These 11 charts appeared on BBC, so they are very Euro-centric, but there are still some gems. My favorite:
For a long time the perception was that the creation of the euro meant sovereign risk was effectively the same across all countries. That of course proved to be wrong. The Lehman’s crisis and financial meltdown that followed affected the deficits and debt levels of different countries in different ways. Interestingly it is much the same countries now with very high yields as it was pre-euro, suggesting little has changed fundamentally in a decade.
This jumps around a little too much for my taste – but it is a good example of using simple facts to put things in perspective.
Here’s a slightly more in depth, much more tongue-in-cheek version (from two years ago):
Finally, an even more tongue in cheek SNL skit about which god is in charge of Greek finance:
XKCD pulls together a number of interesting statistics and presents them all as square blocks, varying the magnitude in each section. I’m not sure how much value this has as a graphic – the comparative value of the different groups isn’t very high in most cases. However, the statistics themselves are really interesting and worth browsing.
(note: the graphic’s viewer took a while to load – probably because of server load, which should quiet down later)
Some very well organized statistics on the Eurozone debt crisis, aggregated from the IMF, OECD, Eurostat, and the World Bank. It includes data on EFSF commitments, debt, SGP criteria, employment, trade, pensions, and mortgages. There are multiple dashboards, each with multiple tabs – so take the time to explore a bit. I particularly like the little sparklines – which I think do a great job of quickly illustrating trends, and don’t get used often enough.
A visually interesting video from the BBC. It does a good job of presenting basic facts, with a little annotation. The difficulty with these videographics, I find, is striking the right balance between being simple enough to understand easily, but complicated enough that they actually make a point. In the BBC’s favor, they appear to be using this as an introduction to issues, and link it back to their broader coverage of the global economy and crisis, including their video series “Make it Clear”, which answers basic questions like “How Can Countries Go Bust?” and “What is the IMF?”.
This is an interesting example because they really tried to have every part of the graphic convey information: color, size, and line type. (via The Big Picture)
If you look at the 2011 update of the report, you can see they have used a similar, but somewhat cleaner design. The labels are all clearer, and the use of a lighter background map and grey text improves the contrast considerably. Finally, I think using the color of the arrows instead of width for the value was a good call – as that’s easier for the eye to distinguish.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of any software that let’s you produce these quickly – you generally have to draw them by hand.
Harvard has released an interesting new index of “economic complexity” which is the productive knowledge of the economy, based on analysis of its output composition.
… the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) is based on the number and the complexity of the products that a country exports with comparative advantage. Empirically, countries that do well in this index, given their income level, tend to achieve higher levels of economic growth. The ability to successfully export new products is a reflection of the fact that the country has acquired new productive knowledge that will then open up further opportunities for progress.
The index is then used to make detailed growth projections, and identify export opportunities on a country-by-country basis.
There are also interactive versions of most of these visualizations that you can explore and filter:
The Financial Times has pulled together some interactive visualizations of world demographics as we approach 7 billion people. I would have liked to see the population pyramids for more countries. The fertility/education graph is a bit shocking.
Note: Some FT features require a subscription.
A nice interactive analysis of Chinese investment. Click on the sector symbols below the colored bar graph to filter the data.
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