Daily Archives: February 17, 2015

Life expectancy in Bolivia – the impact of war and other disasters

Today, I would like to share an interesting “visualization”:

“Nelson Davis of The Vizioneer blog looks at life expectancy by country and highlights the impact war and other disasters have. Click on the screenshot to view the viz. Filter by country and step through the story points for more information on some of the worst impacted countries.”

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.45.52 AM

The author writes: “Great vizzes often lead to the discussion of “how they do that?” and the beautiful thing about Tableau Public is that you can download and reverse engineer it to see what’s going on. Being the curious fellow that I am, I did exactly that and found some interesting things. I also thought it would be interesting to look at the data with a slightly different X-Axis, simply the countries’ rank of life expectancy, which in effect creates a massive bump chart.”

“But it also did something else. The lines of some of the countries had massive shifts in short amounts of time. I began to ask myself why that would be – “What would cause a large decrease in life expectancy rapidly?” It turns out that the answer is very sobering – Genocide and War.”

“When I was in school at Oglethorpe University (before my days at Georgia Tech), I read a book called “A Problem from Hell” by Samantha Power (the current United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations) that examined America’s role in Genocide in the 20th century. It was one of the most moving and core-shaking books I’ve ever read.”

“And so I began to look at this data differently, and I almost fearfully clicked to find Rwanda – the story of genocide which we studied and I knew all too well. The massive loss of life in the early 1990’s lit the screen. The loss of over 1 million people shown in a single line.”

[Here is the graph for Bolivia]

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.45.18 AM


The legend reads:

Bolivia’s life expectancy in 1990 was 58.82 years old. That year ranked 133 in the world. Their population was 6,658,462.