Poverty and Inequality

I have started to work on a project which I call “Poverty and Inequality”. This I do mainly because those are among the most important and terrible problems facing humanity – as shown in the following slide deck – but also in preparation of reading “Capital” by Piketty which focuses on inequality.

The data is derived from World Development Indicators. I have selected All Countries, twenty two Series relevant to the project, and twelve Years from 2001 to 2012. The resulting data table has been Datashaped and pivoted in order to give it a form optimal for analysis and visualization in Tableau. I have defined parameters and calculated fields that may be used to parametrize measures and thereby simplify the exploration of the data table. I have made sheets to display parametrized Tables, Bar Charts, Histograms, Histograms with overlays of histograms of Normal Curves with the same means and standard deviations, Box Plots, Tree Maps, Bubble Charts, Symbol Maps, Filled Maps, Scatter Plots, and ScatterPlot Matrices. It is much easier to select measures for these sheets from a list than to make sheets for each of the measures.

The data is derived from a census of all countries in the world. It is difficult to estimate its reliability (accuracy, consistency, stability). It is obviously not possible to calculate a reliability coefficient for the data. It is for example not possible to apply the test-retest methodology. It is also difficult to estimate the validity of the data. Do the World Development Indicators measure what we want to measure and what we think we are measuring.

The World Bank makes the following statement: ” The primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources, presents the most current and accurate global development data available. World Development Indicators (WDI) is the World Bank’s flagship statistical database and establishes the benchmark against which development progress is measured. WDI aims to provide relevant, high-quality, internationally comparable statistics about development and the quality of people’s lives around the globe. WDI data are presented by country, by topic, and by indicator. In addition to the descriptions of topics, indicator definitions, and data sources, “about the data” notes put indicators in the development context. In the “about the data” notes, information is provided on the usefulness of data, limitations, and potential weaknesses in the data.” However, in the book “World Development Indicators ” it is stated: “The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work.”

One of the topics of the World Bank is Poverty with the following website:


The Wave - Hokusai

Economic Inequality

Economic inequality is one of the most serious problems for humanity.

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