Gapminder Is Pretty Friggin Cool

Even if you’re one who isn’t interested in stats and graphs, Gapminder makes statistics fun!

As of this post, the home page of the Gapminder tool shows a graph of the correlation between life expectancy and country’s wealth. Each bubble represents a country, with the size of the country proportional to bubble size. Clicking Play will show how the data changes from 1975 to 2004. Clicking on one of the bubbles/countries will have the bubble show a trail through time. For example, the big red bubble representing China would be something to click on to see its progress through three decades.

Below are some stats I wanted to highlight. Some are obvious, but the graphing is interesting. Usual statistics caveat: Correlation does not equal Causation. Remember to hit Play to see the stats change over time.

Richer countries have greater internet penetration

Percent of women in labor force vs Country wealth: There are countries with a relatively high percentage of women in the work force across the wealth spectrum. Most of the “wealthy nations” have high percentage of women in the work force. The Middle East is an exception, where there are rich nations with low percentage of women in the work force.

Child mortality decreases as contraceptive use increases among adult women, not implying causation, though.

Countries where girls were as least likely as boys to go to school were more likely to have greater internet penetration

Phone use vs Internet use: This is an interesting animation over time. It was if the internet just exploded on the scene. Countries with lower phone use penetration also lagged behind in internet use.

Here is a video of Ola Rosling giving a presentation on Gapminder.org at a Google Tech Talk:

He is an entertaining and engaging presenter.

This one hour video makes a good example of how handy it is to be able to watch videos on my tv via my Wii. I can lie out on my couch or however while watching. I could lie down watching the video on my laptop, but I don’t have as many comfortable positions available.

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