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The Week In Data: Broken Promises, Presidential Campaigns And Child Safety

This is the Week In Data, our data journalism roundup. Here you’ll find the most-read FiveThirtyEight articles of the past week, as well as gems we spotted elsewhere on the Internet.


  1. NBA Power Ratings And Playoff Odds: Playoff Power!
  2. A Simple, Knicks-Proof Proposal To Improve The NBA’s Draft Lottery
  3. 2015 NBA Playoffs Preview
  4. Should You Get Married (Or Divorced) For Tax Reasons?
  5. Troy Polamalu Was Once On Track To Be In The ‘Greatest Safety Ever’ Conversation
  6. The Red Sox Are On The Wildest Roller-Coaster Ride In Modern MLB History
  7. Jordan Spieth Played A Great Masters, And So Did The Rest Of The Field
  8. The Rays’ Radical Reliever Experiment
  9. Clinton Begins The 2016 Campaign, And It’s A Toss-up
  10. Don’t Be So Happy About That Tax Refund


Soft, stretchy sweatpants: A survey of 6,200 American teenagers found that jeans are on their way out — they’re being replaced by “athleisure,” the marketing term for trouser-wear that doesn’t need unbuttoning at the dining table. [Quartz]


The bank that creates poverty: After months spent investigating the World Bank, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists uncovered evidence that the organization has badly failed on its promises to protect the poor. They estimate that 3.4 million people were physically or economically displaced as a result of projects financed by the bank between 2004 and 2013. Along with their in-depth reporting on the harmful projects and the communities affected, the ICIJ also shared some of the data behind the investigation. [ICIJ]

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Marital tax: When married Americans file their tax returns, it can be hard to predict whether they’re going to pay a penalty or receive a bonus. With these interactive calculators, you can enter your and your spouse’s salaries to see how you fare (it varies a bit by whether or not you have any kids). You can also try this equally brilliant version by our very own Ritchie King. [The Upshot]

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There’s never been a better time to be a worried parent: Whether you’re concerned about your child going missing, being struck by a car or dying before her fourth birthday, look at the data — it all suggests children in America are safer than ever before. [Wonkblog]

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Your 128 great-great-great-great-great-grandparents: This exploration of genealogy is more than a year old, but I only just spotted it this week after Max Roser tweeted about it. Tim Urban goes back 12 generations to take a look at the 4,096 human beings who were your great10 grandparents. He also explains the cousin formula (warning: you may have kissed someone you’re related to). [Wait But Why]


The two-year campaign: Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination 576 days before Americans will vote for president. It wasn’t always this way. [The Upshot]

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Thousands of fatal shootings, 54 officers charged: Compiling cases of police shootings is a painstaking task. The Washington Post teamed up with Bowling Green State University criminologist Philip M. Stinson to do it. They found that prosecutions in such cases were incredibly rare, and that there were stark racial trends: “In three-quarters of the reviewed cases, the race of the charged officer was white. Of those, two-thirds shot and killed a black person. In none of the cases did a black officer fatally shoot a white person.” [The Washington Post]

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A steady climb: This article looks at several aspects of New York City’s cycling infrastructure, based on some new statistics from the city’s transportation department that are pretty fascinating: The number of commuters on bikes has quadrupled since 2002. [CityLab]



CLARIFICATION (April 20, 12:12 p.m.): This article has been updated to clarify the findings of the ICIJ’s reporting on the World Bank. Their estimates of the number of people displaced by the bank’s projects refer to those who were either physically or economically displaced; the latter category refers to people who kept their homes but lost some portion of their land or suffered damage to their livelihoods.

Mona Chalabi is data editor at the Guardian US, and a columnist at New York Magazine. She was previously a lead news writer for FiveThirtyEight.