Using census data to improve stories

There are many data sources out there to help writers enhance their stories. From sport stats to disease control outlets, there are endless options to choose from in order to increase your credibility.

I specifically took interest in the United States Census Bureau‘s website. It was helpful in directing me to my topic of interest and deriving some stats from it.

For example, I’m interested in poverty rates because I wish to open free clinics in poverty-stricken areas when I advance in my medical career. The Census Bureau had useful data to provide to me so I could get a better idea of what I was looking for.

To go more in depth, it gave me data collections that connected the keyword “poverty” to “insurance”.

The Census Bureau has data focusing on health insurance and poverty of American citizens.







It is easy to retrieve data on anything you’re interested in. I believe the Census Bureau’s website is useful in articles that are informative because it allows us to look at data from a large scope like the amount of Asians in America to specific cases like the following:

Table of the Percentage of People by Type of Health Insurance Coverage by United States Census Bureau.

Looking at data sources like this, it allows me to be more creative and credible with future posts. When in doubt, look for data on the topic your writing about, you’d be surprised at what you find.

MLive database: A place to find salaries near you

Many people look into salaries when looking for a  job or picking a career to choose in college. MLive database of state employee salaries is a great data set to look at when gathering information about all of the salaries for state of Michigan employees.

This database provides all the  information you would need when looking into salaries, and  the database narrows it down to only Michigan. It’s better then giving you an average salary in general.

MLive is based on salaries in Michigan but does not include any other benefits. This website is made very simple for people to use. All you have to do is type in a name and click the employee you are looking for or you could simply click on the job title you want and it will show you the amount that position makes.


Data stories: What the class picked

Here are the data stories that class members picked to talk about. I’m linking to all of them here so we can discuss on Wednesday. Each of you can talk about your own selection and explain why you picked it, what makes it a “data-driven” story and what you took away from it.


The Guardian: Young voters, class and turnout: how Britain voted in 2017

Snapshot of the election blog.
General election coverage in data blog at The Guardian’s website.


Washington Post: America’s chaotic, crazy, challenging, great, tumultuous, horrible, disappointing year/  A look back at the ups and downs of public opinion in 2017.

Screenshot of WaPo's year in review online.
The Washington Post’s year in review package.



CDC: Autism Spectrum Disorders data

Screenshot of CDB autism disorder data page.
CDB’s website for data on autism.


World.LiveUAMap: Russian Ministry of Defense shows photos … 



New York Times:  How Effective Is Your School District? A New Measure Shows Where Students Learn the Most

Screenshot of NYT schools project online.
New York Times UpShot project on schools.



New York Times: Can requiring people to work make them healthier?

Screenshot of NYT story on work and health.
New York Times story in UpShot on work and healthfulness.


NPR: Veteran Sues After Scalpel Found Inside His Body 4 Years After Surgery


Screenshot of NPR story.
NPR story about a lawsuit over a scalpel left inside a patient and found four years later.

Zeinab and Aya:

The Guardian: Read this before you have a baby (especially if you’re a woman)

Screenshot of Guardian series.
Guardian story on the impact of motherhood on lifestyle and choices in the United States.


New York Times: Why it’s still worth getting a flu shot

Screenshot of the image from the NYT article.
New York Times story on flu vaccines and whether they are worthwhile to get.


New York Times:  Where Athletes in the Premier League, the N.B.A. and Other Sports Leagues Come From, in 15 Charts

Screenshot of NYT sports package.
New York Times data package in athletes from throughout the world.


Travis: Crytocurrency market capitalizations

Screenshot of bitcoin chart.
Database shows crytocurrency rates.


New York Times: Why trying new things is so hard to do

Screenshot of NYT story with image.
New York Times story on why trying things can be hard.

Notes before Wednesday’s class

I’ve receive some of your “data story” links but still need quite a few of them. Please send them before 4 p.m. Wednesday to give me enough time to integrate them into a class presentation we can all look at. If you need a refresher on the links where you might find such stories, you’ll find them here in the readings area of the site.

Also, I want to start setting you all up in the blog, so you can begin blogging. I need your email addresses to do this. For those of you who have already emailed me your links, you’re set! For the rest of you, I’ll be able to add you as a user to the blog as soon as you email me.

Thanks! See all of you Wednesday evening!