We were inspired to create this project after witnessing the adverse economic impact of Covid-19 on the U.S. economy. While we knew how the world was faring economically on a country-to-country basis, we weren’t able to clearly see the impacts of the pandemic on a state-by-state basis in the United States. We decided to remedy the lack of data analysis done on a statewide basis by collecting data for four economic factors: poverty rates, state GDP, unemployment rates, and median household income levels. We realized that given the diverse economic, racial, environmental conditions of each state, the economic response to Covid-19 would vary from state to state.

What it does

The interactive map displays data analysis for four economic factors—poverty levels, U.S. GDP, unemployment rate, and median household income levels—for U.S. states in a map and chart format. The interactive map displays the difference between the 2017-2019 average poverty rate and the 2021 poverty rate. When you hover over each state, it also shows you the 2017-2019 average poverty rate and the 2021 poverty rate. The U.S. GDP graph is split into three years for each state and displays the GDP levels of Q4 of 2019, Q2 of 2020, and Q1 of 2021. Through this three part graph, you can compare each states’ GDP levels for each year. The unemployment rate graph shows the 2019 vs 2021 unemployment rate. The horizontal blue bars show the 2021 unemployment rate and the black lines on each blue bar indicate the 2019 unemployment rate, allowing you to easily compare the 2019 and 2021 unemployment rates. Lastly, our median household income level table shows the median household income for each state from highest to lowest. We put the 2019 and 2021 median household income tables next to each other to highlight the similarities or differences.

How we built it

We first downloaded data sets for the four economic factors from economic research institutes. We then cleaned each data set by removing unnecessary data before importing them into Tableau Public, which is a free software that creates data visualization in the form of interactive maps/tables/charts for imported sets of data. After importing the data, we created data extracts of the sets and then selected columns and rows of the sets we wanted to be displayed. We also chose which visualization we wanted for each factor (i.e. interactive map for poverty rates, table for median household income, bar graph for unemployment rate, and line graph for GDP levels). We created each item individually and then moved it into an interactive dashboard so that all of our data could be analyzed side-by-side.

Challenges we ran into

The first challenge we ran into was finding an appropriate data visualization tool. We had little experience with coding and were not sure how we could display visualizations without needing to code. However, after experimenting with Tableau, we realized that coding was not necessary to create a visualization. Another challenge we ran into was finding a suitable theme for data visualization. At first, we wanted to create a data visualization on the impact of Covid-19 on the human migration from cities to suburban areas. However, we couldn’t find much data on the population change from 2019-2021 in specific urban and suburban areas. As such, we came up with the idea to examine the impacts of Covid 19 on each state in the United States. We also ran into issues with formatting the data set and being able to export the files; specifically, we struggled with importing the correct rows and being able to format that properly on charts, as well as limitations on data extracts.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We all created our first data visualization! This was our first time experimenting with data visualization and using a data visualization software, such as Tableau. Considering that we all do not have much experience dealing with data sets and statistics, our experience went relatively smoothly; we were able to figure out any errors by ourselves by looking up extra documentation and guides. We also were able to effectively understand and modify our data set to be compatible with the software, and most importantly, produced an interactive, aesthetic, and usable final product!

What we learned

Since this was our first time creating data visualizations, we learned a lot from the experience of making our own visualization. We learned how to use Tableau, conduct research for data, and display data through interactive charts. We also learned more about coding, organizations that work on creating data visualizations, and different software for displaying data from attending the Vizathon workshops.

What's next for Covid-19 Economic Impact on U.S. States

After creating our visualization, we now want to look at trade and determine whether Covid-19 had any impact on global GDP and the export and import market. We also want to look at the impacts of the pandemic on poverty rates and the number of jobs globally.

Share this project: