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st: RE: AW: RE: Population-pyramid-like graph - positive barlabels on the left?


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: AW: RE: Population-pyramid-like graph - positive barlabels on the left?
Date   Fri, 21 Jul 2006 14:19:28 +0100

I like that page too, because it gives little movies. 
But give me a quiz afterwards about changes in sex
ratios and I have nothing to say. 

The real question is which kinds of graph are _effective_
in conveying information, not what people like or find
attractive. 

Your "work-around" is logically equivalent to -graph dot-. 
It is not a "work-around"; it is a better graph, in my 
view. 

Nic
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

Gawrich Stefan
> 
> > : Nick Cox [mailto:n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk]
>  
> > It's not the answer you want, but I really don't understand
> > why these pyramids are so popular, or even why their key 
> > limitation is not mentioned more frequently. It must be
> > some sort of social feedback loop, as with pie charts, that
> > within certain groups pyramids are familiar, therefore expected, 
> > and vice versa. 
> [...]
> > A pyramid  obliges the reader mentally to pick up one bar 
> and lay it down 
> > on top of its neighbour. I don't believe that many of us are 
> > very efficient at doing that in our heads. 
> 
> 
> I agree that this is a real disadvantage of population 
> pyramids. There is a
> workaround for this by mirroring the shape on the vertical axis with a
> stacked bar on the minor side showing the difference to the 
> other side. But
> this is no perfect solution. Population Pyramids are better 
> in showing big
> differences or time trends: My former students always loved this page:
> http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbpyr.html (Choose a 
> interesting country,
> click "dynamic" and "Submit query").
> 
> In my case the situation looks like a pop-pyramid but is not: 
> The top left
> bar would probably show Prostate cancer for men, and the top right bar
> breast cancer for women as the most frequent sex-specific cancer
> localisations (I mixed up the sides in my first mail). The 
> second bar from
> the top would show the second most frequent localisations for 
> men and women
> and so on. So comparison of left and right bar is not the 
> major point here. 
> 
> In my experience it's a quite useful basic graph for cancer 
> data because
> many people are interested in cancer ranks. With this graph 
> it's easy to see
> and to compare between the sexes. Plus one gets information 
> on frequencies,
> too. 
> 
> Best wishes 
> 
> Stefan
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