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"New York County is barely visible on this map yet it has the heaviest weight on the average."

Not to be nitpicky, but New York County is not the largest county in population. It's the 20th largest. You are perhaps confused by Saul Steinberg's "map".



I was confused by Wikipedia! They say "New York County is the most densely populated county in the United States". link Probably shouldn't trust Wikipedia.


You are arguing two different things, NY county can be both "the most densely populated" and "the 20th largest county in population".


Roger: Good catch. I thought I posted a note at 3:22 when I realized I read "most populous" rather than "most densely populated" but the note is lost in cyberspace.

Floormaster Squeeze

Mortality rate is the number of deaths per some measure of the population. A mortality rate can go up without their being more deaths. It can also go up because the average age of the population is going up.

I suspect a big reason 43% of counties have increasing death rates is because they are losing population and more specifically losing younger population (which changes the average age and the expected death rate). That is, this 43% factoid is about demographics not life expectancy.

Now, if an age-adjusted death rate was going we would have news.

ezra abrams

this is the second bronx justice story the times has done in the last year (the last one was about elevators)

Both Stories are outstanding, journalism at its very best.

the least you could have done was acknowledge that this is truly great reporting - i think you should be ashamed for not pointing this out to your readers

I think you are also derelict in not pointing out to your readers taht the Times has had some truly *outstanding* graphics on its website in the last year or two; instead of just criticizing, you should point out to your readers the gems of web graphic


Ezra: Did you put the comment on the wrong post? The charts on this post did not come from the Times.

Also, the blog from Day 1 has the point of view that graphics production involves tradeoffs - even "good" graphics have weaknesses and I like to discuss different ways of visualizing the same data.

It is true that 99% of what I receive from readers are things they do not like. The only way to change that is if people like you send me graphics that you consider to be good. So why don't you send me some examples?

Andrew Couch

I'm somewhat confused why you're so derisive of this choropleth map. In other places you've described such visualizations as "engaging".

Your complaints "distorted by the map projection" and "proportional to the geographical size" could be said of any such chart. Sure, scaling the area to match population adds a dimension, but you must admit that it comes at the cost of reader understanding.

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