A critique of a graphic published in the media
Updated: Oct 26, 2022
Jan 19, 2019
The above graphic was intended to provide information on the current and forecasted GDP-PPP (Gross domestic product based on purchasing power parity) for 10 Countries. The 2017 GDP information was from IMF while the 2030 GDP projections were provided by Standard Chartered, a multinational bank with headquarters in London. Unfortunately, the chart failed to convey the message clearly.
In a shoddy attempt to provide several information in one chart, the graphic ended up looking very confusing to the reader. The title of the chart (Top 10 Countries by GDP PPP) does not fully represent the intended idea to compare the current GDP (2017) with the projected GDP (2030).
Moreover, the use of circles to represent the GDP of the different countries makes readability even more complex as it does not show a clear basis for the sizes of the circles. Several colours are also used within the chart without a clear legend to make meaning of the colours.
Furthermore, there are several of unnecessary information in the chart which makes it unclear – countries are not easily identifiable, there is a “supposed” map of India within the chart, and most of the numbers in the chart are hard to interpret.
To correct this chart, I have prepared the side-by-side bar chart below using the same data provided, colours and legends to show clearly the 2030 projected GDP compared to that of 2017 for the 10 countries. Title is also changed to reflect the objective of the chart.