Martin Stabe

Will your area of London be affected by the closure of ten fire stations today?

This map divides London into regions around each existing fire station. In areas shaded dark red, the nearest fire station will be closed. In regions shaded lighter red, the local station will lose a fire engine or specialist rescue unit. In blue-shaded regions, the nearest fire station will gain an additional fire engine.

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Twitter is going public and has been valued at up to $17.4bn, but that could be low as the company could be trying to achieve a large IPO pop once its shares start trading. But what do you think it is worth? What assumptions would you need to make to arrive at this conclusion?

Enter your projections for Twitter’s sales growth, profitability, capital expenditures, terminal growth rate and cost of equity in our IPO calculator below to see how key assumptions affect the potential market value of the social networking firm’s offering. You can then share your valuation with others.

The rise in US food prices accelerated in September and has continued into October, according to a detailed study of retail prices – though the US federal government shutdown has robbed financial markets of any official measures of the state of the economy.

These unofficial inflation figures, from a US start-up called Premise, highlight the growing use of massive data collection and analysis – known as “big data” – to supplement and in some cases replace official economic statistics.

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Italy goes to the polls on February 24 and 25, after Mario Monti, the country’s technocratic prime minister, announced his resignation in December. He is attempting to safeguard his legacy by standing as a campaigning politician, but Mr Monti faces strong competition.

This interactive graphic shows Italy’s economic standing and its regional disparities and what the newly elected government will have to grapple with once it comes to power.

Martin Stabe

The London Fire Brigade has published its incident data for the past four years in the London Data Store, the capital’s open data repository.

The data, originally obtained by the Financial Times under the Freedom of Information Act and published last week in our London Fire Brigade response times map, is being released as open data because of widespread interest in the potential impact of fire station closures.

The London Fire Authority is defying mayor Boris Johnson’s order to put the proposed cuts to public consultation. The £45m cut in the brigade’s budget over two years, would see 12 fire stations, 18 engines and 520 jobs go. Read more

Two Conservative-led London councils have joined opposition mayor Boris Johnson’s plan to close or shrink fire stations in their boroughs as part of £48m in budget cuts over two years.

This interactive map shows the speed with London Fire Brigade can currently respond to incidents at the most detailed level ever published.Using the Freedom of Information Act, the Financial Times obtained data on nearly 500,000 incidents that the London Fire Brigade has responded to since introducing its current incident management system in November 2008.

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Martin Stabe

By Martin Stabe and Callum Locke

The latest England and Wales census data throw a spotlight onto an increasingly multi-lingual population – at least where London is concerned. In the capital one in five households do not speak English as their main language. However, London is far from representative of the country as a whole.

You can use this interactive map to explore clusters of languages around the country. Choose the language in the drop down menu, then zoom into areas of interest.

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One million households in England and Wales do not speak English as their main language with Polish the most common foreign tongue, new data from the 2011 census revealed on Wednesday.

The survey also showed married households were in a minority for the first time since records began and that the number of unrelated adults sharing houses has shot up 28 per cent over the decade.

London has by far the largest proportion of non-English speakers with almost one in four adults with a foreign language as their mother tongue. White ethnic Britons are now a minority in London, data released last month showed.All London boroughs apart from the City of London reported more than 100 primary languages.

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Average incomes from pensions are highest in the Conservative heartlands of the South of Britain, so this is where the pain would be felt if winter fuel allowances, free bus passes and free TV licences for pensioners were means-tested.

In this interactive map, parliamentary constituencies are grouped according to the taxpayers’ mean income from pensions. The constituencies are pooled into five equally-sized groups with those with the richest pensioners shaded darkest, and the poorest pensioners lightest. These can be compared with the party of the current MP for each area.

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Martin Stabe

The latest data from the FT/Economist Business Barometer, the quarterly global business sentiment survey, was published last week and the business-friendliness section again made for interesting reading.

France’s “business friendliness” has plummeted since the last barometer survey, which was conducted before before the election of François Hollande as president. For the first time, more of the business executives surveyed by the EIU rated the country’s ”unfriendly” than “friendly” to business. Read more

Martin Stabe

Iran's weightlifters Behdad Salimikordasiabi and Sajjad Anoushiravani took gold and silver in the men's +105kg

As expected, the US and China topped the conventional Olympic medal tables (however you chose to sort them). But by merely achieving the expected, the sporting superpowers appear much farther down the FT’s weighted medal table, which ranks countries by how much they exceeded pre-Games expectations.

Our table benchmarked nations performance against macroeconomic factors known to affect Olympic performance, such as GDP and population.

Great Britain’s 29 gold medals and 65 overall was enough for third place on the FT table as well as the conventional table – an impressive feat given the handicap our methodology imposed on it by taking into account the host-nation advantage.  Here’s a look at some of the other nations that can leave London extremely happy, having greatly exceeded expectations. Some of them may surprise you. Read more

Martin Stabe

This scatterplot below shows how nations’ actual medal performance at London 2012 compares to the economic models used to construct the FT medal table, along with some of the underlying factors used by the models, such  GDP, population and performance at Beijing in 2008.

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Martin Stabe

How does Great Britain’s haul of 65 medals, including 29 golds, compare to other recent host nations’ performance?

There can be little doubt that greater recent investment in elite sports is the main cause of  Great Britain’s impressive performance at these Olympics an uptick in performance compared with Beijing 2008 would have been expected regardless, because of a well-documented “host-nation effect” that sees the home team performed significantly better than it usually does. Read more

Martin Stabe

We launched the FT’s economically-weighted medal table on Sunday night.

Rather than ranking the table in the conventional format – gold medals followed, where equal, by silver medals and finally bronze medals – we are ranking counties by their performance against a benchmark developed from four economic models. These predict success on the basis of socioeconomic factors that have been shown to contribute to Olympic performance historically.

Even on our weighted measure, China leads with its 12 medals, representing 4.6 more than would be expected at this stage of the games. Italy’s seven medals place its over-achievement to date hundredths of a percentage point behind. Great Britain, by contrast, is near the foot of our table, underachieving by 2.8 medals so far. Read more

Martin Stabe

Over the next two weeks, the Olympic “medal table”, ranking nations according to the number of gold, silver and bronze medals their athletes have collected in London will be widely reported.

But there will be few surprises: The United States, China and Russia will almost certainly top the table, followed by the smaller wealthy countries. Great Britain will most likely fare better than usual, because the host nation usually does.

Population, GDP per capita, past performance and “home advantage” appear to have a strong relationship to nations’ Olympic success, a common-sense observation that has long been demonstrated by social science.

Substantial academic literature, stretching back to the 1950s, has been produced by economists, sociologists and political scientists using statistical techniques to relate nations’ macroeconomic conditions to their Olympic performance, and forecasting upcoming games.

Typically, these take the form of regression analyses that use historical macroeconomic data as independent variables to account for participating countries’ medal share at the Olympics.

During the London games, the FT will use three four such models as a benchmark to rank our medal table according to teams’ ability to outperform models that account for their size, wealth and other socioeconomic factors: Read more

Martin Stabe

The population of England and Wales has grown by more than seven per cent since 2001, the first release of data from the 2011 census shows.

The estimate, based on the census taken on March 27 2011, recorded a population of 53.0 million in England and 3.1 million in Wales, representing an increase of 3.7 million in the decade since the 2001 census, which recorded a population of 52.4 million.

This increase of 7.1 per cent represents the largest growth in the population in England and Wales in any 10-year period since the 1911 census.

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With bank profitability unlikely to recover to pre-crisis levels, many investors now argue that cutting staff wages is the only reliable route to higher dividends.

This interactive graphic shows the results of an FT analysis of how the “spoils” to be divided between shareholders and employees at each of the world’s 13 big international banks have changed since 2000. With the pot of “spoils” defined as net profits with staff costs added back in, the chart shows the proportions allocated to dividends, pay and retained earnings.

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It’s EUROPE’S SCARIEST CHART (against some pretty stiff competition): Spanish youth unemployment above 50 per cent! One in two young Spaniards on the scrapheap! Packs of ravening wolves roaming the streets of Madrid!

Prepare to be terrified:

Actually, a bit misleading.

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Martin Stabe

With more than a year’s worth of of data from our exclusive business sentiment poll, the FT/Economist Global Business Barometer, now available, some interesting longitudinal patterns are becoming apparent for the first time.

Most notable among them is the steady erosion over the past year in executives’ perceptions of the “business friendliness” three of the world’s biggest developing economies, India, China and Brazil.

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Martin Stabe

What we’re reading today in the world of statistics, open data and data journalism:

We like a good political choropleth around here, and Sunday’s European election extravaganza did not disappoint in the psephological cartography department.

A good map of the Greek results can be found at igraphics.gr, Le Monde has the obligatory map of the French presidential election par département, and Michael Neutze’s site Wahlatlas covered the results in the German state of Schleswig-HolsteinRead more