August 24, 2022

Today's Topics

Hello! On July 5th, 2019, we sent our first newsletter to a few hundred people.

1,146 days, 337 newsletters and 1,008 charts later, we're excited to say that more than a quarter-of-a-million wonderful readers will get this email. There's nothing else to say except thank you, truly. Oh, and here are your charts for today:

  • Name of Thrones. How the show is still influencing society.
  • Life expectancy. Plotting incomes vs. life expectancy for the 50 states.
  • Zooming no more. Tracking the video call company's rise and fall.

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Prequels are coming

HBO said yesterday that House of the Dragon, its hotly-anticipated, $200m Game of Thrones prequel, became the network’s most-watched premiere of all time after the best part of 10 million viewers tuned in to see the GoT universe expand.

Watchers across the world were clearly keen to forgive and forget the sins of the last Thrones installment as they welcomed all things Westeros back into their lives — not least of all this impressively-synchronized apartment block in New York.

Despite a lacklustre final season (cool heatmap of the show's IMDB ratings here), GoT's cultural impact is hard to overstate. Data from the SSA shows how many babies have been named after prominent characters, with the latest counts showing that almost 20,000 Aryas and 3,800 Khaleesis have been born since the show first aired in 2011.

New data out this week from the CDC made for slightly sobering reading, as estimates for life expectancy at birth fell across every state in the country. At the national level, US life expectancy dropped by 1.8 years, with the pandemic and an increase in drug overdoses responsible for much of the decline.

We dove into the new data, finding a pretty wide variation in life expectancy between states, which we've visualized above against per capita personal income.

There's a somewhat depressing — but slightly unsurprising — correlation between higher incomes and longer life expectancy at the state-level.

Surf's up

Although that correlation was fairly clear across the 50 states, there were a few outliers that were of particular interest. New York, for example, ranked 3rd on personal income, yet sits at just 15th on life expectancy. Hawaii, conversely, ranked 22nd out of the 50 states on per capita personal income, but came top of the life expectancy charts. A typical baby born today in Hawaii is expected to live until the ripe old age of almost 81 — which is almost 4 years longer than the national average of 77. Good weather, good people and good surf (?) seem to be the secret to a longer life.

Dig deeper: check out this interactive map of the state-level life expectancy data.

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Zoom's gloom

Yesterday Zoom reported its slowest ever quarter of revenue growth, with sales rising just 8% in the last year for their Q2 as the company struggles to convert its user base into paying customers.

Like a team member stuck on mute, Zoom has been touting its progress on both the enterprise and consumer side, but investors haven't been listening. Stricter time limits for users on the free tier haven't pushed enough new customers to Zoom's online segment, which translated into a 9% fall in revenue in that division, the second consecutive quarter of decline.

The struggling online segment, combined with a deceleration in the enterprise side of the business, got investors concerned, sending Zoom's share price down another 16% yesterday. That leaves the company's market cap at less than $25bn. That's a fraction (less than one-sixth) of what the business was worth at the height of Zoom-mania when its valuation was comparable to some of the largest telecom and communications companies in the country, like Comcast, AT&T and T-Mobile.

Although the company's share price chart in the last 22 months is the stuff of CEO nightmares, Zoom remains a cash-flow-machine, generating another $500m+ from its operations in the second quarter. An increasing amount of that income might need to be spent on marketing if the company wants to grow its way out of this slump.

More Data

• A day after the legendary NBA star would have turned 44, here’s Kobe Bryant’s career given the data-viz breakdown treatment.

• New estimates suggest that the cost of raising a child in the US has hit $310k on average.

• A clean and simple visualization of annual sunshine and rainfall across mainland USA.

• The folks at Flatfile have spent 5 years building every feature imaginable for data onboarding. Embedded into your product, or in a prebuilt no-code page, the Flatfile importer can validate customer data in literally minutes. CSVs be gone.**

• The ‘holy grail of Apple memorabilia,’ an Apple-1 Prototype used by Steve Jobs has just sold for nearly $700k.

• Americans are reportedly holding around $21 billion in unused gift cards — time to get digging for those long-forgotten Christmas and birthday vouchers.

• India’s sex ratio is beginning to look a little more equal as the son bias brought about 50 years ago starts to wane.

• Struggling cycle specialists Peloton have struck a deal with Amazon to sell their fitness equipment on the site, sending the company's shares up 18% in early trading.

**This is sponsored content.

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