Data Is Plural

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

2019.06.12 edition

Ebola, ICE solitary confinement, economic mobility, tax introductions, and national parks.

Ebola in the DRC. The Humanitarian Data Exchange has been tracking cases and deaths in the North Kivu Ebola outbreak. The numbers come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s health ministry and distinguish between suspected, probable, and confirmed cases; they are available at both the national level and disaggregated into the ministry’s 25 currently-affected health zones. Related:Ebola cases pass 2,000 as crisis escalates” (Nature). Also related: The World Health Organization’s weekly situation reports. Previously: Data from the 2014 Ebola outbreak (DIP 2018.05.23). [h/t Sam Phinizy]

ICE solitary confinement. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and partners have obtained records that detail 8,000+ instances, between 2012 and 2017, in which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers placed detainees in solitary confinement. For each confinement, the records indicate the detainee’s citizenship, detention facility, dates of confinement, and the stated reasons for it. Note: “ICE said it does not keep records of every solitary confinement placement. Instead it tracks only those cases where detainees were held in isolation for more than 14 days, and where immigrants with a ‘special vulnerability’ were placed in isolation.” [h/t Jason Norwood-Young]

Economic mobility. Opportunity Insights, a research and policy institute that uses data analysis to examine economic mobility in the United States, publishes dozens of datasets stemming from their studies, often accompanied by code to replicate their findings. Related:The radical plan to change how Harvard teaches economics,” a recent profile of Raj Chetty, who co-leads the institute. Bonus: The lecture materials for Chetty’s popular new class, “Using Big Data Solve Economic and Social Problems.” [h/t Michael A. Rice]

Three centuries of taxation. For 220 countries between the 1750s and 2018, the Tax Introduction Dataset tracks “the year of the first permanent introduction at the national level of government of six major taxes, as well as on the top statutory tax rate for that year.” The six taxes are those on personal income, corporate income, inheritance, and general sales, plus VATs and compulsory social security contributions. [h/t Philipp Heimberger + Laura Seelkopf]

National parks. The U.S. Department of the Interior publishes data describing the boundaries of all 420 units of the National Park System. In addition to the 61 officially-designated national parks, the boundaries include the country’s national preserves, national seashores, and 30 other types of special places.