Data Is Plural

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

2023.06.28 edition

Unanalyzed sexual assault kits, global income deciles, US fire statistics, species introduced to the Antarctic, and Swedish air traffic control.

Rape kit backlogs. The actual number of unanalyzed sexual assault kits in the United States is unknown. But last year “at least 25,000 untested rape kits sat in law enforcement agencies and crime labs across the country,” according to rape kit backlog data compiled by USAFacts, based on responses by 30 states and DC to public records requests. Elizabeth “Betsy” Kim, who led the project, has published the raw records the agencies and labs provided, as well as her correspondence with them. The core data indicate the number of kits in each backlog each year between 2018 and 2022; the backlog definition (in number of days) the state used in the data they provided; and, of the kits received by crime labs in 2022, how many were tested within 30 days.

Global income deciles. Kanishka B. Narayan et al. “present a consistent dataset of income distributions across 190 countries from 1958 to 2015 measured in terms of net income.” Where net income statistics were unavailable, the authors imputed the deciles from consumption data or the country’s Gini coefficient. Their paper also provides a comparison of their dataset to the United Nations University’s World Income Inequality Database (DIP 2016.06.01), the Luxembourg Income Study Database, and the World Bank’s PovcalNet (now the Poverty and Inequality Platform). Also previously: The Global Repository of Income Dynamics (DIP 2022.11.09) and Frederick Solt’s Standardized World Income Inequality Database (DIP 2019.12.04).

US fire statistics. The US National Interagency Fire Center “is home to the national fire management programs of each federal fire agency, along with partners,” such as the National Weather Service. It provides a range of aggregate statistics as HTML tables, including firefighting suppression costs by year, the number and size of human-caused wildfires by year and geography, similar counts for lightning-caused fires, and prescribed fires by year and agency. Reader Michael Nolan has converted the prescribed fire tables, which cover 1998 to 2019, into CSV files. Previously: Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (DIP 2017.10.11).

Species introduced to the Antarctic. “From the earliest expeditions to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean Islands, humans have intentionally and accidentally introduced non-native species to the region,” write Rachel I. Leihy et al., who have assembled a dataset of “introduced and invasive alien species” documented in the region. The dataset identifies 3,000+ location-species combinations, providing their “establishment, eradication status, dates of introduction, habitat, and evidence of impact,” plus reference citations.

Swedish air traffic control. Jens Nilsson and Jonas Unger’s Swedish Civil Air Traffic Control dataset contains 13 non-contiguous weeks of “flight plans, clearances from air traffic control, surveillance data and trajectory prediction data,” corresponding to 167,000+ scheduled commercial flights in 2017. The records come from two control centers, in Malmö and Stockholm.