Where is everybody moving to?
It's a big political year in the US, with the presidential race heating up, preparing for the election this coming November.
And, as usual, the candidates are debating this and that, mostly without much data to support their various assertions. You might hear a number or two, but are these numbers real? Or do they just make them up?
Our SearchResearch blog is all about data and getting to the bottom of things--we're here to help find data and answers to complex questions!
One of the big debating points is whether or not there's a mass immigration into the US across the border with Mexico. (People never seem to worry about the much bigger, much less defended border with Canada... but I digress.)
And, more broadly, there is a human tide of people fleeing Syria and many part of the Middle East.
The big Challenge for this week is to get some kind of data handle on all of these mass movements of people. Where do they start? Where are they going? And perhaps most importantly, how do you know?
Our Challenge this week is straightforward to express, but not so straightforward to solve:
1. During the past year, what have been the large movements of people across the world? (We're interested here in people who are moving from one place to another for economic, political, or safety reasons--not people going home temporarily for the New Year's or Thanksgiving Day celebrations.)
In particular, can you:
A. Find data sources that tell us how many people moved from location X to location Y in 2015?
B. Is there a good way to visualize that data? (Giant tables of numbers aren't all that descriptive, there must be a better way. Can you find a good one?)
C. How do you know that these numbers are right? And to what extent can you believe them? Why?
Obviously, there's a whole world full of people moving. If you want to focus on just one area, the most important for the US is the movement of people from Mexico into the US (and from the US into Mexico!). If you want to understand the Middle East, look into movements of people from Syria (where are they going?), and Turkey (where are they coming from?). Or, if you're from India, what outflows and inflows of people are moving from India?
This time, we're really interested in HOW you found your data sources, and a bit about WHY you believe this particular source(s). During the political silly season, you'll hear all kinds of crazy numbers--which ones are reasonable estimates, and which are just beyond belief??