Where does the United States’ finance fall per state?

With the United States I was always given the impression that all states would be ‘on par’ with each other, hence the ‘United’ States, or at least with very little deviation between them all when it comes to wealth. As it turns out they really aren’t and not with little deviation either.

As of February 2014 Mississippi was seen to be the state with the lowest Per Capita income at $20,000 per individual, which isn’t unbelievably low don’t get me wrong. If you treated Mississippi as a country it would be 7th, just behind Great Britain. But when you incorporate it into the United States, which has an average of $28,000 that is a huge deviation in the wrong direction. To have an average that high when including other states like Mississippi it usually tends to mean that you have other extreme circumstances at the other end of the spectrum. We will look more into this later on.

Initially noticing that there was such a large difference in Per Capita Income for the different States I presumed that there would be some sort of pattern, but as it turns out Mississippi really does just seem to be positioned in the middle of everything: Density, Size, Population within the US. But just not for the average income per individual and it wasn’t really making any sense. At this point I looked into the possibility that Mississippi may have been an anomaly, but besides the fact you can’t really discount an entire state as an anomaly due to it being the equivalent to just discounting 3,000,000 people, it turns out there are states at the other end of the spectrum; this is where I saw a slight pattern to form.

WealthiesStatePerCapitaIncome-

This visualisation shows the contrast between states when observing Per Capita Income. What soon becomes apparent is that although Mississippi may not be classified as an anomaly it is definitely an outstanding state along with Idaho, Arkansas and West Virginia which I would presume each have their own, if not a unified reason as to why they are so far apart financially when compared to the country as a whole. What can also become observable is that the majority of the wealthier states all seem to be situated on the East coast with states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland. All of which are as close to bordering each other as you are going to get considering they are the top four states when it comes to Per Capita Income as it is with Median Household Income also. As you can see below more clearly.

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I guess what this may seem to represent is that we should all just Migrate to the East to earn a bit of cash that we all seem pretty desperate for at the moment. But what you will begin to see is that the living expenses down in these states will also be ranked very highly on the cost of living scale. In fact 3 of the 4 states are in the top 5 most expensive states to live in. So as it is when it comes to Britain as a whole and London, although you may be able to earn triple your salary down there, with the money you earned you can either get a 2-bed apartment in the centre or you can buy a nice 6-bedroom farmhouse in my hometown Holmfirth. So essentially nine times out of ten the salary and living expenses essentially cancel each other out.

If you can find an appropriate state where the income looks as pretty as it should and the living expenses aren’t through the roof. It’s probably a given that this is where your most likely to find yourself in a more comfortable financial situation in the future

Sources

 US Central Bureau: Per Capita Income statistics along with the brief median household income.

Yahoo.finance.com: The most costly states to live in.

targetmap.com: Where I created the Data Visualisation

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Averages, like drinking through the morning; everyone knows you shouldn’t but in the moment you feel the need to ignore the consequences.

Averages are commonly misconceived as an extremely useful tool in certain situations. Without a doubt averages are highly useful within most sets of data but they are so overused it essentially blinds you to the true meaning of whatever set of data you may have.

 

Lets take a very random situation like the planet Mars for example. Let the atmosphere itself be negligible in the situation we are observing and just take into account the temperature itself. Say human’s were to make an attempt to live on Mars at some point in the future, it is common knowledge that the average temperature on mars is just around -50°C. This isn’t all too extreme relative to other neighboring planets, our planet has been recorded to be almost -100°C at some points in time. So say, as a global community we decide to migrate to Mars without the understanding that the spread of data used to record the average is huge! Reaching temperatures of lower than 125°C in some areas and within 24hours passing by the temperature has ranged from a horrific -100°C to an average summers day of 20°C. So within a few hours we have gone from making ourselves at home with maybe a warm fire, (excluding the lack of Oxygen of course) to dying a horrible death of hypothermia and terrible frostbite.

 

This is essentially what is happening to people using the mean unnecessarily, sometimes with a large spread of data you just have to get off your arse and evaluate the set of data as a whole instead of abbreviating it down to one useless number. Certain individuals (narcissistic businessmen) may use this lack of knowledge to their advantage, and taking your naivety as a given will simply blind you from the real truth of the matter.

 

Of course averages can be used usefully and essentially in some instances, but the important thing is to just take them at face value for what they are and never go deeper into believing this is the source to every piece of data that lies within.

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What Inspired my Blog?

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Find the Book here, http://tinyurl.com/n9ttq3t awesome read!

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Is this as bad as Data-Graphics can possibly get?

There are no words

There are no words

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/dec/18/is-this-the-worst-ever-infographic

Make a list of everything you can possibly do wrong in a “Business Startut” info-graphic; it’s almost definitely going to be a part of this post. The post involves that many undignifying mistakes, it would probably be easier to make a decent and accurate post by using this as a basic template and just do the polar opposite for every little word you use. This may range to the odd spelling mistake here or there, all the way to doing some sketchy pie chart using numbers which add up to 134%.

These actually make this post borderline brilliant.

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The Importance of Statistics

What is intelligence?

What is intelligence?

To understand any set of given numbers is something to aspire to in itself. It is not easy to break down an unlimited supply of numbers, statistics and qualitative information. This is becoming increasingly more important in the economic and social world we live in. This can be related to Nate Silver’s given term ‘the signal and the noise ‘. What can be identified as a signal to relevant information, as oppose to just background noise which may be analysed at extraordinary lengths but never actually be any use in future reference to the problems in which you are trying to solve.

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