Data Is Plural

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

2020.10.28 edition

Pregnancy/birth/abortion rates, COVID-19 in ICE facilities, mining areas, e-bike/scooter laws, and witch trials.

Pregnancy, birth, and abortion. Last month the Guttmacher Institute, a “research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights,” released its latest estimates of annual pregnancies, births, and abortions among women in the US — overall, and also by age-group and state. The national statistics cover 1973 to 2016, while the state-level numbers go from 1988 to 2016; both sets of estimates are derived from a combination of government data and the institute’s own Abortion Provider Census. Related: An introductory Twitter thread. [h/t Isaac Maddow-Zimet]

COVID-19 in ICE facilities. Since late March, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been updating a webpage that tallies coronavirus cases and deaths at each of its detention facilities. But the site doesn’t provide any historical numbers; it’s just a snapshot. To fill that gap, the Vera Institute of Justice has been continually downloading the webpage, parsing it, and turning the information into structured, longitudinal data. Related: Over the summer, Vera used the data to estimate “the true scope” of COVID-19 in ICE detention, and called on the agency to provide more detailed statistics.

Mining areas. A team of academics has built a dataset and map indicating the geographic extents of 6,000+ mining sites around the world. The project traces out 21,000+ polygons covering 57,000+ square kilometers, with boundaries based on experts’ visual interpretation of satellite imagery. It focuses on “above-ground features,” such as “open cuts, tailings dams, waste rock dumps, water ponds, and processing infrastructure.”

E-bike and e-scooter laws. A dataset of state regulations pertaining to standard bicycles, electric bicycles, and electric scooters accompanies a recent paper in the Journal of Law and Mobility. It includes various classifications for each state — indicating, for instance, whether riders can use the sidewalk, whether adults must wear helmets, and whether DUI laws apply.

Witch trials. Some years ago, economists Peter T. Leeson and Jake Russ compiled a dataset of 10,000+ witch trials in Europe. Over the course of 550 years, the trials accused more than 43,000 people and led to 16,000 deaths. Related: Leeson and Russ’s academic paper analyzing the data (PDF). Previously: The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft (DIP 2016.01.27). [h/t Sophie Warnes]