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US Births by Day (Project Health Viz)

Last year, I came across a beautiful visualization showing 200 years of American immigration in the form of tree rings. The visualization, shown below, was created by Northeastern University’s Pedro Cruz, John Wihbey, Avni Ghael, and Felipe Shibuya.


I absolutely love this visual for its ability to provide quick insights while also working as a standalone piece of art.

Ever since seeing this, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do something similar in Tableau. So, when Lindsay Betzendahl announced the topic for January’s Project Health Viz, I was super excited. The data set shows US births for every day between 1994 and 2014. I wanted to show each year as its own ring, then “grow” outward as we add on additional years. The idea was to get some insight as to which days of the year have higher or lower birth rates over the course of the 11 years in the data set. Below is the final result (click the image to view the interactive version).


Note: On the bottom right of the visualization, there are two toggles that allow you to show annotations and a grid. The annotations provide some insight on significant peaks and valleys in the data, while the grid makes it easier to compare one part of the radial chart to another. Here’s the visualization with both turned on.


Thanks for reading! If you have any comments or questions, please let me know in the comments section below.

Ken Flerlage, January 1, 2019


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