US gun laws, Thai cave divers, and the price of beer around the world: What 2018 looked like in maps
Maps can tell us a lot about what happened in 2018 - from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding to the results of the Midterm elections.
The Graphics Insider team compiled 56 of the maps we created this year that visualize the many ups and downs of 2018.
Follow along through 2018 in maps, from wildfires and baby name trends, to the cost of products around the world and Trump's tariff war.
Andy Kiersz contributed to this article.
In January 2018, the Trump administration proposed auctioning off nearly all US coastal waters for offshore drilling. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimated the new plan would make "more than 98%" of the waters off the US available for oil and gas leasing over the next five years.
On February 9, the 2018 Winter Olympics began in Pyeongchang, South Korea. More than 200 athletes on the roster for the US Olympic team competed. Even though they tend to live where the training is best, they were born all over the country.
In March, there was a string of deadly bombings in Austin, Texas, at seven locations in total. Two people were killed, and seven were injured.
In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced new, supposedly unstoppable nuclear weapons that could hit the US in a matter of minutes. This map shows the essential points Russia would have to attack to wipe out US nuclear forces:
In April, careers site Zippia ranked each US state according to how good it is for the gun industry. The site found that not every state is as welcoming to firearms as America's reputation would suggest.
Zippia also looked at the most disproportionately popular college major in every state.
We also analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the most disproportionately popular job in every state. Fashion designers flock to New York, Nevada is rife with gaming service workers, and Texans are more likely to be petroleum engineers than workers in other states.
April 17 was Tax Day in the US. This map shows the income tax rate per state for 2017 filings. President Trump's new federal tax brackets will go into effect when you file your 2018 taxes.
April was also when 87 million Facebook users received notifications saying their data had been compromised in the highly publicized Cambridge Analytica scandal. This map shows a state-by-state breakdown of Facebook users who were impacted.
On May 14, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner made rare remarks at Jerusalem embassy opening. President Trump's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem was highly divisive, but Kushner championed the move, despite the resulting increased violence in the Gaza Strip.
On May 18, the Social Security Administration released statistics on the popularity of baby names in the previous year. Liam was the most popular name for baby boys in 16 states and Emma was the most popular name in half of the states.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married at Windsor Castle on May 19. This map shows the procession route on their wedding day, starting with a ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, England
Speaking of the royal wedding, Meghan and Harry's first dance song, Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," was also the top pick at weddings in Massachusetts and New York. Here are the artist behind the most popular wedding song in every state, according to Spotify:
In May, RENTCafé broke down the average rent for different Manhattan neighborhoods, and we ranked them from most to least affordable.
The same month we looked at how the US is divided into more than a dozen 'belts' defined by industry, weather, and even health. Click the link below to see the full breakdown.
Based on the same Deutsche Bank report, we mapped the average price for 15 different goods and services in various cities based on the report. Click the link below to see all of the maps.
In June, President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau engaged in a war of words after the G7 summit in in Quebec, Canada. The fight marked one of the most intense moments of Trump's ongoing global trade war.
In June, more than 1.5 million Venezuelans left their country, resettling abroad in a trend that has affected every country in the hemisphere and put increasing pressure on the local communities.
On June 8, the CDC revealed fresh state-by-state statistics on suicide rates showing that more Americans in every age group, from 10 to 75, are committing suicide. The new data came out after designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain died by suicide.
June 14 marked the start of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Tournament matches took place at 11 venues across the country, taking teams as far east as Ekaterinburg and as far south as Sochi.
In June, Business Insider spoke to Aristedes Mahairas, a special agent in charge of the New York FBI's Special Operations/Cyber Division, about the cybersecurity landscape in America. This map shows the biggest threats to the US.
A new report showed the hourly wages workers need to rent a two-bedroom home. The map is a stark reminder that many Americans, especially low-income workers, can't afford to rent even a modest home.
In late June, China responded to Trump's massive tariffs by slamming $34 billion worth of US goods with tariffs of their own. These are the states that were most affected:
On July 7, 176 of the world's best cyclists started the 105th edition of the Tour de France. This map shows the route for this year's competition.
Divers rescued a boys' soccer team from a cave in Thailand in early July. The boys had to learn the basics of swimming and diving before they could start the 2.5 mile journey to safety.
In July, wildfires killed at least 74 people near Athens, Greece. The areas hit worst were the seaside communities of Mati and Kineta.
Throughout the summer, scientists predicted that the worst summer storms are only going to get more violent as the planet warms. Take a look at how much wetter the wettest storms in the US have gotten since 1958:
A cargo ship named Peak Pegasus that was carrying $20 million of soybeans drifted off the coast of China for over a month this summer. The ship became an internet sensation on Chinese social media as it raced to deliver its cargo before new Beijing tariffs took effect.
Just in time for Labor Day, we created the ultimate guide to traveling around the world, from how to pack your suitcase to which countries you need a visa to visit. Click the link below to see more graphics that will help you be an expert traveler.
Part of our travel series included how far in advance to book your flight from the US. For flights from the US to the Caribbean, you should book almost seven months in advance, while 66 days is enough time for flights to Canada.
The Trump administration announced on September 17 that it would slash the number of refugees accepted into the US in fiscal year 2019 to 30,000. That's the lowest "cap" a president has set since the program was created in 1980. This map shows the number of refugees accepted in every state in 2018.
China denounced the US's routine flight of B-52 nuclear capable bombers across the Pacific on September 28, calling it a "provocative" step that it would take measures against. The US and China have been involved in a prolonged diplomatic tit-for-tat which has seen tensions rise as both countries remain determined to assert their will on the South China Sea.
In September, using data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey, we found how common various ancestries are in all 50 states. For instance, Irish ancestry is most concentrated in the northeast, while Mexican and Mexican-American ancestry is most common in the states that share a border with Mexico.
From the Trump administration separating thousands of immigrant children from their parents to the more recent caravan traveling to the border to seek asylum, the 1,933-mile US-Mexico border has been a huge focal point in 2018. Click the link below to explore the border in a series of maps.
The caravan of an estimated 7,200 migrants from Central America have traveled by foot through southern Mexico. Traveling tens of miles each day in sweltering heat, this map shows the caravan's journey as of October 22.
Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on October 6, after three women publicly accused him of sexual misconduct, throwing his nomination process into chaos. The Supreme Court now has a solidly conservative majority, causing many abortion rights advocates to fear that such a makeup would overturn Roe v. Wade. If Roe is overturned, the issue of abortion will go back to the states.
Washington state's Supreme Court ruled on October 11 that the death penalty violates its constitution because it has been "imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner." Capital punishment has reached record lows across the US — at both the state and federal levels. Though most states still technically retain the death penalty, very few actually use it.
According to Credit Suisse's 2018 Global Wealth Report released in October, while the the US is "in the lead" when it comes to global wealth, when you take into account how much wealth the average American household has on hand, the US doesn't even fall in the top ten.
Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor published a report in October showing which countries are violating the UN's Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that was introduced in 2017. Although the treaty is not enforceable yet, 40 countries, 29 of which are NATO member states, are technically in violation.
A week before the midterm elections, news broke that President Donald Trump wanted to issue an executive order ending birthright citizenship in the US. Birthright citizenship, which the US has recognized since 1868, is a policy whereby a child is granted citizenship by the country where they're born.
In late October, the Mega Millions jackpot hit a record-high $1.6 billion. Business Insider looked at statistics from the US Census Bureau to figure out the average amount each resident in a state spent on lottery tickets in 2016 using the Bureau's population estimates and state lottery revenue figures from the annual Survey of State Government Finances.
In honor of Halloween, online candy retailer CandyStore.com used 11 years of sales data to determine the favorite candy of every state.
Starting on October 23, a series of explosive devices were sent in the mail to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and other high-ranking Democrats around the country. On October 26, authorities identified the suspect in connection to the mail bombs as Cesar Sayoc Jr..
In early November, the US military sent thousands of troops from bases across ten different states to the US-Mexico border in preparation for the arrival of migrant caravans determined to enter the US.
On November 17, Amazon finally revealed it will develop its HQ2 in both Arlington, Virginia and Long Island City, Queens. New York City offered Amazon $1.525 billion in direct tax incentives, based on the 25,000 jobs the company promised to fill in the area, while Virginia promised the company $573 million.
In mid-November, we looked at the homeless population in the United States. From 2007 to 2017, it went down 14.4%, according to data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2007, there were 647,258 homeless Americans, compared to the 553,742 there are today.
The gay community in Taiwan suffered a major loss on November 24, when the island nation voted against same-sex marriage in a series of referenda.
Authorities announced on November 25 that the Camp Fire in northern California, which had raged for over two weeks in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, was 100% contained. The blaze scorched 153,336 acres — an area larger than the city of Chicago — destroyed an entire town in less than a day, and killed at least 85 people, making it by far the deadliest fire in the state's history.
Leading up to the Midterm Elections in early November, we created a series of maps to help prepare voters across the country for Election Day. This map shows the states that grant employees time off work to vote.
On Tuesday, November 6, the 2018 Midterm elections resulted in the House of Representatives flipping to a democratic majority and the Senate increasing their majority by two seats. This year saw record levels of both early and total voter turnout, with 39 million Americans estimated to have voted early.
There were many additional propositions on ballots across the country. Florida voters passed Amendment 4, giving 1.5 million citizens with felony convictions in the state the right to vote, except those convicted of murder and felony sex crimes.
Another result of the midterms was that Michigan became the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana and both Utah and Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana. This map shows every US state where pot is legal:
For Thanksgiving, INSIDER conducted a nationwide survey to see what regional differences existed when it came to food served and pies consumed.
Black Friday is the largest shopping event in the United States. BlackFriday.com combed through data to find the most searched-for terms in every state for 2018. The data was put together by comparing month-over-month Google searches using the 30-day period ending on November 9.
At the end of November, we analyzed individual-level data from the US Census Bureau's 2017 "American Community Survey" and found the median total income among full-time, year-round employed workers in each state for three generational age groups:
We also used US Census Bureau's recently released statistics from the 2017 American Community Survey to figure out the median age of residents in each state.
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