Gender Equality and Information Literacy

Posted by Audrey Austin

May 28

Introduction: Confessions of a Nerd Child 

When I was young, my family had an ancient set of Funk & Wagnalls new world encyclopedias.  My favorite entries were those about different countries.  I loved reading about their histories and cultures, even if the information was outdated.  At the beginning of each article was a list of demographics for the country.  Checking the variations between countries was one of my many list-based hobbies growing up.  I especially liked seeing the similarities and differences between countries that were near to each other, or were similar in size. Population density was a favorite demographic; for some reason I thought it was very interesting how two countries could be roughly the same size, yet have differing amounts of people packed into their borders.  Using the Gapminder World program available at  is like taking those juvenile comparisons and multiplying them out exponentially.  With this tool, you have the ability to compare the trends in demographics of many countries over many years, in a two-dimensional space.  It is awesome!

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Topic Categories: Information Literacy, Gapminder

Generating Insights With Gapminder

Posted by Ashley Bradetich Bowles

Apr 30

Exploring the Correlation between Adult Literacy Rates and Life Expectancy


Using Gapminder longitudinal research, I explored the relationship between literacy rates in adults 15 years of age and above, and life expectancy in years.  The results were presented in a scatterplot graph, which depicted a positive, nonlinear relationship between the two variables.  Generally speaking, the greater the literacy rate, the greater the life expectancy.  Most countries followed this pattern, with a few outliers as the exception to the rule.  The graph in Figure 1 below was created using the Gapminder software.  Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above) is represented on the X-axis, and Life Expectancy (years) is represented on the Y-axis.  The size of the plots on the graph is dictated by the countries’ populations.  A correlation between the two variables is distinctly visible.

Relationship between Literacy and Life Expectancy
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Topic Categories: Information Visualization, Gapminder

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