Data visualization: Misery index

The misery index is the sum of the unemployment and inflation. It is a primitive model for economic health and was made popular in a New York Times article of 2008. We since then keep running an animation seen, below. It should be pointed out that since economic data are influenced by many things and actions and policies, it is difficult to interpret the data. Economic measures done by one administration can have influence long after. Decisions done today might effect the misery index much later only. If you want to look at the curated data and where they come from, look at the Data page.


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Illustrating the data in the two dimensional plane was done first in September 2008 for a Math 21a intro meeting. Here is the version ran in 2013. Here are the data just plotted as one dimensional curves (until July 2019) Here is the original NYT article from 2008: