Unreliable FBI crime data

The Marshall Project and Axios report that the FBI changed their reporting system last year, and 40 percent of law enforcement agencies didn’t submit any data:

In 2021, the FBI retired its nearly century-old national crime data collection program, the Summary Reporting System used by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. The agency switched to a new system, the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which gathers more specific information on each incident. Even though the FBI announced the transition years ago and the federal government spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help local police make the switch, about 7,000 of the nation’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies did not successfully send crime data to the voluntary program last year.

I am sure policymakers will definitely be very responsible and cite data appropriately and not cherrypick from incomplete data to push an agenda.

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Interest levels for political issues mapped

To estimate public interest in the many political issues across the United States, Axios used Google Trends data to map issues by congressional district. Switch between the many topics, and you see a choropleth map (that can change to a cartogram), along with a barcode chart to show the distribution of interest among all districts.

I’m not sure if it’s that beneficial to see the overall geographic distributions for most topics, but it’s useful as a point of reference to look at specific districts. For me, the barcode chart is the most interesting with the distributions shifting quite a bit from topic to topic.

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Scale of one million deaths

The United States is about to reach one million confirmed Covid deaths, or already passed the mark if you consider excess deaths. There’s no way to truly feel that number, but Axios visualized the scale, with comparisons against city populations and historical events.

A diamond shape represents counts, and as you scroll, shapes fill the screen until you only see the tips. The shapes overflow beyond what we can or want to understand. The time series line on the bottom shows cumulative deaths over time, leading towards the one-million mark.

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Partisan excess deaths

Excess deaths is the difference between expected deaths based on historical data and actual total deaths. It’s an estimate for how many people really died from covid. For Axios, Will Chase and Caitlin Owens charted excess deaths for Republican-leaning states compared against Democratic-leaning states, between March 2020 and March 2022.

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Scoring hospitals by billing quality

Using data collected by Johns Hopkins University, Michelle McGhee and Will Chase for Axios provide a visual reference for the billing practices of for-profit hospitals:

Rising deductibles and out-of-pocket costs are increasingly leaving patients responsible for bloated medical bills. A new analysis by Johns Hopkins University reveals that many of the top 100 hospitals by revenue in the U.S. use predatory tactics to pursue patients with unpaid bills.

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Coronavirus variant tracker

For Axios, Will Chase, with illustrations by Brendan Lynch, provides the current status of known variants of the coronavirus. The tracker shows the estimated transmission rate, severity, vaccine efficacy, and prevalence.

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Cases vs. testing

There have been assertions that increased case counts are all from increased testing. As you might expect, it’s not so clear cut. Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens for Axios show the changes in testing against changes in cases.

So in the wideout view of every state, the more-testing-more-cases assertion isn’t so straightforward.

ProPublica provided a similar comparison a couple of weeks ago, but I like the difference charts here for every state. They make the gaps more obvious.

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Map of Covid-19 surge

Axios provides a straightforward state map showing the percentage change in the 7-day average for confirmed Covid-19 cases. Numbers are up in a lot of places.

Increased testing does not explain away these numbers. Other data points make clear that we’re seeing a worsening outbreak, not simply getting better data.

So frustrating.

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Households that lost income

This straightforward grid map by Danielle Alberti for Axios shows the percentage of adults in a household where someone lost employment income. In all likelihood, you know someone affected in one way or another.

The data comes from the Census Household Pulse Survey, which is an effort to gauge the impact of Covid-19.

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A more detailed view of the Mueller Report

By now we’ve all seen the zoomed out thumbnail view of the Mueller Report. It gives you a quick look at the amount of the report redacted, but that’s about it. So, Axios tagged every paragraph with events, topics, people, and places to make things easier to find and jump to.

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