Tag Archive for Mapping

Map: Montana’s Uninsured Rates By County

Montana UninsuredMontana’s share of uninsured people declined by 1.6 percent, from 21.6 percent in 2012 to 20 percent in 2013. Even with the decline, Montana was among the top 10 U.S. states with the highest rate of uninsured people.

The U.S. Census Bureau released this week its Small Area Health Insurance Estimates for 2013. The data doesn’t yet reflect an anticipated decline to the uninsured rate because of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchange subsidies that became available in 2014.

The Census data show 40 of Montana’s 56 counties still have an uninsured rate that is higher than the state average. In 18 counties, more than a quarter of Montanans under the age of 64 were uninsured.

Garfield County had the largest share of people without health insurance, Lewis and Clark County had the smallest.

Click around the map to see how your county stacks up.

Data: U.S. Census Bureau | Map: Emilie Ritter Saunders

Highest uninsured rates by Montana county:

  1. Garfield County, 32
  2. McCone County, 31.4
  3. Golden Valley County, 30.8
  4. Sanders County, 30
  5. Glacier County, 29.8
  6. Carter County, 29.2
  7. Blaine County, 29.1
  8. Lake County, 28.6
  9. Big Horn County, 28.5
  10. Wheatland County, 27.9

A recent Gallup poll finds Montana’s uninsured rate has dropped more than most since the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented.

More than 48,000 Montanans have signed up for coverage through the federal health insurance exchange.

Montana, like Idaho, hasn’t expanded Medicaid to provide health insurance coverage to more low-income adults.

See how Idaho compares, here.

Mapping Wealth: Montana’s Areas Of High-Income Households

Montana Wealth MapThe U.S. Census Bureau recently released data that looks at wealth density across the country. The data shows where the top 5 percent of income earners in the United States were located from 2007-2011. By Census’ measure, the top 5 percent is defined as households earning at least $191,469 annually.

It’s no surprise the concentration of these high-income earners are mostly in and around urban centers on the coasts. The wealthiest metro-area for example is Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, with 17.9 percent of its households earning at least $191,469 per year.

I put together this interactive county-by-county map for Montana (my home state), where the largest percentage of high-income earners is in the small south-eastern county of Powder River.

Visualizing The Winners And Losers In Idaho’s Business Tax Debate

Like many states, Idaho taxes equipment used by businesses. But the state doesn’t just tax heavy equipment, decor is included. In some cases, so is carpeting, paint, or artwork. It’s called the personal property tax.

Click on the map to explore the data!

Click on the image to check out the live version.

Leading lawmakers here want to nix the tax, so does Idaho’s business lobby. If the tax goes, so does about $140 million in annual local government revenue. To better tell the story, and show in a visual way how counties might be impacted, I mapped it.

The map lets readers click on each county to see how much that county could lose if the personal property tax is repealed. It also shows the top five business property tax payers in each county, those are the businesses with the most to gain if the tax is repealed.

Explore the live version here.

How To Make Campaign Finance Reports Interesting & Invaluable

When you start talking about campaign finance reports, it’s likely more than a few people in your audience will stop listening.  The phrase ‘campaign finance’ is enough to get people to turn the radio dial.

But what happens when you give your audience an interactive, visual experience?  Clicks. Lots and lots of clicks.

Click on the map to see who donated to the Propositions 1, 2 and 3 campaigns.” credit=”Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

A week before the Nov. 6 election, my StateImpact Idaho colleague Molly Messick and I sat down to do some good old fashioned data entry.  Idaho’s Secretary of State keeps an online database of campaign finance reports, but they’re hard to read (many times they’re scanned in hand-written), they aren’t sortable, and they’re certainly not presented in a visual way.

Visualising Election Results On Idaho’s Props 1, 2 And 3

Undoubtedly, the ballot issue that drove Idaho voters to the polls on Nov. 6 was a trio of education laws up for repeal.

Voters did in fact repeal the year-old laws, and in many places by wide margins.  So, I wanted to see which parts of the state voted to keep the laws and which areas rejected them.  I also wanted to compare that to the support voters gave to Idaho’s Superintendent Tom Luna in 2010, the champion of the three education laws.

With help from NPR StateImpact’s intern Yan Lu, here’s the Google Fusion Map that helps tell the story of how Propositions 1, 2, and 3 got repealed.

Click the map to interact with the data.

Reporting On Idaho’s Doctor Shortage

Five-month-old Olivia Vandermate gets examined by Dr. Petrie during a recent check up. Petrie was Olivia’s delivery doctor and has taken care of her since.” credit=”Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact

I spent the majority of October finalizing and rolling out a series of multimedia reports on Idaho’s doctor shortage.

In a nutshell, the number of doctors per capita here is almost the worst in the country, and thanks to an aging workforce, it will likely get worse before it gets better.

It’s easy to research the data and throw out numbers to back up a story, but I wanted to dive deeper.  I wanted to understand how Idaho got to where it is, and why other states that look a lot like Idaho aren’t in this same situation.

The result was one six minute broadcast feature, eight web posts, two topic explainers, two data-viz charts, a photo slideshow, and an interactive map.

Mapping Idaho’s Doctor Shortage

All this week I’ll be rolling out a series of stories on Idaho’s doctor shortage at the StateImpact blog.  The bottom line: Idaho doesn’t have enough doctors and it’s expected to get worse before it gets better.

I kicked off my reporting with this handy map. Check it out!

Click on the map to explore the data.

Making Numbers Visual And Interesting (And Having Fun Too)

One of the best learning opportunities I’ve had as a multimedia journalist for StateImpact Idaho has been figuring out how to incorporate new tools for telling stories into my reporting.

My favorite so far is the mapping tool Google Fusion Tables.  Thanks to NPR StateImpact alum Matt Stiles, I think about data as more than just useful for a quick fact in a radio piece.

Here’s a good example. My colleague in Oklahoma made these sweet maps showing who is moving to and from the Sooner State.  It inspired me to make embark on a similar storytelling adventure.

Credit: Emilie Ritter Saunders | Matt Stiles / StateImpact

I downloaded IRS data that tracks state-to-state migration based on where people file tax returns each year.  I ended up with two maps that are viewed by our audience on a regular basis.

The story wasn’t groundbreaking or conclusive — but it’s interesting and full of factoids.