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Bumps charts and NYT

I just cannot resist another post on Bumps charts since  NYT finally started using them.  Here are two recent examples:

Nyt_propertytaxThis first chart illustrates the change in property taxes in different municipalities since 1998, as compared to the national average.

A wealth of information is revealed:

  • All these places charge more than the national average today
  • New York City used to charge less than average but that ended in 2003
  • The tax rates are clustered into three groups, about 6%, about 5% and below 4%.  The variance between different places has decreased during these years
  • A sharp rise was recorded in all these places in 2001-3 although New York City lagged slightly.  The sharp rise was not observed nationwide

Reference: "Gain in Income is Offset by Rise in Property Taxes", New York Times, Aug 8 2006.

The second example is much cleaner as it involves only one period.  Bolding the "no one" line is particularly effective, bringing out the author's point well.

However, I'd have put the "no one" label on the right, just like the other labels, but bolded.

One could also argue that the real story is the simultaneous decline of "friend", "co-worker" and "neighbor" and rise of "no one" and "spouse".

Finally, it'd be interesting to see the multi-period version as the smooth linear trends are rather incredulous.

Reference: New York Times Magazine, July 16 2006.


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Jens Lapinski

This is not a bump chart. :) Still an okay chart, though.

derek c

Nice to see the NYT crediting the creator of the graph, just as they would credit a writer or photographer.

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