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The gray boxes do clutter up the maps, but I would still keep them. It lets me see that the metro area nearest to me has declined, relative to the other metro areas. Without the boxes information is lost because I can't see this from the histograms. Overall, a very nice graphic.


I also like that you also dropped the number of metro areas within 5% of the mean on the two graphs in your version. With a growth of college degrees from 12% to 32% I would expect to see the range in the percentage of people with college degrees to change as well.

Craig Wong

I'm not sure I agree with what the author is trying to imply. The three-fold increase in metro areas, sure, but the wider spread of geographical preference? I'm not buying it.

For the 1970 data, the 5pt spread represents almost a 42% change from the average. In 2010, the same 5pt spread represents only a 15% change from the average. If we were to apply a 42% threshold for orange/black squares on the 2010 data, it would be +/- 13 points, making the distribution reasonably similar to 1970.

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Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
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