It was quite exciting to see this nice map in the Sunday Times:
Actual headline for the map: "Where Home Prices Rise Sharply, Bankruptcies Fall"
Alternative headline for the map: "Bankruptcies Jump in the South and Midwest"
Not clear from this map (but mentioned in the article):
- A new law, effective Oct 17, which will make it harder to clear away credit card debt has touched off "a rush to the court" (This effect would have happened in 2005 so would be hidden in 2000-2005 changes.)
- There is "strong evidence" that home equity borrowing is providing a further bulwark against disaster although the author also cites an economist saying that unemployment rates, not house prices, tend to be the most important predictors of bankruptcy
The map'd be even nicer if the element of population density can be added to it although I am not sure how this can be done without producing clutter. Do make a suggestion in the comments if you have an idea. Such a map would then adjust for the problem of "low populations" as indicated in the very useful note on the map.
I'll also repeat a previously mentioned point, which is that the legend should mark out the actual maximum and minimum of the data, rather than using "greater than 35%".
Reference: "Where Home Prices Rise Steeply. Bankruptcies Fall", New York Times, Oct 9 2005.