Saturday, April 04, 2020

Who is Not Staying at Home?

There has been a lot of discussion on social media about the New York Time's mobility maps of the USA. In Where America Didn't Stay Home Everyday the NYT has used cellphone location data to map the decrease in travel outside the home across the United States.

I really don't know enough about the social and economic make-up of US states and regions to enter into the debate raging over these maps. However I've seen enough maps of US data to recognize the similarity between the map showing 'When average distance traveled first fell below 2 miles' (shown above) and a map of America's Black Belt. The area shown in red (where people were still travelling at a later date than the rest of the US) is marked by higher poverty rates, lower median incomes and lower unemployment rates. There could be a number of reasons why poorer people in these regions have needed to still leave home. For example not being employed in professions where it is easy to work from home.

The Times article also includes the map above showing where people were still traveling last week. On social media I've seen a number of people arguing that this partially resembles a 2016 USDA map of food deserts in the USA. The food deserts map shows the percentage of Americans with no car and no supermarket within one mile. Those living in food deserts obviously have to travel further from their homes in order to visit food stores. It is possible that the above map is showing a combination of those living in food deserts and rural populations (where people may also may live some distance from the nearest store).

1 comment:

kashi said...

well very good and informative and showed why people really struggling to stay at home during this's really hard for someone to stay at home who hasn't got enough savings in the bank to take care of their family. leaving hand to mouth the whole of their life and now the situation demands them to stay at home it's really hard for them.

there may be some people who love to go out living in woods and have a large area or unpopulated areas like forests etc to move around and kill time.I myself spending time and enjoying whiskey with campfire during my camping alone in nature and think what and how this pandemic going to end.