Data Is Plural

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

2021.08.11 edition

COVID-era school enrollments, eviction laws, targeted mass killings, European politics in the news, and Seattle street clocks.

COVID-era school enrollments. A collaboration led by Stanford University’s Big Local News has gathered (and standardized) recent enrollment figures from 33 state education departments. The resulting dataset, which spans ~70,000 public schools, can be downloaded in bulk and explored online. Most states provided data down to the grade level; some also provided student counts by gender, race, ethnicity, ELL status, homelessness, economic status, and/or disability. The timeframes vary, but include at least the 2019–20 and 2020–21 school years for each state. See the documentation for details. As seen in: “The Kindergarten Exodus” (NYT), “How going remote led to dramatic drops in public school students” (EdSource), and a new academic study. [h/t Simon Willison + Cheryl Phillips]

Eviction laws. The Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit that Congress has directed to study local eviction procedures and their effects, has partnered with Temple University to compile a database of eviction laws in all US states and territories, and in a sample of 30 cities. It lists the causes for which landlords can evict tenants, the remedies available to unlawfully evicted tenants, filing fees, service requirements, and much more, with pointers to the relevant sections of each law. Previously: Eviction rates from the Eviction Lab. (DIP 2018.04.18). [h/t Morgan Stevens]

Targeted mass killings. The Atrocity Forecasting Project has constructed (and recently updated) a dataset of targeted mass killings, which it defines as “the direct killing of noncombatant members of a group by an organized armed force or collective with the intent of destroying the group, or intimidating the group by creating a perception of imminent threat to its survival.” The dataset includes 207 such episodes from 1946 to 2020; it lists each atrocity’s timing and location, targeted groups, type of perpetrator, intent, severity, and other aspects.

European politics in the news. Projects at the Observatory for Political Conflict and Democracy analyze newspaper articles to construct datasets about election campaigns, protest events, and public debates across a range of European countries. The projects’ codebooks describe how they select the articles — often spanning multiple decades — and categorize the people, parties, actions, and issues in them. [h/t Neil Dullaghan]

Seattle street clocks. In 2004, Seattle historian Rob Ketcherside began a quest to find every public clock in the city, past and present. In 2015, he gathered his findings into a dataset that identifies each clock, owner, and piece of supporting evidence, which he continues to update. Ketcherside has also compiled datasets of drive-in public markets, Seattle street renamings, and the city’s new buildings in 1890.