This is a course project from the SI649 Data Visualization course at the University of Michigan School of Information. This project aimed to build interactive visualizations to accompany the article I called this place ‘America’s worst place to live.’ Then I went there on The Washington Post written by Christopher Ingraham. The author provided several reasons in the article to defend the saying that Red Lake County, a county located in Minnesota, is America's worst place to live given it was ranked last in natural amenities among all US counties. For this project, I've derived two domain questions from the article and focused on building visualizations that answer these questions:

• Is living in Red Lake County affordable?
• How is it like to live and work in Red Lake County?

About the Datasets
Based on the two domain questions, I focused on collecting datasets that are relevant to the county's economics and living. Below are the 6 main dataset categories that I've used for this project.:

Natural Amenities
Farm Earnings
GDP Growth
Household Income & Home Value
Poverty Rate
Unemployment Rate

(Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau , U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Interactive Data Vis

(The first three visualizations were created using Python. To view the entire code, please check out this link.)

Is Red Lake County Really ‘America’s
Worst Place to Live’?
Is living in Red Lake County affordable?

Though Red Lake County is ranked last in terms of Natural Amenities, living in the county isn't actually that bad. Try hovering over the top ranked counties from the bar chart below and compare their unemployment rate and poverty rate with Red Lake County! As shown in the two boxplots, Red Lake County’s unemployment rate and poverty have mostly been lower than the median rate of all U.S. counties over the years. When comparing Red Lake County with counties with higher natural amenities scale, Red Lake County's unemployment and poverty rate are mostly relatively lower over the years.

As shown in the scatter plot below , Red Lake County falls in the fourth quadrant of the distribution that is divided by the two average lines. This means that the median household income of Red Lake County is higher than the US average, while the county’s median home value is sitting lower than the U.S. average, making Red Lake County one of the counties that have a lower home value/household income ratio for people to afford their livings. Try using the dropdown selection box to  compare different state distributions with Red Lake County! To look for the exact numbers for each county, mouseover through the data points on the plot. (Note: California has the highest MHV/MHI ratio, whereas Nebrask has the lowest MHV/MHI ratio. Give these two states a try!)

How is it like to work in Red Lake County?

Although Red Lake County was ranked last in terms of natural amenities, farming and agriculture still plays a significant role in supporting Red Lake County’s local economy. Lets compare Red Lake County’s farm earnings percentage and GDP growth with other counties in Minnesota . Try hovering over different counties from the state map of Minnesota below and compare their percentages with Red Lake County’s! You’ll see that, when clicking on counties with the highest amenities score among Minnesota, not all of them relies on farm earnings more heavily than Red Lake County does. Also, a lot of them have lower GDP growth than Red Lake County does. Working in Red Lake County doesn’t sound that bad, right?

In comparison with Minnesota, New York, and the entire U.S., commute time in Red Lake county is much shorter, with 35% of the employed population spending less than 10 minutes commuting to work every day. Try using the slider on the right side of the packed bubble chart to switch between locations and see how the time bubbles changes in size!

Static Report Version