Map & Data Resources

By Craig Gurian | Elections, Politics
A review of Presidential voting patterns reminds us of regional differences between the states of the former Confederacy and the rest of the country that have had material impact. We looked at the popular vote in the last 11 Presidential elections (starting with 1968). We created three categories: the U.S. as a whole, the former Confederate states as a whole, and the balance of the U.S. taken as a whole (that is, all U.S. states other than the former Confederate states). More
By Mike Alberti | Employment, Labor, Poverty
As observed in recent news coverage, "lawmakers are facing growing pressure to raise the minimum wage, which was last increased at the federal level to $7.25 an hour in July 2009." Looked at in historical perspective, today's minimum wage is significantly less in real terms than it was in 1968. The shortfall between the annual earnings of one person working full-time and the poverty threshold for a family of four is also much larger now than it was then, albeit not as great as it was in 1990 and 2007. More
By Mike Alberti | Pensions, State government
The woes of public pension funds have generally been placed squarely at the feet of public employees. But much of the damage to pension fund account balances occurred as a result of losses incurred during the collapse of the bubble in 2008 to 2009. Who has been responsible for fund performance? Most funds retain “investment consultants” who advise them on how to allocate their assets. The fees paid to these consultants in many cases are equal to a sizable portion of the amount of money that pension funds pay to their own employees. More
By Craig Gurian, By Mike Alberti | Banking
There has been a lot of reporting in recent weeks about how big banks have fallen on hard times. One would be forgiven for getting the impression that these banks are not doing much better than barely scraping by. But the data tell another story. In 2011, for example, the profits of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo each exceeded the profits of Google. The average profit from 2005 to 2011 for Apple was less than that for Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. More
By Mike Alberti | Income inequality, Taxes
Average income of the top 1 percent of Americans, along with their share of total income, is recovering more after the Great Recession than is the case for other Americans, according to just-analyzed 2009 and 2010 data. The subsets of the top 1 percent — that is, the top one-tenth and top one-hundredth of 1 percent — are faring better as well. The top 1 percent of families captured 93 percent of total income growth from 2009 to 2010. More
By Lori Bikson | Corporate influence, Taxes
Three new visualizations situate 2011 corporate taxes in context of the entire period since World War II. Administration moves ahead with plans to lower corporate rates further — despite 2011 data reflecting lower revenue per capita, a lower effective rate, and a lower share of all tax revenue than in most years since 1946. More
By Mike Alberti | Economy, Labor
For nearly two decades after World War II, growth in the average wages of manufacturing workers closed tracked — and sometimes exceeded — growth in their productivity. But for the last 40 years, the two have diverged dramatically. Productivity has soared while wages have stagnated. The result? American manufacturing workers are producing more goods than ever, but making less in inflation adjusted wages than they did in 1970. More
By Margaret Moslander | Infrastructure, Role of government
As time goes on, it is ever easier to forget the legacy of the Public Works Administration, one of the signature initiatives of the New Deal. But that legacy lives on, embedded in the fabric of communities all through the United States. Using data gathered from the National Archives, this visualization examines the scope and type of projects built in New York State — assistance that cost over $6 billion in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars. The viz is accompanied by two photo essays of various projects built in New York City. More