Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

If you're interested in public health, this is kind of cool

If also a bit depressing. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has released a report on the state of health in the U.S., based on the Global Burden of Disease data from the World Health Organization. The depressing part is that, as we already know, the U.S. population is in worse health than all the other wealthy countries. We don't live as long, we're sicker, and we're more depressed. That isn't news so I won't dwell on it.

However, the cool part is all of their data visualization tools. You can quickly see trends in all the causes of death, by age category and sex; compare countries; see how leading causes of death have changed places over time -- all sorts of enlightening interactive graphics are at your command!

One of the most interesting is an interactive map of the U.S. in which you can see various health status indicators by county. Funny thing -- they've made longer life expectancy bluish and shorter life expectancy reddish. I don't know what they were thinking, but with the exception of Utah (Mormons don't smoke or drink, doncha know) the map ends up looking a whole lot like another map you may have seen. (Push the slider all the way to the right to get the most recent year, and click on female rather than male to get the strongest picture.) Yep: the redder the state, the sicker the people. Why do you think that might be?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very awesome graphics, slow to load, don't have time to look at tech behind, them but a really great presentation of metrics.

Very interesting data.