Glance at World Using Data Visualization

Data visualization is the presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. Visual representations like charts and maps help us to understand information more easily and quickly. It helps people to see what was not obvious by seeing the data only. Visualization conveys information in a universal manner and makes it simple to share ideas with others. It makes interpretation easier.

Here, in this visualization, I have tried creating a dashboard to show comparison among different countries (32 selected countries) on the basis of 33 parameters like population, unemployment, birth rate, death rate etc. We have used World Bank data as our data source and to present this data visualization we have tried to implement Google chart codes within our site. Google already has shared some codes for geo charts, motion charts and different core charts to visualize data, what I have implemented here.

“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” by Daniel Keys Moran.

Let’s start finding information hidden in our Data. I am considering primarily 6 countries Australia, China, India, Japan, UK and USA. Through dashboard, you can select/deselect other countries as well

First let’s have a look on distribution of population across different countries of world. Below “geo map” shows India and China are most populated countries of the worlds, which we already know and Data is also saying the same.

Now, comparing “unemployment” among countries considering data from 1991 to 2013. I have shown this comparison using motion chart which is best in my opinion in plotting time-series data.

In the year 1991, Australia, USA and UK have high unemployment in comparison with India, China and Japan. The reason for this is the recession that happened in early 1990s. From November 1982 to July 1990 the U.S. economy experienced robust growth, modest unemployment, and low inflation. On October 19, 1987 stock markets around the world crashed. In the U.S. the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost over 22% of its value. Although the causes of “Black Monday” were complex, many saw the crash as a sign that investors were worried about the inflation that might result from large U.S. budget deficits. Other causes of the early 1990s recession included moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the late 1980s and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990. Australia and UK were also sufferers of this recession. Data shows they got stability around after 1995. Then from 2008 again, great recession occurred which has affected countries like Japan, UK, US for the below time periods:


Although, it seems India was not affected by this great recession but this was virtually correct. India was affected severely by this recession but it can be said that it was not visible to us at that time. The decline in GDP and value of “rupee” has shown the picture of this affect to us in 2008-09.<>/p

The graph for official exchange rate shows the, India has suffered a lot because of recession, value of rupee is going down since 1990. Today (date:15-03-2015), official exchange rate is 1 USD = 62.09 INR.

One interesting thing is also coming out of this motion chart is the rise of Japan in Financial world. Let’s investigate how Japan has done that. The exchange rate between the Japanese yen and the US dollar was a measure of the vitality of the Japanese economy, and of US pressure on Japan to allow the yen to increase in value, thereby making it easier for American companies to do business in Japan.

By 1971 the yen had become undervalued. Japanese exports were costing too little in international markets, and imports from abroad were costing the Japanese too much. Following the United States measures to devalue the dollar in the summer of 1971, the Japanese government agreed to a new, fixed exchange rate as part of the Smithsonian Agreement, signed at the end of the year. This agreement set the exchange rate at ¥308 per US$1. In the 1970s, Japanese government and business people were very concerned that a rise in the value of the yen would hurt export growth by making Japanese products less competitive and would damage the industrial base. The government therefore continued to intervene heavily in foreign-exchange marketing (buying or selling dollars), even after the 1973 decision to allow the yen to float.

During the first half of the 1980s, the yen failed to rise in value even though current account surpluses returned and grew quickly. From ¥221 in 1981, the average value of the yen actually dropped to ¥239 in 1985. In 1985 a dramatic change began. Finance officials from major nations signed an agreement (the Plaza Accord) affirming that the dollar was overvalued (and, therefore, the yen undervalued). This agreement, and shifting supply and demand pressures in the markets, led to a rapid rise in the value of the yen. From its average of ¥239 per US$1 in 1985, the yen rose to a peak of ¥128 in 1988, virtually doubling its value relative to the dollar. After declining somewhat in 1989 and 1990, it reached a new high of ¥123 to US$1 in December 1992. The yen’s increased value made Japanese exports less price competitive and imports more price competitive, which should have brought down the value of trade and current account surpluses. In this way Japan got liberalization and value of yen got increased.

We have talked a lot of unemployment, recession, GDP, exchange rate; now let’s have a look at Birth rate of different countries.

The data is considered from 1960 to 2012. In the race of birth rate, India was first in the year 1960 and without any surprise it is still holding the first position. But from 1963 onwards the population started rising in China, which was around 2.4% per year, due to which it becomes the highest populated country in the whole world. To control population, in 1970s the Chinese government had issued 3 main policies to reduce the birth rate:

  1. Late Marriages
  2. Longer spacing between birth of two kids
  3. Fewer children

The results were positive and birth rate start declining for China. Till 1978 it was in control and again after it started rising then in 1979 the authority tightened their control and limited household to only one child. The goal of this policy was to limit China’s population to 1.2 billion by the year 2000 which resulted into decrease in birth rate. In 2002, Chinese government had created many laws against Family Planning and Marriage Law. Citizens were so restricted that today China is the most controlled country in terms of birth rate and population. On the contrary, India had also tried controlling the population and birth rate but the efforts were not as appreciable as that of China.

This was the country wise comparison on different parameters.

Also, I have tried studying few commentary parameters together for each of 6 countries (India, Australia, US, UK, China, Japan)

Let’s look at our India. Below graph shows the current scenario of population distributed in different age groups. As we can see that there is decrease in population in age group 0-14 which means that India is also working on decrement of birth rates.

Another interesting feature that I want to bring here is the usage pattern of telephone lines. There is sharp decrease in landline usage from 2005 as internet was getting popular from the year 2000. People started using Internet more than landline phones for communication. Also, because of smartphone era, the internet usage has gone up several times from 2008 onwards. Now we will find very few homes having landline connection, on the contrary max hands are having smart phones in their hand.

There are lot many things in this data visualization but I am stopping this post here. You can find full working and interactive Dashboard here with lot more countries and parameters, change the parameters to get the different graphs and comparison charts.

Like India, there is separate study for rest of 5 countries as well. You can go and refer them.

Thank you readers!

Have a nice day!

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