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This is where SAVI analysts regularly share the stories and studies that have caught our eye. These are the latest ideas in socioeconomic, policy, and data viz trends.

Health Affairs: Child Mortality In The US And 19 OECD Comparator Nations: A 50-Year Time-Trend Analysis

Read it here.

Authors: Ashish P. Thakrar, Alexandra D. Forrest, Mitchell G. Maltenfort, and Christopher B. Forrest

From the abstract: “The United States has poorer child health outcomes than other wealthy nations despite greater per capita spending on health care for children. To better understand this phenomenon, we examined mortality trends for the US and nineteen comparator nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for children ages 0–19 from 1961 to 2010 using publicly available data. While child mortality progressively declined across all countries, mortality in the US has been higher than in peer nations since the 1980s.”

NPR: Freelanced: The Rise Of The Contract Workforce

Read it here.

Author: Yuki Noguchi

An NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 American workers are contracted – “hired to work on a specific project or for a fixed period of time” – and half of those do not receive benefits. About half say their income varies month-to-month. The majority of these workers are men, and 6 in 10 are under 45.

NPR did a week-long series exploring these results and diving into personal stories to learn what this trend means for the American economy.

NASA: SEDAC Population Estimator

Use the tool here.

Read about it here.

And finally, a cool mapping tool from a NASA data center at Columbia. This provides some global perspective on population density. North and South America look pretty sparsely populated when compared to Europe, Africa, and Asia.

When you’re doing demographic work in the US, you’re probably used to the relatively consistent boundaries and data sources available. But if you’re doing global demographic work, the source will change substantially from country to country, each with its own layers of boundaries and periods/methods of collection.

The Gridded Population of the World solves some of those concerns. This project collects data from census all over the world. Then, population and density estimates are calculated in a raster (a grid that covers the surface of the earth, like enormous pixels). Now researchers don’t have to understand the boundaries and divisions of every country to do global demographic work. You can feed this database any polygon, and it will return an estimate of how manny people live there.


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