Graphic detail

Charts, maps and infographics

  • Daily chart

    Return of the Mac

    by THE DATA TEAM

    The Economist’s Big Mac index gives a flavour of how far currency values are out of whack. It is based on the idea of purchasing-power parity, which says exchange rates should move towards the level that would make the price of a basket of goods the same everywhere. Our basket contains only one item, but it is found in around 120 countries: a Big Mac hamburger. 

    If the local cost of a Big Mac converted into dollars is above $5.28, the price in America , a currency is dear; if it is below the benchmark, it is cheap. The average cost of a Big Mac in the euro area is €3.95, or $4.84 at the current exchange rate. That implies the euro is undervalued by 8.4% against the dollar.

  • Daily chart

    How gender is (mis)represented in economics textbooks

    by DATA TEAM

    TEXTBOOKS are often contentious. In economics, most of the debate has been about how well the models they contain describe reality. Following the presentation of new research by Betsey Stevenson and Hanna Zlotnick, both at the University of Michigan, a new controversy is likely to open up, focused on the people that authors of American textbooks use as examples. The authors found that the gender mix in these vignettes consistently misrepresents the actual proportions found in the United States.

    Ms Stevenson and Ms Zlotnick pored through eight leading textbooks on the principles of economics. Every time a person was mentioned, they recorded that individual’s gender and occupation.

  • Daily chart

    How car colours reflect Britain’s national sentiment

    by THE DATA TEAM

    CAR buyers are said to choose vehicles that reflect their personality. In Britain the colour may also reflect the national mood. In the late 1990s Britons bought cars in bright primary colours, perhaps mirroring the optimism of the early years of Tony Blair’s New Labour administration. In the following years, as the economy ticked along steadily, they went for sensible greys and silvers. As economic hardship followed the financial crisis, sentiment turned darker as black cars predominated. 

    The popularity of white cars is harder to explain.

  • Daily chart

    All the president’s tweets

    by THE DATA TEAM

    THE president’s dearest supporters and bitterest opponents are united in their wish that less attention be paid to his social-media habit. Stephen Miller, a policy adviser, and Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, have tried valiant defences, but many Republicans prefer to feign ignorance. Some of Mr Trump’s critics detect a more insidious motive, “a weapon to control the news cycle”, as George Lakoff, a professor emeritus at Berkeley, puts it. In this reading, the president is a puppet-master whose tweets distract from scandal and divert attention from substantive issues.

  • Daily chart

    In Germany, online hate speech has real-world consequences

    IN AUGUST 2015 Heiko Maas, Germany’s justice minister, wrote an open letter to Facebook demanding better enforcement of the country’s laws against slander, defamation and hate speech. “The internet is not a lawless space where racist abuse and illegal posts can be allowed to flourish,” he told the social-networking giant. But despite Mr Maas’s efforts, hate speech has continued to proliferate on German social media. Much of it has been directed at the country’s 1.2m migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, most of whom are Muslim. 

    New research suggests that this digital hatred is now spilling over into the real world.

  • Daily chart

    Trust me, I’m a journalist

    by THE DATA TEAM

    ON JANUARY 17th Donald Trump will announce the inaugural winners of his “Fake News Awards”, presented to the “most biased and corrupt” organisation in America’s mainstream media. Since he took office nearly a year ago, Mr Trump has waged a war of words against what he perceives as unfair treatment by the news elite. His principal targets are the “failing” New York Times and “fake news” CNN. 

    A poll by Pew Research, a think-tank based in Washington, demonstrates how successful Mr Trump has been in souring his fans’ attitudes towards the press.

  • Daily chart

    Teenagers are becoming much lonelier

    by THE DATA TEAM

    Audio and Video content on Economist.com requires a browser that can handle iFrames.

    IN MANY ways, teenagers living in rich countries are far better off these days. Compared with teenagers ten or 15 years ago, they get on with their parents better, fight less, get pregnant less often and do less damage to their bodies by smoking or drinking heavily. More will go to university. But there is one big exception. In almost every OECD country, the proportion of 15-year-olds who say that they make friends easily at school has fallen sharply. The decline was especially steep between 2012 and 2015. 

    Smartphones and social media could be partly responsible.

  • Daily chart

    Measuring the Trump bump

    by THE DATA TEAM

    RARELY can the news media can make it even one day without Donald Trump dominating their coverage. Chartbeat, an analytics company that tracks online readership, provided The Economist with aggregated figures from some 8,000 publishers in 50 countries. About half the data come from English-speaking countries, and a quarter from Europe. Last year, a total of 3m articles appeared in these publications that included a mention of Mr Trump. It took their audiences a combined 17m days to get through them.

    In theory, those readers might have spent just as much time on other subjects if the media had opted for a broader mix of coverage.

  • Daily chart

    Are women in economics held to a higher standard than men?

    by DATA TEAM

    AT THE big annual shindig of American economists, held last week in Philadelphia, one line of research stood out: women in economics. From the low share of female graduates in economics, to the “leaky pipeline” that brings few women all the way to the top ranks in academia, there was no shortage of problems to prompt scientific soul-searching. In that vein, a study by Erin Hengel of the University of Liverpool presented at the conference points to one possible reason why female economists publish fewer papers than male ones: journal editors and reviewers may be holding female authors to a higher standard than male ones. 

  • Daily chart

    The fastest-growing and shrinking economies in 2018

    by THE DATA TEAM

    EVER since the global economy completed its rebound from the financial crisis of 2008, it has grown at a moderate but steady pace. That trend is likely to continue in 2018: according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the world’s GDP is expected to increase by 2.7% this year, just slightly less than the 2.9% registered in 2017.

    Once again, the biggest contributor will be China. The world’s second-biggest economy is projected to grow by 5.8% this year, representing roughly a third of the total global expansion.

  • Daily chart

    Will Donald Trump’s pro-coal policies put miners’ lives at risk?

    by THE DATA TEAM

    PRESIDENT Donald Trump has frequently promised to put America’s coal miners “back to work”. But coal mining, unlike property investing, is a dangerous occupation. Fifteen coal miners died on the job in 2017, up from eight the previous year, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). This represents only the third increase in fatalities in 14 years.

    America’s coal mines are much safer than they used to be. In the 1990s an average of 45 miners died on the job every year. Since 2010, when a massive explosion in West Virginia killed 29 miners, that figure has been cut nearly in half.

  • Daily chart

    The pensions struggle

    by THE DATA TEAM

    THE world economy and most asset markets are buoyant. But for future generations of retirees, their strong performance is of scant comfort. The latest pension report from the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, notes that whereas public spending on pensions in its member states has risen by about 1.5% of GDP since 2000, it is expected to slow substantially in the future. As the average age of these countries’ populations continues to rise, their governments will be hard-pressed to slow the growth in pension spending without squeezing the real value of benefits. In 2015, for every 100 people in OECD countries aged 20 to 64 years old, there were 28 who were 65 or older.

  • Daily chart

    2017 was the safest year on record for commercial passenger flights

    by THE DATA TEAM

    COMMERCIAL air travel is getting safer. According to data released by the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), an online database, there were just five accidents involving civilian flights on aircraft with a capacity of 14 or more passengers in 2017, resulting in 31 deaths—the smallest figure since records began. And for the first time since 1957 there were no accidents or fatalities involving passenger jets (those who lost their lives in 2017 were all travelling in propeller-driven aircraft). By contrast, in 1972 there were 55 accidents in which more than 2,400 lives were lost. Passenger-jet accidents accounted for 60% of those deaths. 

  • Daily chart

    How New Year’s Day will traverse the globe and its people

    by THE DATA TEAM

    AS THE clock strikes midnight on January 1st 2018, revellers on the easternmost islands of Kiribati will be the first people on dry land to ring in the new year—a claim made possible by their location in the Pacific Ocean and an arbitrary designation of time zones. Those living in Hawaii, which lies at roughly the same longitude, will need to wait another 24 hours to see off 2017. And a bit farther westward, party-goers in American Samoa will be the very last to welcome midnight a full hour later.