For the First Time Ever, Streaming Music Tops CD Sales

It had to happen sometime. Last year, for the first time ever, income for streaming music from services like Pandora and Spotify was higher than sales for CDs.

That’s according to a report released this month by the Recording Industry Association of America, which represents the major recording companies. To be fair it was a pretty dismal year for music sales in general, but that follows the downward trend we’ve seen for years. With the near unlimited selection, and low (to no) cost for streaming services, it was only a matter of time before CDs had to face the music.

1 in 3 Americans Lives With a Gun, But That’s the Lowest Rate in 40 Years

The number of Americans who have a gun in their household is at the lowest rate ever. According to the NORC’s General Social Survey, 32% of Americans either own a gun themselves or live with someone who does. That’s down from the 1970s and 1980s when nearly half of the country lived with a gun.

Bill Gates Has Donated More Money Than The ENTIRE FORTUNE of Most Tech Billionaires

Bill Gates is famous for starting Microsoft, amassing the largest fortune in the world, and now, giving a huge amount of money back. While those first two items are probably the most well known, a quick look at the immense scale of Bill’s giving will probably make you appreciate that even more. According to two lists from Forbes (their famous “Rich List” and “America’s Top 50 Givers), Bill Gates has given away more money than the entire fortune of most tech billionaires. 6 out of 10 to be exact.

Road Trip! Randy Olson Calculated The Optimal Trip to U.S. Landmarks in 48 States

Remember that viral story about the most efficient way to find Waldo? Well, Randy Olson is back with something that could save you more than time hunting for the right guy wearing red and white stripes – this one will save you fuel. With the help of Tracy Staedter from Discovery News, he’s created an interesting exercise in efficient road tripping, charting the optimal route around the 48 contiguous U.S. states stopping at national landmarks all along the way.

A Record Number of Americans Have Never Tied the Knot

Never been married? You’re not alone. With changes in family structure and social norms it’s no shocker that rates of marriage have been declining for the last few decades, but the number of Americans who have never been married has now reached an all time high. As of 2012, one in five adults over 25 years old have never been married. Compare that to 1960, when only one in nine in the same range had never been married.

60 Years Ago, We Spent Twice as Much on Food

It’s not uncommon to get sticker shock when you see your total at the grocery store, but this little fact will make you feel much better: 60 years ago, we spent twice as much on food. Using the latest data from the USDA’s long-time tracking of food expenditures, we charted the information going back just over six decades. The trend is obvious. Out of our total disposable income, Americans are spending a much smaller share on food.

3 Striking Charts Show How Vaccines Have Impacted 20th Century Diseases

Despite the few very loud voices still claiming vaccines are dangerous (and getting a lot of attention in the process), there is overwhelming evidence that they make the world a much safer place. Take the seven interactive heat maps created by Tynan DeBold and Dov Friedman for the Wall Street Journal. Each of the three examples we’ve featured here show the number of cases before and after a vaccine was introduced. Striking isn’t it?

Polarized Approval: Republican & Democrat Opinion of Every President Since Eisenhower

For Presidents Day, Pew Research Center produced an eye opening visualization of presidential approval over the past 62 years, ranging from the beginning of the Eisenhower administration to the latest poll for Barack Obama. Unlike most presidential approval charts, however, this one splits ratings by political party. Overall, 47% of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance (up from 42% in December), but that score hides a growing polarization between Democrats and Republicans.

Data Visualization 101: Area Charts

In our Data Visualization 101 series, we cover each chart type to help you sharpen your data visualization skills.

Like the mountains that they resemble, area charts are a representation of change over time. Whether you’re looking to chart net earnings for individual departments month to month or examining the popularity of music genres since the ‘50s, there are few chart types that communicate time-series relationships so well. Let’s see how area charts can work for you.

Data Visualization 101: Line Charts

In our Data Visualization 101 series, we cover each chart type to help you sharpen your data visualization skills.

Line charts are one of the oldest forms of data visualization, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether you’re tracking the fluctuation of stock prices or the popularity of different wine varieties, they give you an accurate and quickly understandable assessment of the trend, acceleration, deceleration, and volatility of the data in question.