Yesterday I made my first map using Datawrapper. I noted in the write-up of my experience that I could not figure out how to display the data as a percentage; I ended up displaying it as a decimal. I figured that it was possible because I had seen Datawrapper maps with percentages, so I was pretty sure I just needed to dig through the menus and options. Unsurprisingly, I quickly found a tutorial written by Datawrapper that explained how to customize a choropleth map, which included the information I needed to figure out how to display percentages.

Since the Datawrapper tutorial does not directly address displaying map data as a percentage, I will give a quick explanation to remember how to do it next time. Basically, it is a three-step process.

  1. Upload the data striped of the percent sign as you want it displayed, not in decimile form. For example if you want a data point to be 8% upload the data as 8. This will allow your data to be displayed in the map. If you add the percent sign the data will not be displayed.
  2. On the “visulize” step choose a percent number format (there are a few choices) from the legend menu. This will display the data as a percentage in the legend.
  3. Use “Tooltips” to add the percent symbol after the variable code for the data. It is the second box.

As I suspected, it was not difficult to get the data to display as I wanted. It just took some digging into the menus and options.

Now for a look at the map.

As with the first map I made, I used data published by the Maryland Longitudinal Data Center. For their visualization of the data, you have to pull up each county individually because they have rich data on students from each county. I like seeing all of the counties at once on one map. I used the same color scheme as with my last map, with red being the lower percentages and green being the higher percentages. For this map, I allowed the lowest percentage to be the darkest red and the highest percentage to be the darkest green. I have not yet given much thought to if that is the best way to display the data.

Another piece of data that I want to explore adding to the map is the Statewide average. I know that the Statewide average is 51%, that is, Statewide, 51% of public school students who graduated in 2011-2012 earned a certificate, associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree or higher by age 25. At least among the students captured in the dataset.

It stands out that only 22% of students from Baltimore City who enroll in college earn a college degree by age 25. What the data does not tell me is why. Since I am a curious person, I plan to dig into the data more to look for why this might be. I might not find the whole story, but I hope to find some elements of the story. Dorchester and Somerset counties also have low levels of degree attainment for students who enroll in college. For future maps I want to look at total college degree attainment by high school graduates, college degree attainment by FARMS and non-FARMS students, and by FARMS percentage of the entire county. I also want to see how the college enrollment rate correlates with the college graduation rate. While examining this data, I want to see the capabilities Datawrapper has to display the data.

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