Map: Park Acres Per Resident in Detroit

DETROITography

ParkAcresPer1000.png

A while back I saw this analysis completed by the WNYC Data News team on park access and wanted to recreate it for Detroit.

There has been a lot of change with parks over the years from the near closing of 50+ parks during Mayor Bing’s time, to an influx of funding to keep them open, then the widespread adoption of parks by community groups, now the new parks master plan, and $11.7 million being dedicated to 40 smaller neighborhood parks this summer.

The map was created by giving every census tract a half-mile buffer and then calculating how many acres of park space fell within those extended boundaries for each census tract. Those acres were then matched to the number of residents living within each census tract.

Some of Detroit’s more populated areas have much smaller parks. With more people and smaller park spaces that leaves fewer acres…

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Map: Landscape of Children vs. Elderly in Detroit

DETROITography

children-elderly-det2

I’ve been interested in the impacts of various issues on children in Detroit, from traffic fatalities to areas with the most children. The flip side, focusing on the elderly, is also very important and often overlooked in current development efforts in the city.

The age balance or imbalance across the geography of Detroit results in some interesting areas where children or the elderly make up a majority. Not surprisingly many of the areas with the most children also have fewer elderly residents. The riverfront has a larger elderly population often associated with the senior apartment high rises. Grand River cuts an interesting pattern along the Westside where there are more elderly above the Avenue and more children below.

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Data: 290,439 Michiganders signed up for new health coverage in 2015

MICHUHCAN

ACA_coverage_2015The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that 290,439 Michiganders signed up for health coverage that will start on February 1st.

The next enrollment period runs from February 15th – March 1st.

HHS says that about 6.5 million people have signed up or renewed their health coverage in the marketplace since November 15th.

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Data: Michigan Insurance Types 2013

MICHUHCAN

mi_insurance_2013

Michigan has one of the 20 lowest uninsured rates in the country with only 11% of its population uninsured. The increase in the insured rate was largely due to the expansion of Medicaid, known as Healthy Michigan. The Census Bureau expects further increases in the insured rates across many states as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Michigan Health Insurance Mission Statements Text Analysis

MICHUHCAN

insurance_missions

Word clouds aren’t as often used thing these days, but I think it really helps to illustrate the difference between the officially stated “missions” of insurance companies versus the activities that they engage in, which could often times be defined as contradictory.
Few health insurance companies or plans in Michigan have specific mission statements, the majority have very broad missions. Based on the frequency of terms used across health insurance mission statements, more of these companies should be:

providing Michigan [residents] health care access.”

This simple concept of increasing access to health care has gained great prominence with the passage and acceptance of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, this composite mission statement is often placed secondary to the corporate and monetary interests of these insurance companies. The ACA has placed great emphasis on increasing access to health care while allowing the insurance companies to profit.

In the past, the insurance companies…

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Death, donations, and doing good

The ice bucket challenge was undoubtedly a media and fundraising success for the ALS Association. For many people this was an opportunity to “do good” and call out their friends on social media to do the same. Skepticism mounted as social media feeds were inundated with ice bucket participant videos.

Plenty Consulting looked at the data and found that daily donations to the ALS Association (ALSA) remained the same even as the number of ice bucket challenge participants grew exponentially. Donations to the ALS Association were 35% higher than last year, but were all the non-donating participants missed fundraising opportunities or simply “do good” imposters? Perhaps it is helping to foster a culture of giving?

Vox published a widely shared bubble chart (above) that demonstrated which diseases kill the most people compared to which diseases get the most donations. This chart is flawed in the sense that comparing one-time fundraisers, such as a Breast Cancer Walk, isn’t enough to capture which diseases get the most overall funding.

Others took a more statistical approach to their skepticism. One individual (redditor SirT6) chose to look at NIH funding and disability-adjusted life years (logarithmic) to compare some of the top diseases that get funding compared to their impact on lifespan.

I think both measures in the above chart are flawed in that NIH funding is a poor indicator of where the general public is donating and also it is nearly impossible to compare the suffering and impact of each individual disease through adjusted life years.

Instead I chose to identify the largest charity for each of the top 15 diseases that kill people in the US (excluding #5 unintentional accidents) based on the 2011 National Vital Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A few charities took on multiple diseases, such as the American Heart Association (AHA) working on heart disease (#1) and stroke (#4) or the American Lung Association (ALA) covering lower respiratory disease (#4), pneumonia (#8), and lung inflammation (#15). By searching the most recent IRS Form 990 from each charity I looked at their Total Revenue (fiscal year) as well as the percent of the Total Revenue that came from Contributions (fundraising, grants, etc.). I figured this gives the best indication of where both individuals and other foundations or nonprofits are giving their donations. I then compared each disease/ cause of death in its “per 100,000” prevalence rate.

disease-donors

The size of the bubble represents the percentage of total revenue that comes from donations. The big take away here is that some of the most deadly diseases are getting larger amounts of funding. However, there are a handful of diseases that definitely aren’t getting enough (i.e. Septicimia), but are three times as deadly as ALS. Lung diseases really aren’t getting a lot of donations, but seem to remain highly funded regardless. In my research for this I was surprised to find that HIV/AIDS per 100,000 rate is less than ALS at 2.5. In particular areas, such as Detroit, HIV/AIDS is a much larger problem, but it is good to see that advances in treatment and prevention have lowered the national rate.

The majority of charities depend on contributions and donations to fund their efforts, pay salaries, and cover expenses. It is difficult to say what percentage is used for prevention activities or for finding a cure, but very obviously not all diseases are funded equally. Likewise, not all diseases contribute to the deaths of people at the same rates. Does that mean some should get more funding over others?