Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Visualizing State Taxes in Number of Days Worked

For the past month or so, I’ve been looking for data sets to play with. As a journalist, I really enjoy finding interesting ways to visualize data, and I needed some to play with.

I came across Visualize This: Days Spent Working to Pay Taxes, a challenge posted to Flowing Data:

About 28.2% of the average American’s income goes towards taxes, which means the first 103 days of the year is to pay for government. At the end of these 103 days – April 13 – is Tax Freedom Day. However, because of varying state-by-state tax burdens and average incomes, Tax Freedom Day varies by state. Alaska, for example, has the earliest Tax Freedom Day (March 23) because it has low state and local taxes while Connecticut is last on April 30, because of “extraordinarily high federal income taxes.” For this Visualize This we’re looking at the number of days each state spends paying taxes this year (2009).

FlowingData explores how designers, statisticians, and computer scientists are using data to understand ourselves better – mainly through data visualization. Money spent, reps at the gym, time you waste, and personal information you enter online are all forms of data. How can we understand these data flows? Data visualization lets non-experts make sense of it all.

So, I didn’t get mine done in time for the contest, and the results were posted today.

Edit: These two are my favorites:

Tax Freedom Day by State 1977-2009 from Alex Lundry on Vimeo.

Here is my belated attempt (click for larger view):days_to_pay_taxes

I wanted to do something with the state median incomes as well, but I’m having trouble getting the numbers to make sense.

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