by state and region. Dollar amounts are in chained 2005 dollars to eliminate the effects of inflation. Each state or region is indexed to start at 100% so we can see the relative rates of growth.

The top two charts show the growth in GDP for government, and then for the private sector. The bottom chart shows growth in GDP per capita (per person).

Click to highlight one or more states or regions to make its line stand out from the others. Use Ctrl+Click to add or subtract other states and regions. Use the visualization below, or click here to open in a new window.

Data from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Visualization created by myself using Tableau Public.

A spending problem, or a revenue problem?

Does the United States have a revenue problem or a spending problem? The interactive visualization below may help you decide.

Spending and revenue are presented as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). One observation is the tax revenue has risen on a fairly steady progression until the Bush II and Obama recessions. This is in spite of the top marginal tax rate varying wildly during this period.

Were the budget surpluses of the late years of the Clinton presidency due to rising tax revenue, or declining spending?

Data from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Use the visualization below, or click here to open in a new window.

GDP growth by state and region

Here is a visualization that shows the rate of growth of gross domestic product by state, regions, and the entire country. You may select one or more areas from the list by using Ctrl while clicking. The data is indexed, so that each area starts with a value of 100 in 1997.

Data is from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Visualization created by myself using Tableau Public.

Use the visualization below or click here to open in a new window.

Wichita economic growth, in comparison

How does economic growth in Wichita compare to the state and nation? Use the interactive visualization below, or click here to view in a window by itself.

This interactive visualization presents the GDP (gross domestic product) produced by the private sector and the government sector, for three different geographies. I use the Wichita metropolitan statistical area because that’s the data available from the Bureau of Economic Statistics. The data is indexed with 2001 values set to 100. This lets us see the relative growth for each data series. Some data is available through 2011, but some only through 2010.

Here are some things you can notice by using the checkboxes to turn on and off various data series:

For the Wichita MSA, government has grown more than the private sector.

The Wichita MSA private sector has grown more slowly then both the Kansas and US private sectors.

The Wichita MSA government sector has grown faster than both the Kansas and US government sectors.