For those living in the US, a new year includes a new State of the Union address from the president. Tonight, President Obama will continue that tradition.
As data enthusiasts, we naturally have a viz to go along with it. This viz shows the top 100 words used in every State of the Union speech, going back to George Washington. Select a president to see what their popular words were, and click on a specific word to see how its usage changed over time.
This viz comes from Tableau Public authors Dan Huff and Andrew Hill. I've made a few modifications to fit into our blog. It's also in 8.0 beta, and includes a new feature: word clouds. (You may need to view the viz in Firefox, Chrome or Safari).
Here are some findings from me:
- Based on the top 100 words in each speech, overall speech length has actually decreased in recent decades (barring a few spikes). Looking at the full data confirms this.
- "American" shot to popularity in the early 1900s, but "America" has really started climbing in the past few decades.
- "United States" was a much more common term in the early and mid decades of the US' history.
- Throughout history, it's common to emphasize the country as a collective ("we", "our", etc.).
What do you see? Will you be watching the State of the Union this year, and what do you think President Obama will speak about?