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« Beautiful Animated Wind Maps | Main | Shutterstock: Annual Design Trends 2013 Edition »
Monday
Mar112013

Wealth Inequality in America

The Wealth Inequality in America infographic video was posted on YouTube back in November 2012.  The video is a good example of what the best infographic designs accomplish: Make the complex understandable.  

Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is.

The data visualization in the video is very powerful and effective.  It takes the huge numbers that our brains have trouble processing, and visualizes them in a way that we can understand.  Comparing numbers puts them into context for the viewer, and comparing the different fifths of the population works very well in this instance.

The data sources are clearly listed at the end of the video, and they are even made available as clickable links in the video description on YouTube (which is very helpful).  This helps the credibility of the video tremendously.  Not many viewers (4,336,254 views as of the day I post this) will click to the links to view the source data, but they’re there.  Transparency creates credibility.

However, it’s not clear who created and is publishing the video, and this hurts the credibility a little bit, at least to a skeptic like me.  The video was uploaded by the user politizane, whose account was created just to upload this video.  No history of other videos, and no links to a company or website.  The author/designer obviously has an agenda, and spent a lot of time or money creating the video.  It would enhance the credibility even more if the viewer knew who was publishing and promoting the video.

Thanks to Doug for sending the link!

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Reader Comments (3)

Comparing the different fifths of the population is actually misleading, without comparing how individual people move from one bracket to another over time. Here is a response to the video: http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/03/in-response-to-the-viral-wealth-inequality-in-america-video/
March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKalvan
What tax or other policy will it take to create the wealth distribution that 92% of us want to see?
July 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnand
Very insightful. I would love to see similar infographics for some of the developing countries. In my country, South Africa, the divide between rich and poor is even more staggering!
On a technical note - good job on the infographic!
January 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDirk

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