Welcome!

Our data in action. City-Data Blog.

What strange things do people search for on Google? How does income tax affect migration patterns? What features are popular in which type of homes?

At the City-Data Blog, our writers utilize data to answer questions you never knew you had. From silly, light-hearted investigations to powerful economic examinations, we cover a range of topics that anyone can enjoy! Our writers, many of them Ph.D. graduates or candidates, create easy-to-read articles on a wide variety of topics.

How much louder are big cities?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Let’s have a look at the quietest and loudest cities in the U.S. To give you a broader perspective, only the top values are listed for each Census division. In order to compare the listed numbers, please keep in mind that a 10dBA difference is perceived as doubling the loudness. So the average background noise level of 50dBA (typical for big cities like Las Vegas or Los Angeles) can be described as four times the loudness of a quiet town (30dBA).

Continue reading How much louder are big cities?

Selecting an airline for a trip

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

When planning a trip around the U.S. or abroad, we often consider airlines as a method of transportation. Everyone has their own requirements when choosing an airline: Seat availability, ticket price, leg room and food choices often play a major role. If you are planning a business trip, things like punctuality and proper baggage handling become more important.

Continue reading Selecting an airline for a trip

“Game of Thrones” TV show and piracy

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

“Game of Thrones” is a fantasy drama TV series on the station HBO. It is based on author George R.R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, “A Song of Ice and Fire.” While the first episode of the TV series aired in 2011, the first book of the series came out in 1996. The TV adaptation of the books became widely successful, making George R.R. Martin a millionaire. According to data from Statista.com and Forbes, his yearly earnings from 2012 to 2015 were around $12 million.

Continue reading “Game of Thrones” TV show and piracy

Over 18 million Americans live in areas with high noise levels

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

According to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency press release dating back as far as 1974, average outdoor noise levels below 55 dB “are identified as preventing activity interference and annoyance.” At the same time, more than 18.5 million Americans live in areas where the average existing noise levels are above this threshold.

Two states, New York and Illinois, stand out on the map below. The share of the total population living in areas with high noise levels in these states is 18.1 percent and 15.7 percent respectively. The percentage registered in California is surprisingly small for such a densely-populated and urbanized area: only 1.5 percent.

Continue reading Over 18 million Americans live in areas with high noise levels

Country of smokers: tobacco production and popular brands

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Despite the fact that tobacco use costs the country billions of dollars in medical expenses annually, the United States continues to be a leading producer of tobacco leaves, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. is the fourth-largest tobacco-producing country in the world, following China, India and Brazil.

In 2012, 19 states produced tobacco, with Kentucky, Georgia and North Carolina producing nearly 80 percent of the country’s total. In 2015, North Carolina produced about 375,850 thousand pounds of tobacco. The state’s production was even greater in 2014: 453,860 thousand pounds. In Kentucky, about 149,830 thousand pounds of tobacco were produced in 2015, compared to 214,280 thousand pounds in 2014.

udiqiqy_0.png

Continue reading Country of smokers: tobacco production and popular brands

Popular New Year’s resolutions

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

New Year’s is one of the most celebrated days in the world. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, full of gifts and long-awaited surprises for those kids who didn’t misbehave.

According to a survey among young adults (published at Statista.com) in 2015, about 72 percent of respondents said that they typically spent New Year’s Eve at home. Slightly above 20 percent stated they were guests at someone else’s home on New Year’s Eve, and about 10 percent celebrated in a restaurant, bar or club.

1

Continue reading Popular New Year’s resolutions

As gas prices fall, light truck sales top cars in every state

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Vehicle sales in the U.S. bottomed out in 2009. The financial crisis hit light truck sales especially hard — the numbers here fell by more than 40 percent. In comparison, car sales saw a more modest 30 percent decrease. High gasoline prices in 2008 also certainly didn’t help in keeping sales afloat.

After a few years of steady recovery, the vehicle sales dynamic has been somewhat mixed in the recent years: You can observe this phenomenon in the chart below.

Continue reading As gas prices fall, light truck sales top cars in every state

Time use across the nation

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

In this post, we will combine data from the American Time Use survey and Current Population Survey to see how time use patterns change with geographic location. We used 11 years of ATUS data (2003-2014) and the corresponding CPS data about the respondent’s state of residence. The American Time Use survey classifies daily activities into 431 detailed categories. For this post, we selected only those having a participation rate of at least 30 percent in each state. The top activities included sleeping, washing and dressing, food preparation, work, eating and watching television.

Continue reading Time use across the nation

Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Some people believe in Santa Claus, and some people don’t. According to a survey conducted in the U.S. in November 2016, 49 percent of people said they firmly believe in Santa Claus. During the survey, 50 percent of respondents said Santa Claus is not real, while 9 percent of people were unsure about his existence.

If we break it down by age group, 28 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 said they firmly believe in Santa; about 64 percent of respondents in the same age group said that Santa Claus is not real. Thirty-five percent of people between 30 and 44 years old firmly believed in Santa Claus in 2016, while 55 percent of people in this group said they didn’t believe. Around 11 percent of similarly-aged people were not sure about the question.

Continue reading Do you believe in Santa Claus?

The most popular luxury cars in the country

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

In this post, we’ll explore the data on luxury car sales, finding which markets are the largest in the world and the most popular manufacturers. The forecast suggests that manufacturers will sell approximately 2.42 million luxury automobiles in 2020. This number is the second largest in the world, second only to China, which is expected to sell 3.1 million premium vehicles. Germany comes in third with an expected sales volume of 1.11 million premium automobiles.

According to information published by GoodCarBadCar.net, the most popular luxury car in the United States in 2016 is made in Germany — Mercedes-Benz topped the list with a 16.4 percent market share. As you can see on the graph below, Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus came in a close second with a 16 percent market share. BMW, one of the leading luxury car brands worldwide, held more than 15 percent of the U.S. luxury automobile market share. Guess who came in fourth place? It’s German again! Audi’s market share amounted to 10.1 percent of the American luxury car market, while GM’s Cadillac brand took 8.2 percent of the market in 2016.

Continue reading The most popular luxury cars in the country

Telling stories through data