Skip to main content
ABC News
The Week In Data: Probability, Dating And Deceiving Charts

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 Lazy, Out-Of-Shape Amateur Won Two More Super Bowls Than Tony Romo
  2. The Patriots Are Almost Certainly Not Going 16-0
  3. Donald Trump Wants To Eliminate Income Taxes For 31 Million Americans
  4. Why Hurricane Joaquin Is So Hard To Forecast
  5. Who’s To Blame For The Nationals’ Implosion?
  6. How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know Is Her Name
  7. Chat: How Much Damage Has The Email Scandal Done To Hillary Clinton?
  8. Movies Are About To Get Good Again
  9. Republicans Don’t Like Donald Trump As Much As They Used To
  10. Smart Matt Damon Is Hot Matt Damon


Mass shootings: Responding to news of another mass shooting this week, Christopher Ingraham visualized one year of data on U.S. gun deaths. In 2013, the most recent year with complete data, there were 30,000. [The Washington Post]

Where are people most likely to need a working smoke alarm?: A company called Enigma undertook this massive project to map out which neighborhood blocks in the U.S. are least likely to have proper safeguards in case of a fire. Using a detailed model (which they claim has 62 percent accuracy), the initial findings suggest that race, the age of a house, poverty and education level affect the likelihood that a household will have a working smoke alarm. [Enigma, h/t Nathan Yau]

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 3.59.15 PM

How to make 2 percent look huge: A chart used by Rep. Jason Chaffetz during hearings over whether to defund Planned Parenthood conveniently neglected to include a y-axis. So Kevin Drum kindly corrected the chart for Chaffetz. [Mother Jones]

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 4.22.54 PM

The victims of traffic fatalities: Although roads in the U.S. have generally become safer since the 1990s, not everyone has benefited. New research suggests that for people 25 and older with less than a high school diploma, fatality rates from motor vehicle accidents have risen. [The Washington Post]


Smart but not too smart: The latest tranche of data released from the dating site OKCupid reveals that women seem to downplay their professional success when attempting to find a partner. Men do quite the reverse. [The Atlantic]


“Probably” accurate drawings: Ben Orlin sketched out how probability is defined differently in different professions. [Math With Bad Drawings]


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.