Data Is Plural

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

2016.08.31 edition

Income dynamics, global agriculture, car crash deaths, the California Database Hunt, and tennis stats.

Family money. The Panel Study of Income Dynamics is “the longest running longitudinal household survey in the world,” according to its University of Michigan overseers. The study, which began in 1968, has interviewed more than 70,000 people, including four generations of some families. You can access the data for free, but you first need to register for an account and agree to a set of guidelines. An example insight: In 2013 — the most recent year for which data is available — approximately 11% of families said they owned a business in the previous year. [h/t Don Fullerton + Nirupama S. Rao]

Fatal car crashes. On Monday, the Department of Transportation released 2015 data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. The dataset contains detailed information about every fatal motor-vehicle crash in the U.S., aggregated from a variety of state databases, including police reports, death certificates, and licensing files. In 2015, such crashes led to 35,092 deaths, 7.2% more than in 2014. [h/t Tanya Snyder]

Global agriculture. EarthStat provides geographic data on harvest regions, yields, and fertilizer use for more than 100 crops. The website also publishes data on pasture land, water depletion, and climatological effects on crop yields.

The California Database Hunt. California Senate Bill 272, enacted last year, required every local government agencies to publish a “catalog of enterprise systems” — essentially a guide to all the big databases they keep — by July 1 of this year. To find out who complied, a group of data-transparency organizations hosted the California Database Hunt last weekend. Volunteers searched 680 agencies, and published two spreadsheets of their findings: 430 (63%) of local agencies had posted their database catalogs, while 250 had not. [h/t Stephanie M. Lee]

Tennis time. The 2016 U.S. Open began on Monday. It’s as good an occasion as any to highlight the work of.’s Jeff Sackmann, who has published decades of match results and historical rankings from the men’s ATP and women’s WTA tours. Related: How FiveThirtyEight is using the data to forecast this year’s U.S. Open. Also: Prize money for the four Grand Slam tournaments, by gender and over time. And: The Tennis Racket. [h/t Nadja Popovich + John Templon]