Data Stories

This page contains a set of smaller pre-written stories. They can be used to given a quick introduction into the topic or to have participants work on the visualization design in together with the story.

Sleeping Patterns

My name is Zezhong and I slept 47 hours and 46 minutes last week. This week I spent 28% of my time on sleeping. That is an average of 6.8 hours per day. That is not too bad. But, on average I went to bed at 1:35 AM! Monday I slept at 1:20 and woke up at 7:50 AM. Tuesday I slept at 12:46 AM but had trouble falling asleep. I woke up at 7:50 AM that day. Wednesday I slept at 2:13 AM and woke up at 8:09 AM. On Thursday I slept from 1:03 to 8:00 AM. On Friday I slept at 1:07 and woke up at 8:03 AM. On Saturday I slept from 0:13 AM to 7:57 AM. On Sunday I slept at 4:20 AM and woke up at 11:00 AM.

There was a lack of deep sleep as well: only 17% of my sleep was deep, 74% light, and 7% dream. On the bright side, I did go swimming in the morning every day. But you may wonder, what about on Sunday? The swimming pools opens at 11 on Sunday, which is why I slept in.

CO2 Emmissions

I am coming back from Boston to Paris. This is 5500km in just 6h. That journey produced approximately 1t of CO2 for every passenger in the airplane [1]. In 2016, I traveled 110,900 km by airplane. This is roughly 3 times around the globe. In total, this travels produced an amount of 23 tons of CO2. With a world population of more than 7,000,000,000 (7 billion), and a C02 production of 35,000,000,000 (35 billion), that leaves an average annual emission of 5 tons per person on earth.

Compared to my emission of 23 tons in 2016, this is 17 tons more than average, or 3.6 times more than the average. However, CO2 emissions are not equally distributed across the planet. Some nations emit much more than others. For example, the total emissions of the US amount to 17.1 tons per US citizen (on average), 9.2 for Germany, 6.8 for the European Union, 5.9 tons for China, 5.6 for Sweden. Other countries have a much much smaller fingerprint, such as India (1.6 tons per person) or Madagascar (0.1 tons = 100 kg).

Within the Paris climate accord from 2017, the EU and the US have pledged to reduce their emissions by 85% each, which leaves around 2.5 tons per US citizen and 1 ton per EU citizen. As European citizen, this leaves me exactly one transatlantic flight (without return). And really just that, no other travels and transports, no clothes, no heating, no computer, no electricity, no food.

[1] CO2 calculators:

Global Health (adapted from Hans Rosling and

What do you really think about the word in 1962? We can divide the worlds countries into two part: There are industrialized countries with long life in small families and there are developing countries wWith short life in large families. Then what has happened since 1962?

Let start from 1962 – 1980: People in China had better health in 1970. Thereafter, the family planning had rapidly reduced the family size. Indonesia and India changed quickly towards higher income and smaller families. Countries from Latin America also moved fast towards smaller families. African countries had longer lifes but still large families.

Now let’s look at the next decades from 1980 – 1990. Bangladesh started to put family planning in place in the 80s, which reduced the sizes of families and increased the average income per capita. Within the next ten years from 1990 – 2000, African countries suffered a terrible HIV epidemic that reduced their respective life expectancy. During the last fifteen years of rapid growth from 2000 – 2015, African countries have been moving fast towards higher per capita income (on average) and smaller families.

If we look back to the total period from 1962 to 2015, we see a notable increase in world population every country on earth, but especially in Africa and Asia. Moreover, all countries have moved from low income and large families towards higher income and smaller families. For example, in 2006, Vietnam has the same life expectancy and the same family size as in the United States!

However, if we do not look into the data, we underestimate tremendous change in Asia which was in social change before we saw the economical change. Today, we have a completely new word with small family size and high health level.

Uganda Aid Program

Like the most Ugandans, the 14-year-old girl lives in a rural area, in a situation of poverty., largely depending on subsistence agriculture and extremely vulnerable to environmental shocks and stresses: a year with lower rainfall then usual is likely to lever her and her siblings severely malnourished. However, if her family is supported to diversity their assets by planing a wider variety of crops and engage in small-scale marked enterprise, they are better able to spread their risks and are therefore more resilient. The increased household income will improve the changes that the 14-year-old girl and her siblings will attend school, thus decreasing the likelihood the girl will fall pregnant or marry while still in her teens. Greater household purchasing power will increase access to healthcare services and improve the family’s health. If the woman in the family are supported to engage with the market, the balance of financial power in the family will become more equitable, slowing population grows.

Alliances before World War I

In 1836 there were imperial powers in Europe. In 1837, Britain signs a contract, supporting Belgium in case of violation of its neutrality. In 1873, the German chancellor Bismarck successfully creates the Three Emperors Alliance between Germany, Austria and Russia, leaving France isolated. However, a few years later in 1879, increasing border disputes lead to the cancellation of that alliance. Later in 1879, a dual alliance is formed between Germany and Austria. In 1882, Italy joins Germany and Austria forming the Triple Alliance. France remains under pressure to escape isolation. In 1894, the Franco-Russian Alliance is formed. In 1904, the Entente Cordiale is formed between France and the UK. In 1907 the Triple Entente is formed between France, UK, and Russia. Most important European powers are divided into two major alliances. On the Balkan, Serbia, Austria Greece and the Ottoman empire gamble for influence. On June 28th, 1907, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is assassinated in Serbia while visiting Sarajevo. Austria accuses Serbian officials of being involved in the incident, aiming to annex Serbia. Russia wants Serbia to remain independent from Austria. During July 1914, European powers try to find a diplomatic solution, called the “July Crisis.” However on July 23rd, 1914, Austria imposes ultimatum on Serbia. On July 28th, rejection of the ultimatum leads to the first open war. On August 1st, German mobilization is rapid and by August 3rd, they are aiming to preempt a French attack. Immediately after attacking Belgium on August 4th, Britain declares war on Germany, following its contract with Belgium from 1837. On August 6th, 1 month after the assassination of the Austrian prince, most European powers are at war. Italy Leaves the Triple Alliance.