I’m working on the 2nd edition of our textbook, Gould & Ryan, and was looking for some examples of bad statistical graphics. Last time, I used FBI data and created a good and bad graphic from the data. This time, I was pleased to see that the FBI provided its own bad graphic.
This shows a dramatic decrease in crime over the last 5 years. (Not sure why 2012 data aren’t yet available.) Of course, this graph is only a bad graph if the purpose is to show the rate of decrease. If you look at it simply as a table of numbers, it is not so bad.
Here’s the graph on the appropriate scale.
Still, a decrease worth bragging about. But, alas, somewhat less dramatic.