Project step by step: Is U.S. multiple birth rate hits record high?


After read “Data at Work” I knew that I want really try to use the sequential steps to solve a problem proposed by the book showing a very logical path to solve my own questions.

I would like to add how much I found this book extremely useful to understand and solve good problems. You can read my review and my notes about the book. Even when the book is completely oriented to solve problems using Excel 2016 as a tool, the steps involved (and the way of thinking) is entirely valid for any data visualization problem.

Collecting the data

Perhaps the most ungrateful task because there are few chances to find a good and reliable source of data.

Assessing data availability

After a good research into internet looking for different government sources, I found several datasets that can be used as a source of information in “Vital Statistics of the United States, 1980. Volume I, Natality” and subsequent reports submitted for each year until 2014.

Adjusting the data

Fortunately, the data was already normalized, so in this case, there is no need to make any adjustment.

Exploring the data

I examined the data creating a few charts to understand it as a first step. Along these lines, there are two graphs and even when they are very simple, clearly show trends and proportions.

Distribution of the information

In this visualization, we can observe the distribution of the information by color indicating how much multiple births happened by year and category: total, twins, triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets.



Evolution along time

The rise in multiple birth rates has been associated with expanded use of fertility therapies such as ovulation-inducing drugs and assisted reproductive technologies (ART).  Also, older maternal age at childbearing also contributes to more multiples births because of elevated FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) as women age.


Final conclusion

The answer to the initial question << Is U.S. multiple birth rate hits to record high? >> is yes, multiple birth rate are in a continuous growth during the last three decades.



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