This year saw a contentious presidential election, public health catastrophes and disease outbreaks, a massive humanitarian crisis and a continuation of the national conversation about policing and the justice system. The Huffington Post’s data team tackled these issues and more with analysis and visualization to bring new stories and perspectives to light. Here are our 10 best projects of the year:
1. We counted deaths in jails across the country.
One year after Sandra Bland’s death in custody sparked national outrage, people are still dying (in largely preventable ways) in jails across the country. The federal government doesn’t track these deaths in any meaningful way, so we did.
2. We investigated lead paint violations in New York City.
Lead can have a tragic long-term impact on children’s mental and physical health. In our investigation into lead paint violations in New York City with WNYC, we found that just a handful of landlords were responsible for a disproportionate share of lead paint violations.
3. We found out just how few women perform at music festivals.
If you went to a summer music festival this year, you may have noticed something ― most of the acts consisted of men. We dug into the data to find out why women are so underrepresented on the festival circuit.
4. We asked whether school resource officers are helping or hurting kids.
There’s been a marked increase in the number of school-based police officers in recent years, but the evidence suggests they aren’t actually making students any safer ― and may actually be turning kids into criminals. A four-part series with the Hechinger Report examines why.
5. We made primaries fun again with a literal horse race!
Replay the primaries with our horse race graphic! Watch the contenders as they race for the lead and pick up states along the way.
6. We brought you live election results.
On election night, we delivered maps and cartograms that updated in real time. Explore results by state, county or congressional district.
7. We played with Donald Trump’s favorite social network.
Twitter played a prominent role in the 2016 election. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton didn’t need press conferences to reach millions ― they just tapped that little blue bird. To find out more about the people they were reaching, we downloaded Twitter bios to create a portrait of this small slice of the electorate.
8. We looked at the wave of anti-trans bills in state legislatures.
Outgoing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) sparked outrage when he signed a controversial “bathroom bill” limiting non-discrimination policies and preventing transgender people from using the facilities that align with their gender identity. The bill was part of a wave of anti-trans bills across the country this year. A series of maps explores different states’ protections ― and where they are most at risk.
9. We visualized the “Trump effect.”
In the last year, hate crimes against Muslim Americans rose to their highest levels since 9/11 ― and experienced a particularly large jump after president-elect Donald Trump proposed banning Muslims from entering the U.S. and creating a national registry of Muslims. A series of graphics explores this so-called “Trump effect” and documents hate crimes by state.
10. We wondered if prisoners held at Guantanamo would ever see trial.
In the years since 9/11, the U.S. government has regularly tried and convicted accused terrorists in federal courts. But prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay face endless waits for military proceedings against them ― and they’re more likely to be released than tried and convicted.