Google Public Data Explorer

Google.org just announced their Public Data Explorer, with which you can very quickly and easily examine many interesting statistics. Here’s an example I cooked up in a less than a minute:

Life expectancy and fertility, with point size infant mortality.

This shows the relationship between life expectancy and fertility rates; colours code regions, point sizes indicate infant mortality rates. If you follow this link, you can easily modify the graph, use a slider to instantly look at historical, and cook up your own examples.

Sorry if this is a bit off-topic, but I was so impressed by this tool that I’m hoping other mathematicians might like to explore it too. The particular graph I’ve shown is something I’ve been interested in for a while. Consider the very simple model in which parents want to be 95% certain that they have at least two children that survive to adulthood. Pretending this is the only determining factor in fertility rates, you can now compute fertility rates as a function of infant mortality. Tools like this provide amazing access to data, to quickly confirm or invalidate models like this, and to suggest other models.

5 thoughts on “Google Public Data Explorer

  1. People who like this sort of thing should really watch

    It’s one of the best TED talks I’ve seen, which is saying something.

  2. The two data at the extreme left of your chart (Macao and Hong Kong) can be somewhat explained by legislative action, but your basic fertility model needs a bit of adjustment to account for almost all highly industrialized nations sitting under 2.00.

    I found the “per capita personal income in New York state by county” graph rather interesting, especially given that Manhattan has about 1.6 million people.

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