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Comments

Berry

Here's a quick R script for bar plots comparing all the listed places and the resulting image:

https://github.com/brry/misc/blob/master/housing.R
https://github.com/brry/misc/blob/master/housing.png

Kaiser

Thanks Berry.

jlbriggs

I am having a very hard time seeing how the pie chart solves this problem in a way that a stacked bar chart does not.

I think you've perhaps given too much credence to their attempt to be clever as well - unless I've missed something, they haven't done anything to the axis labels, they've simply added data labels that present a different measure than the axis labels do.

I certainly agree that the original chart is not ideal to represent this information. I also remade the chart as a better version of a stacked bar, here:

https://jsfiddle.net/jlbriggs/nb4cmmzu/

If I really needed to present the specific different percentages, I would add a table.

What am I missing that makes the pie chart better?

Berry

jlbriggs: Nice idea with the vertical US average lines!
However, we have a different understanding of the original numbers (not our fault!).
Using the US-average as example: I understood delinquent to be 10.1% of 31.4% underwater, hence 3.2% of total mortgage owners.
Same with the cities... You can see how the values in our charts differ. I have Las Vegas total underwater at 71%, in your graph it is displayed at slightly over 80%.

jlbriggs

@berry - good catch. Just sloppy math on my part while trying to throw this together between work tasks :)

Ideally I would also add something to the chart that explained the breakdown precisely. Some brackets along the top or bottom bar with a "31% of homes underwater, of which 3.2% are also delinquent", for instance.

While I wouldn't have a problem with a single pie chart displaying this type of relationship, I don't think 18 such pie charts would be a very effective way of getting this message across.

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