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The Week In Data: Refugees, Snapchats, And Animal Trade

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. LeBron James May Go Down As The Greatest Loser Ever
  2. The Best And Worst Airlines, Airports And Flights, Summer 2015 Update
  3. Projecting The Top 50 Players In The 2015 NBA Draft Class
  4. The Warriors Could Be The 1990s Bulls. Or The 1970s Bucks.
  5. The Winners And Losers Of The Women’s World Cup Group Stage
  6. Big Papi Needs More Time To Think
  7. Black Americans Are Killed At 12 Times The Rate Of People In Other Developed Countries
  8. ‘Screen Time’ For Kids Is Probably Fine
  9. Why Donald Trump Isn’t A Real Candidate, In One Chart
  10. Here’s Another Story About How Great LeBron James Is


Eye of the Tiger: Tigers have been traded internationally for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and tiger parts are still used for a variety of natural remedies today. However, as the risk of tiger extinction has grown, lion bones are being used as substitute ingredients. National Geographic explored the global trade patterns for all animal species worldwide. In 2013, 1,680 tigers were traded and 2,473 lions were traded, with the U.S. claiming the overwhelming majority of imports for these animals. [National Geographic]

National Geographic animal trading

NYT refugeesNo place to go: By the end of 2014, a record 59.5 million people will have been forced from their homes due to wars and persecution. Refugees increasingly end up in less-developed countries, as developed nations often try to avoid taking in migrants. One in four refugees now goes to the world’s poorest countries, while countries such as Australia have come under fire for turning away people seeking asylum. [The New York Times]

Down with marriage: Marriage rates are now at their lowest point in U.S. history. They’re even lower than they were during the Great Depression, which, as you might guess, caused many Americans to put marriage plans on the back burner for a few years. Randal S. Olson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, plotted U.S. marriage rates over the past 144 years, and his chart shows the effect major events such as WWI and WWII took on at least one life-cycle decision. [Randal S. Olson]

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.03.19 PM

Your snaps are (relatively) safe: You may want to be careful about what you’re texting if you have a Verizon or AT&T cellphone. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights group, released a report this week about the data disclosure policies of 24 major tech companies, and both Verizon and AT&T received low scores. WhatsApp, which just touted its 700 million monthly active users earlier this year — was the only company to receive one star out of five. The good news is that eight of the 24 companies got a perfect score. And Snapchat, Facebook, and Amazon all received three or four stars, so your selfies, stalking and indulgence buys are safe. [Slate]

Affordable housing crisis: Only 15 extremely low-income families out of every 100 in Travis County, Texas, can find safe, affordable rental housing units. And theirs isn’t a unique situation. In fact, new research from the Urban Institute shows that every single county in the U.S. needs more affordable housing. Most of families seeking affordable housing (more than 80 percent) rely on federal assistance, but federal programs can’t keep up with the need. Researchers built an interactive map that illustrates the problem, showing which areas are in most dire need. [CityLab]

CityLab housing

Abby Abrams is a former data reporter intern for FiveThirtyEight.