Does This Graph Make You Feel Old ... or Young?


They say age is a relative thing. With this graph, you can tell how old (or young) you are, relative to everyone else. (I'll let you decide whether this is a good thing, or a bad thing, hahaha!)

Nathan Yau recently posted a graph on flowingdata.com that allows you to see what percentage of the people are older and younger than you (see snapshot below). You first find your age along the bottom/x-axis, and then hover your mouse over the graph approximately above that age. In his interactive version, he shows you the percent of people older & younger than that age, in hover-text.

It was an interesting graph, but I thought a few things could be improved. There was nothing in the graph letting you know whether it represented the world population, the US population, or other (you had to read the text of the article to find it is the US population). Similarly, the graph didn't mention what year the data represented (if someone looks at the graph 20 or 50 years from now, that could be a problem). And he used a 'pink' color in the graph, which I at first (incorrectly) thought might represent the female 1/2 of the population. It was also difficult to know if you were hovering your mouse over your exact age, since the graph was a continuous area and hover-text didn't include the age.

I found another version of the graph that Ramon Martinez created. His version did show which country or region was graphed (yay!) It also include the age in the hover-text (yay again!). But he used pink & blue for the colors (which really made me think it represented female & male when I first glanced at it). And his y-axis showed negative values in the bottom half, which could cause confusion.

As you probably know, I seldom complain about a graph without creating my own version to demonstrate how I would have done it differently. So, here's my version...

I show the country and year in the title, I have detailed explanatory text on the graph, and I included reference lines to help your eyes visually follow from the axes to the graph. Since the data is for discrete ages, I used discrete bars (rather than a continuous area chart), and I chose neutral colors (not pink & blue that people might think represent gender). Click the chart below to see the interactive version with hover-text. Note that the hover-text contains very detailed descriptions with carefully-worded text to let you know exactly what the data represents.

age_analysis_us

Here are the graphs for a couple of other countries that might be interesting to compare to the US graph. Note that Japan has a somewhat older population than the US, and Qatar has a much younger population:

age_analysis_japan

 

age_analysis_qatar

Feel free to download my code, and experiment with creating your own population plots, for your country!

And now for the 'random' photos section! A lot of my friends are "very well preserved" and look (and act) much younger than they really are. My buddy Will is a great example - I first met him on a volunteer day helping build the North Carolina Mountain to Sea trail. I could barely keep up with the guy, even though he was about 30 years older than me!

How old is Will? ... I'll give you a hint ... only 3.0% of the US population is older than him (bring up the interactive version of my graph, and look at the hover-text for the various bars until you find out his age). Here are a few pictures of Will, having fun at the beach, and doing a 'little' gardening:

This content was reposted from the SAS Learning Post. Go there to view the original.

Robert Allison, The Graph Guy!, SAS

Robert Allison has worked at SAS for more than 20 years and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in computer science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from North Carolina State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book calledSAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics.

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Re: USA belongs to the 30-somethings
  • 7/19/2016 8:31:06 PM
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..

Louis comments on "50 is the new 30":


 Let's make sure the millennials hear about this, on second thought, they probably don't care, since they are going to live forever right ?


 

Maybe by the time they're into their 30s, they're starting to wise up and investigating options like cryonics.

It's the adolescents-to-20-somethings that seem to think they're immortal. That's probably a major reason why military establishments prefer to recruit (or draft) soldiers from that age group ...

..

Re: USA belongs to the 30-somethings
  • 7/19/2016 8:55:30 AM
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Many years ago I remember seeing some TV interview show where they tried to determine the "ideal" age where people felt the most satisfied and happy. I do remember the age of 35 seemed to be the one picked. I wonder if the graphs have any correlation? Perhaps having half the people older than you at 35 and half younger is a perfect point?

Re: surprised
  • 7/19/2016 8:43:33 AM
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@Louis I believe it changed it. Now the simpler sets have upper age limits, say 8-12, while the more difficult ones just say 16+.

Re: surprised
  • 7/18/2016 7:16:18 PM
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@Ariella   This is sad, very sad.  I hope this is not still on lego boxes.

Re: USA belongs to the 30-somethings
  • 7/18/2016 7:14:51 PM
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"....since "50 is the new 30 ..."

 

I think there is something to this statement.  Let's make sure the millennials hear about this, on second thought, they probably don't care, since they are going to live forever right ?

Re: USA belongs to the 30-somethings
  • 7/18/2016 5:58:41 PM
NO RATINGS

@Lyndon_Henry hah! Numbers will become utterly meaningless then. I don't think most people expect to be in the same place at 50 as they did at 30. However, given what my pediatrician said about maturity pushing adolescence all the way to 25, perhaps 25 is the new 18. 

Re: USA belongs to the 30-somethings
  • 7/18/2016 5:40:49 PM
NO RATINGS

..

Ariella asks "Do you ever see a 50 over 50 list?"

No, but that sure would be relevant, since "50 is the new 30 ..."

..

Re: USA belongs to the 30-somethings
  • 7/18/2016 2:25:18 PM
NO RATINGS

@Lyndon_henry that actually bothers me less than seeing all these 30 under 30 or 40 under 40 lists. Do you ever see a 50 over 50 list?

USA belongs to the 30-somethings
  • 7/13/2016 10:44:29 PM
NO RATINGS

..

The way I read Robert's graph, at about the age or 35 or so, you would be at the point where half the population is younger and half older than you are.

Downhill from there...

Sorry for the bad news ...

 

Re: surprised
  • 7/12/2016 2:47:42 PM
NO RATINGS

@PC <That's twenty years of being too old for legos.. :-(< a bleak sentence, indeed." It's interesting that they picked 120. It's a traditional Jewish blessing for longevity to say, "may you live to 120." I still recall my great-aunt remarking that you get to a point when you would be happier to just make it to 119 (she didn't make it to 100, though I'm pretty sure she topped 90).

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