After the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2020 decennial counts, I produced a data-driven story after analyzing county-level data about the biggest takeaways for the state of Maryland, and created charts to explain the change in the state’s demographics.
Census data showed that Maryland is a majority-minority state for the first time, as less than 50 percent of the state’s residents identified as white. The shift in demographics was largely because of the state’s younger population. The project used visualizations — which included interactive county-level maps — to explain the biggest takeaways from the census data.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The hardest part of the project was to analyze the data in a way that could be fact-checked and reproduced. I accomplished this by creating an R markdown notebook with the data and findings to back each takeaway. This also allowed me to view mock charts, before exporting the data and producing the finished charts.
What can others learn from this project?
Other journalists can learn that creating a reproducible data notebook can be a good practice when reporting data stories, instead of using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. This project used ai2html to create static yet responsive visualizations, which is a workflow other journalists can adopt instead of using images.