Data Is Plural

... is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.

2016.08.03 edition

Vaccinations, deaths in custody, electricity prices, global heights, and Usenet archives.

Vaccination nations. The World Health Organization publishes a slew of datasets on national vaccination rates and policies. Some facts gleaned from the data: Asked whether they provided routine vaccinations to children at school, just 55% of 191 countries that responded said they did. And: In 2015, Equatorial Guinea reported that only 26% of infants had received a first dose of measles vaccine, a lower rate than any other country’s. [h/t Philip Shemella]

Deaths in police custody. At least 6,913 people died while in the custody of Texas police, jails, and prisons between 2005 and 2015, according to the newly-launched Texas Justice Initiative. The data, gathered through freedom-of-information requests, contains the age, sex, and race/ethnicity of each person who died, as well as the general cause of death and a more detailed summary. Read more at: The Atlantic. Related: California’s Department of Justice publishes similar statistics and raw data. [h/t Melissa Segura + Reade Levinson]

Electricity prices. In May 2016, U.S. residential consumers paid an average of roughly 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity. The price was lowest in Louisiana (9.28 cents) and Washington state (9.54 cents), and highest in Hawaii (26.87 cents) and Connecticut (21.63 cents). These data-points, and more, are available through the Energy Information Administration’s electric power reports, which are updated monthly. [h/t Jordan Wirfs-Brock]

Measuring up. A group of public health researchers have estimated the average height of adults in 200 countries over the course of a century. Their calculations are based on a re-analysis of 1,472 previous studies, which collectively measured nearly 19 million participants. The resulting dataset contains annual height estimates for both men and women born each year between 1896 and 1996. During that time, South Korean women’s average height increased by approximately 8 inches, the largest gain of any group. These days, the Netherlands boasts the tallest men, and Latvia the tallest women.

Email like it’s 1993. The 20 Newsgroups dataset contains 20,000 messages (including some duplicates) sent to 20 Usenet bulletin boards in 1993. Among the groups: alt.atheism,,sci.electronics, talk.politics.guns, and talk.politics.mideast.