Category: Chart of the Week

Chart of the Week: How does net worth vary by age?

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Nov 11, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Personal Finance, Research
Net Worth is an important concept for your students to grasp. It is basically calculated as assets (think savings accounts, investment accounts, a home, a car) minus liabilities (car loan, mortgage, credit card debt).  This chart from Flowing Data introduces this concept of net worth and shows how it varies by age: Questions: What are examples of financial assets?  When does debt (red bars) hit its peak? Can you explain why?  When do assets peak (green bars) for individuals? Can...

Chart of the Week: Who has health care insurance?

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Nov 06, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Insurance, Budgeting
Interesting interactive on Visual Capitalist highlights how Americans differ by age. The chart below shows how health insurance coverage changes based on age?  Questions: At what age are the most Americans have health insurance coverage? Why do you think this is the case?  At what age do the least Americans have health insurance coverage? Why do you think this age group doesn't have health insurance?  What do you think are the factors that impact whether or not someone chooses...

Chart of the Week: Social Media and Halloween Spending

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Oct 29, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Purchase Decisions, Behavioral Finance
Courtesy of National Retail Federation: Questions: Write a one sentence summary for this chart. Finish this sentence: Since 2015, social media has had a ________________ impact on Halloween purchases.  Which social media platform has seen the largest increase since 2015? Do you think this will continue?  The data in the chart came from surveying adults. Complete a chart like this for 2019 based on responses from classmates.  How did social media influence any purchases you may...

Visualization of the Week: How does your state compare on various economic factors?

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Oct 15, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Career, Employment, Insurance
Stumbled upon this visualization on the Census Bureau website which provides state level data on a variety of economic factors, including: Age (median) Commuting to work (mean travel time) Computer and internet access Education (percent of high school graduates) Employment status Health insurance coverage Household income Here's the map with commute times by state: Questions: Go through each of the economic factors listed for your state and list the data for your state (e.g., our state has a...

Chart of the Week: New Car Loans

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Oct 08, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Purchase Decisions, Budgeting, Behavioral Finance
Summary: This chart shows the percentage of new car loans and the term of their loans (in months).  Questions: How would you summarize the trend in the length of new car loans over the past decade? Increasing or decreasing? Which loan term has seen the sharpest increase in the past decade?  What is the relationship between the term of the loan and the amount of the monthly payment? The longer the loan term, the _______ the monthly payment.  The _________ the loan term, the...

Chart of the Week: What is your go-to for product research: social networks or Google?

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Oct 01, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Behavioral Finance
From Visual Capitalist:                                                           Gen Z  Millenial  Gen X   Boomers  Gen Z  Millenial  Gen X   Boomers Questions: Where do you do you product research? Does the answer vary based on the product that you are researching? What social media sites do you use most...

Chart of the Week: Employment and Wage Data by Educational Level

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Sep 10, 2019
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Career, Paying for College, Chart of the Week
Good reminder of the value of education on one chart: Questions: What headline would you give to this chart?  Your friend says "education isn't worth it!" Agree or disagree with them using evidence from the chart.  What is the difference in weekly earnings for a person with a bachelor's degree (four year college) compared to a person with a high school diploma? That is the weekly difference, what would be the annual difference?  Fill in the blanks by picking one of the terms:...

Chart of the Week: Who's Moving?

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Sep 03, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Career, Research
There's a lot going on in this chart: The blue bars measure the # of movers with the scale on the left hand side. For example, in 2018, it appears that 32 million people (scale is in thousands) moved.  Black line shows the Mover Rate (percentage of people moving in a given year) with the scale measured on the right side of the graph. For example, in 2018, the mover rate was about 10%.  Questions: What do you think are the reasons that people move?  What's the overall trend in...

Chart of the Week: Who's Buying Homes These Days?

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Aug 27, 2019
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Budgeting, Chart of the Week
From WSJ: This chart measures the percentage of home buyers by age from 2006-2018 and demonstrates the seismic impact left by the Great Recession. Questions: Do you hope to own a house someday? When do you hope to be able to buy it?  What would be a good headline to summarize the data in the chart? In what year does there appear to be the most dramatic change in the data? Based on the chart, what age group has seen the largest decline in home purchases? What are some possible...

Chart of the Week: Why Investment Fees Matter!

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Aug 20, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Investing, Index Funds
From Vanguard: May want to find a way to cover up the ending balances after 30 years.  Question: Two investors start with $100,000 and earn a 6% return per year for 30 years: One chooses a low-cost mutual fund with a cost of 0.25% (a.k.a. expense ratio) that is applied to their invested assets each year. Note that many index funds have even LOWER expense ratios).  The other chooses a higher-cost mutual fund of 0.63%, which is apparently the weighted average expense ratio for U.S....

Chart of the Week: Spending Patterns By Education Level

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Jun 11, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Budgeting
Great series of charts from our friends at Visual Capitalist (hat tip to Brian Page for also tweeting this out) that analyzes spending by an individual's education level. Two charts are provided below: one for high school graduates, the other for college graduates.  High School graduate:  Explaining the chart: The chart is split into thirds:  Left side: Shows sources of income: salary, Social Security (some of these HS grads are seniors collecting Social Security, dividends...

Chart of the Week: This chart tracks a dramatic trend in energy in the U.K. over the past seven years. Can you figure out the trend?

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Jun 04, 2019
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Chart of the Week
Courtesy of Morning Brew:  Answer: The % of coal-powered electricity used in the U.K. Black indicates over 50%, while the green means 0%.   ...

Chart of the Week: Counterfeit Brands Are A $300 Billion Business

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May 28, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Financial Scams
Click below for the full infographic: Questions: Have you ever bought a product online that you later found out was a counterfeit?  Based on the data in the infographic, are counterfeit products an issue that you should worry about? Provide at least two pieces of evidence. Are some products easier to fake than others? Which products do you need to be most suspicious about based on the data?  What are steps that you can take to ensure that you don't become a victim and purchase...

Chart of the Week: Most Plentiful Well-Paying Jobs that Don't Require a Bachelor's Degree

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May 21, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Career, Employment
Note: Opportunity jobs are those that don't require a bachelor's degree.  Questions: Are you surprised to see any of these jobs on the list as you assumed they required a bachelor's degree? There has been much talk of automation recently. Which jobs do you think are most at risk of being replaced through automation?  47% of Bookkeepers have a bachelor's degree while 53% do not. Who do you think has more job security and a higher wage: the bookkeeper with a bachelor's degree of the...

Chart of the Week: Trend in Food Assistance Programs By State Since 2007

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May 14, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Budgeting
Hat tip for Jessica for pointing out this interactive map showing trends in food assistance programs (aka SNAP or food stamps). For an economics teacher, this interactive helps to explain how the economic cycle affects federal assistance programs.  Here's the static map (click on it to go to the site where it is interactive):  Questions: Looking at the U.S. map in 2017, what trends do you see in the usage of food assistance programs? Are there differences by region? Explain. ...