What were the data stories of 2012? Which figures hit the headlines and defined the past year? Find our top data stories of 2012
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What were the headline figures of 2012? From Hurricane Sandy to the 2011 Census and the hotly anticipated Leveson report, the Datablog has covered it all. Here is our look back at the year in data.
The death toll as of October 30th 2012 for Hurricane Sandy stood at 133 victims. The natural disaster hit not only the US but also Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Canada and Jamaica.
The greatest number of deaths outside the US were in Haiti – which was not in the path of the hurricane but hit by extreme flooding in a country still recovering from the earthquake in 2010.
The Guardian and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) offshore investigation identified ‘nominee’ directors controlling thousands of companies across the world. More than 21,500 companies were identified using a group of 28 so-called nominee directors.
The Guardian/ICIJ investigated the offshore industry and secrecy surrounding it, uncovering a network of individuals willing to appear on official records as directors of companies while acting only on the instructions of its real owners, who stay invisible and off-the-books.
Made up of 1,987 pages, the Leveson report was one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. Published on the 29th November 2012, it set out Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations for the future of press regulation in the UK.
Analysis of the text showed some interesting results. Perhaps unsurprisingly, references to failure were two thirds more numerous than those to success, with use of words including the text “fail” outweighing the total number of “success”es and “succeed”s by almost 75%.
Jimmy Savile worked on six television programmes during his time at the BBC. Following the allegations of child abuse connected with Jimmy Savile, coverage on the BBC has been abundant. The focus of course soon went on Savile’s career at the BBC and who was in charge during his time there.
The interactive below shows data collated from sources including the BBC and research by Guardian journalists. Click on the image to explore the interactive and see who was in charge when and what they said.
One fifth of young drug users admit to taking “mystery white powders” without any idea what they contain and 15% of overall respondents in the Guardian/MixMag survey said they had taken an unknown white powder in the last 12 months.
The Guardian/Mixmag survey was one attempt to explain the facts behind what drugs people really take. The survey found that users claim that more of them use cannabis than energy drinks.
Team GB excelled at the London 2012 Olympic Games winning 65 medals in total. The olympics was a veritable feast for the Datablog allowing for projects such as the alternative medals table and a breakdown of medal winners by sport, education and sex.
The Royal Statistical Society and the Datablog teamed up with four statisticians at Imperial College, London, to help work out how key factors might change the Olympic league table. The idea being by ‘weighting’ the medals, what happens to the results?
The team, Christoforos Anagnostopoulos, Giovanni Montana, Axel Gandy and Daniel Mortlock, looked at previous olympics and traditional indicators such as the output of a country’s economy (GDP), the size of its population – and also ways to weight the score by the size of each country’s Olympic team. Using this analysis Russia became the winner of the alternative Olympic medal table and was followed in second place by the UK.
The population of England and Wales in 2011 according to the latest release from the Census 2011 published in December. This means the population has grown by 3.7m in the 10 years since the last census, rising from 52.4m in 2001 – an increase of 7.1%. This was the largest growth in the population in England and Wales in any 10-year period since the census taking began, in 1801. Between 1991 and 2001 it had gone up by 1.6m
The first results of the census were released in July and they showed population by age, sex and housing across the country. Click on the map below to find data by local authority.
The latest Census 2011 data showed that the number of mixed people went over 1m for the first time. The vast majority of the population of England & Wales are white – 86%, 48.2m, down five percentage points since 2001 (91%, 47.5m). Wales had the largest percentage of people of White ethnic group in 2011, 96% (2.9m). In London in 2011, 45% (3.7m) out of 8.2m usual residents were White British.
332 electoral votes secured the win for Barack Obama in what many believed would be a very close race. The print Guardian featured this beautiful graphic by Mark McCormick and Paul Scruton which visualises the results and shows you who voted for who and where, down to county level.
Facebok was valued at $104bn when shares were issued in May 2012. With the video animation below we look at how the social network got so big – and could it possibly get any bigger?
Public sector net debt was £1083.6bn at the end of November 2012, equivalent to 68.5% of gross domestic product (GDP).
The total number of US gun applications between January to November 2012 was 16,808,538 – that’s a rate of 53.94 guns per 1,000 population for 2012.
In the wake of the Newtown shooting in Connecticut, there has been a renewed focus on gun control in the US.
Public spending in 2011-12 was £694.89bn – compared to £689.63bn in 2010-11. That may look like an increase but once inflation is taken into account, it is a real-terms cut of 1.58%, or £10.8bn.
Guardian Data’s annual audit of UK government spending this year showed huge cuts taking place across supposedly protected areas of government as the austerity programme hits home.
The amount of tax paid by Starbucks on its UK operations in 2011. The company with a turnover of £397.7m claimed a loss of £32.9m. The company has since volunteered to pay £20m over two years.
Wondering how much tax some of the most famous US names in the UK have paid on their British operations over the last four years, we gathered the data via Duedil to create this graphic.
Estimates suggest that the United States now has 2,150 active nuclear warheads compared to 31,255 in 1967.
The news that North Korea has successfully launched a satellite heightened fears that the same know-how could be used to launch ballistic missiles. We looked at which countries already have the capability to launch a nuclear missile, and how many warheads they have.
The eurozone unemployment rate rose to 11.6% in September – the highest rate on record. Spain has been hit the hardest with more than one in four out of work.
Eurostat figures showed that 25.75m people in the whole European Union were unemployed in September 2012.
The ratio that sums up the problem facing women in theatre. The Guardian, in collaboration with Elizabeth Freestone of Pentabus Theatre undertook research earlier this year looking at female representation, from actors to board members and creative crews. Strikingly the results show that three artistic directors had never directed a play by a woman; Sir Nicholas Hytner of the National Theatre, Gregory Doran of the RSC and Paul Kerryson of the Curve Theatre, Leicester.
Additional research by Elizabeth Freestone examined which of William Shakespeare’s plays are the most female friendly. Her research showed that with 40% female lines, As You Like It is the most women friendly of all the bard’s plays.
The Electoral Reform Society predicted a final turnout of just 18.5% nationally in the police and crime commissioners vote – but the actual result was even worse with just 15% of the population voting in this election. So we decided to see how this compares to past election turnouts.
The chart below shows a selection of the worst turnouts and really highlights how the low turnout for the PCC votes has made it one of the worst ever.
The number of Twitter followers Pope Benedict XVI had on his English language account under the name @Pontifex (as of 12th December 2012). The pope joining Twitter was big news earlier this month.
Data-mapping specialists from the Floating Sheep blog went through Pontifex’s followers on 8 December, and analysed the locations of the 283,796 accounts that included a country, city or town. They created a choropleth map of the results, using a location quotient whereby shading indicates the volume of followers relative to the total number of Twitter users in a given country.
There were 7,905 multimillionaires in China at the end of 2011, an increase of 41% compared to 2007. A combined total of 2,346 live in Beijing and Shanghai, equivalent to three in every ten of China’s multimillionaires. Chongqing has seen the biggest growth rate, with 78% more multimillionaires in 2011 than four years earlier.
The lowest growth rate, 19%, came in the Shenzen, the second city of Guangdong province.
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