Bar Chart

Jersey City 2014 Budget in 4 Easy Graphs

Recently joined OpenJC, a Code for America brigade, and for my first project I worked with Anna Lukasiak to create a set of graphs the 2014 Jersey City Municipal budget for a Budget Forum run by CivicJC.

We began with a scanned pdf which Anna converted into a set of Excel spreadsheets and loaded the data into interactive treemaps. I then made the following four basic charts as an introduction to the revenue and spending of the Jersey City Municipal Government.

The first graph compares the municipal budget to the JC agency budgets. Then a simple stacked bar chart to compare the major revenue sources vs the city spending. Final two charts provide more detail into the revenue and spending 

Data can be found on our project page.

 

The Board of Education budget is approximately 150 million dollars more than the city's municipal budget however most of the funding for the schools is from NJ state government. 


 

The top 3 sources of revenue for Jersey City (80%) are property taxes, abatements (properties with tax breaks offered to owners/developers) and state aid. While 71% of the spending goes to 5 major items: police, health insurance, debt payments, fire, and pensions.


 

The other revenues for the city, the bottom 20%, are from licenses, fees, permits, sale of land, taxes collect for library etc...


 

Finally, while the autonomous agencies have separate budgets, they will receive payments from the city which cover some of their costs. For example the Incinerator Authority gets $34 million while the Library get $8 million and the Parking Authority get around $1 million.


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100 years of Family Spending in the US

My first bar chart illustrates changes in family spending over the 20th century and is based on a report of consumer expenditure data and decennial census reports. This graph shows how the spending on food, clothing and housing has become a smaller percentage of the average family budget, to just over 50%. I them created a second bar chart presenting family spending data in 2009 across different income groups to show how the average family at the beginning of the 20th century was poorer relative to low-income families today when looking at spending patterns. However, this consumer data focuses on families income groups below $150,000 a year and does not tell us what the spending patterns of the top 1% (incomes above $350,000) or top 0.1% (incomes above $1.5 million)

Read Online to view all to the graphics from my book.  

These graphs were created using OmniGraphSketcher copied into Adobe Illustrator for additional annotations. 

Data Source: Dolfman, Michael L., and Denis M. McSweeney. “100 Years of U.S. Consumer Spending: Data for the Nation, New York City, and Boston.” Report no. 991, US Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/opub/uscs/.

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Inflation and Price/Earnings Since 1880

Copies of this graphic can be purchased at Zazzle

Inflation is when prices go up. However, inflation's relationship to stock prices can be a little more complex. In this graph, I am revisiting historical data I used several years ago in a series of historical graphs looking at the stock market (see GDP per Capita vs US Stock Prices and Real Growth in Stock Returns Dividends Reinvested).

I graphed the price/earnings ratio back to 1880 and highlighted the years that inflation was high and when there was deflation. The P/E is calculated from trailing 10-year earnings. The low inflation years (5% or less) had the highest P/E while the high inflation years has the lowest P/Es. Deflation years had P/Es near the average.

S&P data from Robert Shiller and CPI data from MeasuringWorth. Graphic was created using OmniGraphSketcher.

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Government Salaries in Texas

From a very interesting database of Texas Government Employee Salaries run by The Texas Tribune, I created three data graphics for An Illustrated Guide of Income in the United States showing their distribution (pages 92–94).

I start with graphing the distribution of all public employee salaries below $250,000, 99.7% of all state employees, listing the most common job titles I found: teachers and professors, police officers, clerks and administrative assistants, bus operators, child protective services specialist and mental retardation assistants.

However, to graph the long tail of the income distribution I have to graph individual salaries. Many are heads of surgery departments and head coaches. The highest salary goes to the head football coach at the University of Texas at Austin. (Salary of $2.5 million plus a bonuses of $2.7 million for a total of $5.2 million)

Another way to show how much inequality exists with these salaries is to plot the cumulative share of Texas public employees vs cumulative share of their salaries. But how does this compare to the Untied States as a whole?  I found in a report from the CBO, a graph plotting the 2007 cumulative share of all US households against household income which I used as a stand in for everyone in the US. You can see that the US household income distribution is more unequal than salaries of Texas state employees.

Graphs created in OmniGraphSketcher and annotated in Illustrator. 

Data sources: The Texas Tribune and the Congressional Budget Office 

Design notes: Graphs were created using OmniGraphSketcher, copied into Adobe Illustrator where annotations were added. The illustrator file was then placed into an InDesign document for the book. View all the graphics from the book online.

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