Friday Eye Candy: Mapping Distance and Social Connectedness
New research published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives examines microdata from Facebook to ask questions about what social networks reveal about social connectedness between individuals and across regions.
Emily Badger and Quoctrong Bui share the news of the study, noting its findings about the importance of geographic distance in determining social connectedness.
"America is often described as a place of great divides — between red and blue, big cities and rural towns, the coasts and the heartland," they write. "But our social lives are shaped by a much stronger force that ignores many of these lines: distance."
The real fun of this article is found in an interactive map that illustrates the likelihood that people living in each U.S. county will have a Facebook friendship in any other part of the country. The article offers insight into some of the trends visible in the map.