Visualizing Worldwide Births and Deaths

Some folks in cyberspace have taken to visualizing data on births and deaths worldwide. This simulation shows the spot on a world map where a birth or a death has been recorded, and flashes it before your eyes. Green for birth, red for death. While numbers are thrown out there in the media (4.1 births per second), it’s hard to imagine what that looks like. This map does just that.

One colleague has pointed out that this map skews toward countries that do very good census keeping, so maybe this doesn’t show all of them. But in the meantime this simulation both shows you where these demographic events are happening, and how big of a discrepancy there is between the rates. This could be a place for great data mining and future publications, assuming one can get at the data that is running behind this sim.

For example, can we see areas that are being disproportionately hit by diseases (ebola?) and do those deaths really seem to be a large percentage of deaths worldwide? Can we see where programs for abstinence versus family planning are in effect? How about trends in births or deaths–can we see where one country has many births in one streak, and then few for a while, and can this tell us about events that may have marked conception (a.k.a. can we see February 14th popping up in the U.S.A. if we look around Nov 14th?).

In the meantime, enjoy the simulation. It’s quite hypnotizing.

Here’s the link: http://worldbirthsanddeaths.com

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