Exploring Summary Statistics Using Google Sheets

Google Sheets, which is the online spreadsheet application provided by Google, enables users to create maps as charts within spreadsheets.  This is a very useful way to explore summary statistics.  Two examples are shown below.

Example One: Unemployment in the U.S.

Figure 1. Unemployment Rate by U.S. State, Reported in the 2012-2016 Cumulative American Community Survey (ACS), Distributed by Social Explorer.  Interactive map available online.

Table 1 describes the summary statistics for employment.  The rates of unemployment ranged from 2.77 percent in North Dakota to a high of 17.7 percent in Puerto Rico.  The median value, 7.16 percent, was found in between Delaware (7.13 percent) and Pennsylvania (7.19 percent).

The histogram shown in Figure 2 highlights the extent to which Puerto Rico is an outlier against all other measured unemployment rates for U.S. states.

Figure 2.  Histogram of Unemployment across U.S. States

The original data and charts can also be found on Google Sheets, which is shared here.

Example Two: Per Capita Income in the U.S.

Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of per capita income across U.S. states.  The highest incomes were in the Northeast and the lowest in the Southeast.

Figure 1.  Per Capita Income across U.S. States, ACS (2012-2016).  Interactive map available online.

Table 1 describes the summary statistics for Per Capita Income.  The average income for the states was $29,367, with the highest found in Washington, D.C. ($48,781) and the lowest in Puerto Rico ($11,688).  The median value lies between Kansas and Maine, at $28,476.

Figure 2 below shows the histogram, or distribution of per capita income, across U.S. states.  Puerto Rico, again, is an outlier as a much lower value than for other states.

Figure 2.  Histogram of Per Capita Income across U.S. States

The data and charts presented here can also be found online.

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