A Visualization of Murder in Mongolia

Mapping murder from 2010–2017

Robert Ritz
Nov 21, 2018 · 2 min read

I’ve written previously about crime in Mongolia. Recently though I’ve been digging deeper into the statistics and wanted to do a better job of showing what is actually happening. The National Statistical Office and General Police Agency do a fine job collecting and reporting basic statistics. But the tweet below shows the limitations of that reporting.

The first picture shows an 18.3% increase in reported crimes for the first 10 months of 2018 year over year. At first glance this sounds pretty horrible. But it doesn’t actually show the whole picture. Some possible causes of this increase:

  • With a population increase you would expect a corresponding increase in crime
  • A statistical blip, with October being high but other months reverting to the mean
  • A real increase in crime that is part of a larger trend

Given this number we cannot make a judgement whether crime is getting worse, better, or staying the same. Simply put, this statistic requires context. So, let’s get this context using a map.

The map below shows how the murder rate (murders per 100,000 inhabitants) of each aimag (province) compares to the national murder rate for that year. Red bars above the line show a murder rate higher than the average, with blue bars showing a below average murder rate. The further from the axis the more above or below the difference is.

How It’s Made

I used Data Illustrator to make this infographic, my favorite expressive visualization tool. They have an excellent tutorial on making this type of map that you can find here.

The murder and population data came from 1212.mn, an always great source of general statistics about Mongolia. I then mapped out X and Y coordinates to position each aimag (province) using a piece of paper I printed out (very advanced I know). After putting together the murder, population, and coordinate data in Excel the making of the map was quite easy following the tutorial.

As usual, my data and project files can be found on Github here.

Liked this article? Hit the clap button, comment below, or send me an email at robertritz@outlook.com.

Mongolian Data Stories

Using data analysis, visualization, and machine learning to tell Mongolia’s story. Interested in writing for Mongolian Data Stories? Send an email to Robert Ritz (editor of MDS) at robertritz@outlook.com.

Robert Ritz

Written by

Data Scientist and Director of LETU Mongolia. Keen observer of Mongolia.

Mongolian Data Stories

Using data analysis, visualization, and machine learning to tell Mongolia’s story. Interested in writing for Mongolian Data Stories? Send an email to Robert Ritz (editor of MDS) at robertritz@outlook.com.

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