Stacked bar chart

It is not news that we watch a lot of TV in America. Nor is it news that the time spent staring at a smartphone is increasing. But it may be disconcerting that total viewing time is increasing.

And that is the take away from this stacked bar chart. We can quickly see that total viewing time has increased more than one hour over only two years. Smartphone viewing has approximately doubled. Tablet viewing has also approximately doubled, but from a low base.

The main point of the article is that there is a looming battle between smartphones and TV screens for video viewing. This is not really addressed by the chart, only a few numbers in the story. Perhaps an additional chart would have helped.



Stacked bar chart

The Economist recently reported that the decline of infectious diseases in developing countries will mean that care for chronic conditions will be more important.

The trend for these two cases is shown in a stacked bar chart.

The argument would be a bit more compelling if data for 2010 were included.

The stacked bar presentation works well because the values sum to 100%, there are only two values per stacked bar, and The Economist does not like to use tables in articles. The bars are somewhat redundant, but they display the relative values at a glance. It is appropriate that only the chronic case is labelled since it is the focus of the article.