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2021 Year in Review in Graphics — DataViz Weekly

December 31st, 2021 by AnyChart Team

2021 year in review in graphics, the final issue of DataViz Weekly in 2021As we get ready to ring in the New Year 2022, it’s a great time to take a look back at 2021! Over the last 365 days, various experts in data graphics and visual storytelling have done their best to help us better understand what was going on around us with the help of static and interactive charts, maps, and infographics. Now we want to let you recall the most important matters that shaped the passing year from the lens of data visualization.

Here, in the final DataViz Weekly issue of 2021, we bring you a roundup of the year-in-review-in-graphics recaps on Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and POLITICO.

Check it out, see the awesome visuals, and enjoy the start of a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year that we wish you all to have in 2022! 😎🎉

Data Visualization Weekly: December 24, 2021 — December 31, 2021

Bloomberg: Year in Graphics

Bloomberg's Year in Graphics
The Bloomberg Graphics team grouped the most important visual data stories it had built over the course of 2021 into 11 sections by topic: COVID, inequality, business, economy, climate, energy, real estate, new normal, politics, billionaires, and sports.

1. Tracking COVID-19:

  • The Bloomberg COVID-19 vaccine tracker
  • The Bloomberg COVID-19 resilience ranking
  • The U.S. demographics of vaccination tracker
  • Travel during COVID-19: Where can you go and what restrictions to expect
  • Inside Boston’s Major League vaccine rollout
  • To expand U.S. vaccine access, consider the dollar store
  • Confused about masking? It’s time to get tactical
  • Pfizer fights to keep its $36 billion COVID recipe a secret
  • The winners and losers from a year of ranking COVID resilience
  • Unvaccinated COVID patients push hospital systems past the brink

2. Inequality:

  • Redlined, now flooding
  • Companies open up on racial data even as representation lags
  • The booming U.S. recovery is leaving some communities completely behind
  • In a city split along race, black D.C. workers see strong economic recovery
  • These minority neighborhoods waited a year for COVID loans
  • Jobless rates from 15 U.S. cities show racial gap is widening
  • New York’s once-thriving Asian businesses struggle to recover from 4,000% unemployment spike
  • How COVIDS turbocharged the American consumer
  • Georgia shows just how broken American unemployment benefits are
  • Charging 589% interest in the pandemic is a booming business

3. Business:

  • The world’s addiction to palm oil is only getting worse
  • The chip shortage keeps getting worse. Why can’t we just make more?
  • Robinhood restrictions meant users could only lose so much
  • The STEM graduate system is broken. Here’s how to fix it
  • How a chip shortage snarled everything from phones to cars
  • Streaming TV costs add IP as Americans add more services
  • Ranking the best B-schools in the world
  • In just one year, Beijing’s crackdown has changed corporate China forever
  • Wall Street is churning out SPACs at investors’ peril
  • Every step of the global supply chain is going wrong — all at once

4. Economy:

  • A $9 trillion binge turns central banks into the market’s biggest whales
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has added $19.5t to global debt
  • How the U.K.’s trade with the EU fared after Brexit
  • China’s COVID rebound edges it closer to overtaking U.S. economy
  • A hidden bond-market problem
  • States dole out cash to college kids, theaters in $200 billion ‘experiment’
  • Europe’s giant job-saving experiment pays off in pandemic

5. Climate crisis:

  • Flood-threat assessment finds danger goes far beyond U.S. homes
  • Hamptons tries extreme climate-proofing to save itself
  • La nina roars, unleashing fire, drought and floods worldwide
  • Most Americans don’t have enough flood insurance for climate change
  • Whatever climate change does to the world, cities will be hit hardest
  • Cities are our best hope for surviving climate change
  • Killer heat forces cities to adapt now or suffer
  • More Americans are moving into fire-risky areas
  • How scientists know that climate change juices heat waves
  • The ESG mirage

6. Energy:

  • There’s a fortune to be made in the obscure metals behind clean power
  • BP looks dirtier than Exxon in new data from giant U.S. oil field
  • Opinion when the electric car is king, less energy is more
  • Secrecy and abuse claims haunt China’s solar factories in Xinjiang
  • What happens when an oil giant walks away
  • How batteries work: inside the batteries powering your car, phone and more
  • The U.S. will need a lot of land for a zero-carbon economy
  • European banks’ next big problem? The CO2 in their loan books
  • The green revolution is being built on a very dirty industry
  • The cheap and easy climate fix that can cool the planet fast
  • How to stop 30 years of failing to cut emissions
  • The Chinese companies polluting the world more than entire nations

7. Real estate and infrastructure:

  • Europe asks travelers to ditch planes for night trains
  • Building a home in the U.S. has never been more expensive
  • What it looks like to reconnect Black communities torn apart by highways
  • In Florida, petty condo politics jeopardizes residents’ safety
  • New York’s real estate tax breaks are now a rich-kid loophole
  • How a $2 million luxury condo in Brooklyn ends up with a $157 tax bill
  • New York tax bills show COVID’s lasting damage to real estate
  • In wake of 9/11, Wall Street is more of a notion than an address
  • How COVID has reshaped real estate from New York to Singapore
  • How to fix America

8. New normal:

  • More Americans are leaving cities, but don’t call it an urban exodus
  • A Seattle commercial district’s trial by virus
  • Office return stalls in London’s financial hubs

9. Politics and government:

  • What went wrong: How rioters breached the capitol complex
  • How Hong Kong’s national security law is changing everything
  • Republicans have a redistricting problem as suburbs shift toward Democrats
  • Cities say they want to defund the police. Their budgets say otherwise
  • What a scaled-down, high-security inauguration looks like
  • Lost N.Y. House seat stirs echoes of racist 1929 Congress debate
  • Republicans fall short in voting-rights crackdown while adding hassle at polls
  • NYC cops log millions of overtime hours. New Yorkers don’t feel safer

10. Billionaires and their money:

  • Trump’s ailing empire: His fortune slips to $2.3 billion as COVID and riot take a toll
  • Jack Dorsey’s celebrity network is helping him give away billions
  • Mackenzie Scott’s money bombs are single handedly reshaping America
  • How Bill and Melinda French Gates are dividing a $148 billion fortune

11. Sports:

  • Long tee shots at U.S. Open fuel debate: Does golf have a distance problem?
  • U.S. comes out on top in Tokyo Summer Olympics gold medal haul

WSJ: Year in Graphics

The Wall Street Journal's Year in Graphics
The Wall Street Journal starts its collection of selected graphics helping to explain 2021 with editors’ picks. Next come the sections dedicated to investigations, pandemic life, COVID-19, disasters, and the future. This year-in-graphics feature concludes with 21 projects called “Some of Our Favorites.”

1. Editors’ picks:

  • Americans up and moved during the pandemic. Here’s where they went
  • How the 9/11 attacks remade New York City’s Financial District
  • Are electric cars really better for the environment?
  • What is ranked choice voting? NYC’s ballot explained, with bagels
  • Why is the supply chain still so snarled? We explain, with a hot tub

2. Investigations:

  • The Facebook files
  • How TikTok serves up sex and drug videos to minors
  • Federal judges with financial conflicts

3. Pandemic life:

  • The places you can’t fly to anymore
  • Nearly 1.5 million mothers are still missing from the workforce
  • How much are prices up? Here’s one family’s day-to-day expenses

4. COVID-19:

  • How mutations have shaped the COVID-19 pandemic
  • mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are fast to make, but hard to scale
  • COVID-19 vaccines vs. infections

5. Disasters:

  • Problems with the Miami-area condo: a visual analysis
  • Drought’s toll on U.S. agriculture points to even-higher food prices
  • How a bomb cyclone and atmospheric river combined to batter California, West Coast

6. The future:

  • How computers with humanlike senses will change our lives
  • Jeff Bezos in space: What the 10-minute Blue Origin flight will be like
  • China’s space station Tiangong is coming together bit by bit

7. Some of our favorites:

  • We compared ‘Taylor’s version’ songs with the original Taylor Swift albums
  • America’s imports are stuck on ships floating just off Los Angeles
  • NASA’s 2021 Mars Perseverance rover on track for ambitious landing, search for alien life
  • See just how big Doordash, Airbnb and Snowflake have gotten
  • The SPAC boom, visualized
  • Is a graduate degree worth the debt? Check it here
  • How new wind turbines produce far more energy
  • Digging out stuck ship in the Suez canal: what is needed to refloat the ever given
  • Where voting laws are most likely to change for the 2022 election
  • How Simone Biles performs her most difficult gymnastics moves at the Olympics
  • Thanksgiving dinner staples are low in stock thanks to supply-chain issues
  • How the biggest companies have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Rising inflation looks less severe using pre-pandemic comparisons
  • Half of U.S. states ended federal COVID-related jobless benefits early. Here is how they compare with the other half
  • COVID-19 forced more Americans to juggle working from home and child care
  • Climate summit: How do you cut 50% of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030?
  • Why Doordash and Uber Eats delivery is costing you more
  • Biden’s first 100 days: COVID-19 relief package, executive orders and appointments
  • Understanding your tax return: An illustrated guide to common terms
  • How much do electric vehicles cost to ‘fill up’ compared with buying gasoline?
  • The journey of one Southwest plane explains the misery of travel now

NYT: Year in Visual Stories and Graphics

The New York Times's Year in Visual Stories and Graphics
The New York Times says its strongest visual stories of the passing year covered the subjects of insurrection, vaccines, wildfires, demographics, variants, pop music, climate change, and the Olympics. The projects in this year-in-review piece are grouped by month of release.

1. January:

  • A guide for COVID-19 risk in your county
  • Where 2020’s record heat was felt the most
  • Tracking the oath keepers who attacked the Capitol
  • Critical moments in the Capitol siege
  • Every country has its own climate risks. What’s yours?
  • Three weeks inside a pro-Trump QAnon chat room
  • How a presidential rally turned into a Capitol rampage
  • 150 years ago Brooklyn renumbered all its streets. It was a disaster
  • Hospitals in England struggle in the grip of the virus
  • Tracking coronavirus vaccinations around the world
  • 2,000 headlines. Here is a first draft of Trump’s legacy
  • The complete list of Trump’s Twitter insults (2015-2021)

2. February:

  • Arrested in Capitol riot: Organized militants and a horde of radicals
  • First they guarded Roger Stone. Then they joined the Capitol attack
  • A small group of militants’ outsize role in the Capitol attack
  • They stormed the Capitol. Their apps tracked them
  • Lie after lie: Listen to how Trump built his alternate reality
  • A step-by-step guide to the second impeachment of Donald J. Trump
  • An extremely detailed map of the 2020 election
  • The primal scream: America’s mothers are in crisis
  • Why opening windows is a key to reopening schools
  • What are the vaccine roadblocks where you live?
  • Tracking coronavirus variants
  • Reddit is America’s unofficial unemployment hotline

3. March:

  • Subtle shifts hint at dramatic dangers in the Atlantic ocean
  • A close-up picture of partisan segregation
  • The culture warped pop, for good
  • Do you think you can tell how a neighborhood voted just by looking around?
  • Where people can and can’t get vaccinated around the world
  • Pandemic’s racial disparities persist with vaccine rollout
  • Who’s next in the vaccine line?
  • See how rich countries got to the front of the vaccine line
  • What it’s like to lose someone to COVID
  • One way illicit oil reaches North Korea
  • 19 songs that matter right now

4. April:

  • Rise of variants in Europe shows how dangerous the virus can be
  • How the virus tore through the U.S. prison system
  • Readers share artifacts of remembrance
  • How safe are you from COVID when you fly?
  • Covid upended a century of patterns in U.S. deaths
  • One son’s 48-hour fight to save his parents
  • Our ‘before’ no longer makes sense. How do we live now?
  • Swelling anti-Asian violence: Who is being attacked where
  • Least vaccinated U.S. counties have something in common: Trump voters
  • A climate change guide for kids
  • How Pfizer makes its COVID-19 vaccine
  • The off-white papers
  • How does ranked-choice voting work in New York?
  • Which states will gain or lose seats in the next Congress
  • Do you live in a political bubble?
  • What does love look like in a time of hate?

5. May:

  • The art in the oval office tells a story
  • Claiming the summit without reaching the top
  • How do animals safely cross a highway?
  • Meet the four kinds of people holding us back from full vaccination
  • These 8 Democrats want to be Mayor of New York City. We have questions
  • Mapping New York City’s mayoral campaign money
  • What the Tulsa race massacre destroyed
  • Can removing highways fix America’s cities?
  • The pandemic has split in two
  • Hear a Harlem choir rejoice again

6. June:

  • ‘Everyone here is alone.’ How COVID tore apart a New Delhi neighborhood
  • Since when have trees existed only for rich Americans?
  • What happened when Trump was banned on social media
  • Why the Mexico City metro collapsed
  • The amazon that customers don’t see
  • New York primary election results
  • The heat in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver is off the charts
  • How China spreads its propaganda version of life in Xinjiang
  • Floor by floor, the lost lives of the surfside building collapse
  • Day of rage: How Trump supporters took the U.S. Capitol

7. July:

  • Sunisa Lee is unmatched on uneven bars and wants all-around glory
  • There’s nothing Adam Ondra can’t climb
  • What happened in Simone Biles’s vault
  • How pitching changed after a crackdown on sticky substances
  • Running fast vs. running far
  • When a search crosses the line: Egyptian women describe state abuse
  • What matters in a name sign?
  • These 115 workers helped keep New York alive in its darkest months
  • What’s in and what’s out of the infrastructure plan
  • Tracking wildfires in the West

8. August:

  • Decisive moments from the Tokyo games, frame by frame
  • Visualizing present vs. past Olympic champions
  • The hidden melodies of subways around the world
  • Where the racial makeup of the U.S. shifted in the last decade
  • See mask mandates and guidance in each state
  • The dangerous road to the Kabul airport
  • 179 reasons you probably don’t need to panic about inflation
  • Inside the diverse and growing Asian population in the U.S.
  • Hospitals and insurers didn’t want you to see these prices. Here’s why
  • What’s making the delta wave deadlier
  • Black surfers refuse to be excluded: ‘I have a right to be on this wave’

9. September:

  • The Caldor Fire’s march to the edge of South Lake Tahoe
  • Bitcoin uses more electricity than many countries. How is that possible?
  • A tour of China’s future Tiangong space station
  • Why the Empire State Building, and New York, may never be the same
  • How a U.S. drone strike killed the wrong person
  • Covid hospitalizations hit crisis levels in southern I.C.U.S.
  • After hurricane Ida, oil infrastructure springs dozens of leaks
  • The Surfside condo was flawed and failing. Here’s a look inside
  • How it feels to be Asian in today’s America
  • When a minivan becomes a music machine

10. October:

  • How Texas plans to make its house districts even redder
  • In Mexico, nearly 100,000 people are missing
  • How everyday sexism could stop you from getting that promotion
  • See how the Dixie Fire created its own weather
  • What previous COVID-19 waves tell us about the virus now
  • Before the final frame: When police missteps create danger
  • The fight for sneakers

11. November:

  • The untold story of sushi in America
  • How maps reshape American politics
  • What we see in the shameful trends on U.S. maternal health
  • What we know so far about waning vaccine effectiveness
  • See where COVID is surging across Europe
  • Everything in the house budget bill
  • Where should you live?
  • Vote for the best book

12. December:

  • How Beijing influences the influencers
  • How the supply chain crisis unfolded
  • Where the despairing log on, and learn ways to die
  • A climate alarm rises from the Antarctic
  • The civilian casualty files
  • Postcards from a world on fire
  • See where 12 million workers are affected by vaccine mandates
  • 5 desperate days: Escaping Kabul
  • Why COVID death rates are rising for some groups
  • The coronavirus in a tiny drop

POLITICO: Year in Figures and Charts

POLITICO's Year in Figures and Charts
POLITICO published a self-sufficient year review piece that shows visualizations on the topics defining the year, from the pandemic challenge and fight against climate change to Biden’s Afghan Pains and the culmination of Brexit:

  • Pandemic, year two
  • Not over yet
  • Economies recover…
  • …But inflation hurts families
  • Pricey energy bills
  • The end of an era
  • Elections have consequences
  • Biden’s Afghan pains
  • Forest fires burn…
  • …As the world commits to taking action
  • U.K. trade shifts after Brexit
  • Industrial shortages
  • Pandemic hit women harder


Want more cool data graphics and stories? Revisit our previous year-in-review roundups — 2020, 2019, 2018 — and weekly selections!

Looking forward to seeing you in 2022!

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