Example/Project Ideas: GapMinder’s “Wealth & Health of Nations”

GapMinder is a website I showed earlier in the semester when we discussed scatterplots.   GapMinder has a wealth of data that is available for download, and so is a very good source for project topics and datasets.  They provide datasets for 519 (!) different “indicators” listed alphabetically–everything from “Adults with HIV (%, age 15-49)”) to “Yearly CO2 emissions (1000 tonnes)”!

Browse through the list to get some project ideas (clicking under the “Download” column downloads the data in an Excel file; clicking under “View” opens a Google spreadsheet with the dataset.)

The scatterplot I showed in class earlier in the semester showed the “Wealth & Health of Nations“, as measured by life expectancy (a measure of a country’s health) vs. GDP per capita (a measure of its wealth):


Recall that GapMinder shows a time-lapse movie of such scatterplots, showing how this paired data set evolved over the past 200 years.

(In fact, they produced a video called “200 years that changed the world” in which Hans Rosling, the medical doctor and statistician who created GapMinder, provides commentary on this time-lapse data.  Rosling became widely known through his TED talks. His first one, from 2006, is titled “The best stats you’ve ever seen“–it’s worth watching!)

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