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The Week In Data: Money, Marriage And The Midwest

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. A Radical Proposal To Destroy The NHL’s Loser Point
  2. Without Jeter, The Yankees Improved More At Shortstop Than Any Other MLB Team
  3. NBA Power Ratings And Playoff Odds: The Toughest Remaining Schedule
  4. A Statistical Analysis of the Work of Bob Ross
  5. March Madness Crib Notes: What’s Likely To Happen In The Final Four
  6. Here’s A Timetable For When Knicks Fans Should Run Out Of Patience With Phil Jackson
  7. This Year’s Kentucky Team Is More Dominant Than Indiana’s Undefeated 1976 Squad
  8. To Make The Playoffs, Hockey Teams Play Not To Win
  9. The Legend Of Tom Izzo Grows
  10. The Fast And The Furious Would Be Nothing If Vin Diesel Weren’t A Huge Nerd


Sliced spending: Household expenditures have changed a lot over the past 30 years. Food and clothing accounted for a smaller share of spending in 2013, while the fraction of a household’s budget that went toward health care and housing rose. This interactive visualizes those changes with valuable nuance — you’re able to select which income quintile you want to look at, as well as the marital and parental status of the householder. Doing so lets you see how richer households are able to budget to ensure their financial security — insurance and pensions account for 16 percent of total spending for households in the highest income bracket, compared to just 2 percent of spending for households in the lowest income bracket. [Nathan Yau]

Relatively rapid changes: In two simple charts, The New York Times showed this week just how quickly gay marriage was banned across America — and how quickly it was subsequently legalized. [The New York Times]

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Gender inequality in 177 countries: Understanding gender differences in education, labor force participation, parliamentary participation and income levels around the world is now much easier thanks to this interactive. Clicking around, you can find stories that aren’t often told — for example, Rwanda and Burundi have some of the smallest gender gaps in income and labor force participation of any country in the world. [Ri Liu]

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Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 12.34.15 PMParental guilt: Working fathers are almost twice as likely as working mothers to say they feel they spend too little time with their children. Which, in a way, isn’t surprising given that mothers spend twice as much time with their children as fathers do (14 hours per week for moms compared to 7 hours for dads according to time diary data). Those differences appear to be having a big effect on how men view themselves as fathers — among dads who say they’re not spending enough time with their kids, only 49 percent also say they are doing an excellent or good job as a parent. [Pew Research Center]

Can you believe she *&#$!?@ said that?: A new poll of 997 U.S. adults highlights a few interesting regional differences in how people feel about swear words. Those in the Northeast of the country are more inclined to believe that cursing can be descriptive and valuable to conversations whereas Midwesterners and Southerners are far more likely to see profanity as plain old offensive. A similar regional difference emerges when you look at small talk; Americans in the Northeast prefer to be left to their own thoughts while those elsewhere are more likely to enjoy striking up a conversation with a stranger. [YouGov]

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Californian consumption: This week, Gov. Jerry Brown issued the first mandatory water restrictions on California’s residents, prompting the question of just how much water people are using. This interactive visualizes the answer by mapping daily use in gallons per capita in the state last summer and this past winter. [The New York Times]

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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.