Volume 44 - Article 36 | Pages 865–878

Editorial to the Special Issue on Demographic Data Visualization: Getting the point across – Reaching the potential of demographic data visualization

By Tim Riffe, Nikola Sander, Sebastian Kluesener

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:04 Sep 2020
Date published:20 Apr 2021
Word count:3334
Keywords:data visualization, demographic data, demography
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection on Data Visualization here.


Background: Demography is full of data visualization challenges, such as age-period-cohort effects or life course trajectories. Innovative approaches to visualizing such complex data structures have been proposed from within and outside the discipline. However, demographic data visualizations presented in the scientific literature often fall short of the state-of-the-art.

Objective: We discuss what makes a good data visualization and why it is worthwhile to strive for state-of-the-art visualization. We highlight the distinction between exploratory and explanatory graphics, and relate the seven papers that comprise the Demographic Research special collection on data visualization to the broader endeavor of data visualization in demography.

Contribution: We suggest a set of best practice rules that are intended to provide general guidance for researchers attempting to produce meaningful and coherently designed figures from their data.

Author's Affiliation

Tim Riffe - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (University of the Basque Country), Spain [Email]
Nikola Sander - Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung (BiB), Germany [Email]
Sebastian Kluesener - Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung (BiB), Germany [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» The turnaround in internal migration between East and West Germany over the period 1991 to 2018
Volume 43 - Article 33

» Lexis fields
Volume 42 - Article 24

» Exploring the demographic history of populations with enhanced Lexis surfaces
Volume 42 - Article 6

» Estimating male fertility in eastern and western Germany since 1991: A new lowest low?
Volume 35 - Article 53

» Symmetries between life lived and left in finite stationary populations
Volume 35 - Article 14

» The Contextual Database of the Generations and Gender Programme: Concept, content, and research examples
Volume 35 - Article 9

» The force of mortality by life lived is the force of increment by life left in stationary populations
Volume 32 - Article 29

» Spatial inequalities in infant survival at an early stage of the longevity revolution: A pan-European view across 5000+ regions and localities in 1910
Volume 30 - Article 68

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» The Human Multiple Births Database (HMBD): An international database on twin and other multiple births
Volume 48 - Article 4    | Keywords: demographic data

» The growth of education differentials in marital dissolution in the United States
Volume 45 - Article 26    | Keywords: demography

» Mexican mortality 1990‒2016: Comparison of unadjusted and adjusted estimates
Volume 44 - Article 30    | Keywords: demography

» The centered ternary balance scheme: A technique to visualize surfaces of unbalanced three-part compositions
Volume 44 - Article 19    | Keywords: data visualization

» A visual tool to explore the composition of international migration flows in the EU countries, 1998–2015
Volume 42 - Article 27    | Keywords: data visualization