Analyzing Birth Data

Source: AnnaliseArt from Pixabay

Type: Investigation

Theme: Spreadsheets

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Learning Target: Students will analyze United States birth data and discover social trends. Students will learn how to generate a pivot table in Excel and visualize data in different ways.

  1. Create a copy of this spreadsheet. Births-in-united-states.xlsx
  2. Data about your birth date.
    1. When were you born?
    2. What day of the week was it?
    3. How many people were born in the US on your day.
  3. One paragraph describing the social and economic conditions of the year you were born. (See links below.)
  4. Use the dataset to generate a pivot table with related data and a graph of your choice connected to that new pivot table.
  5. Provide analysis of the data, answering the following questions. (Can you use the pivot chart as evidence to support your answers?)
    1. Why are there two or more bands in the scatterplot? 
    2. Why does the data ‘make waves’, display periodic crests and troughs?
    3. Notice the peak in the data on 9/5/2007. Why have births in the US been declining since then?
  6. Please cite your sources. (Students may get help from friends. However, please submit your own work and your own personalized analysis.)

What is a Pivot Table?

A pivot table is a table of statistics that summarizes the data of a larger table. This summary might include sums or averages which the pivot table groups together in a meaningful way.

table data

 How to Create a Pivot Table in Excel

  1. Select columns A through E.
  2. Select Insert > PivotChart
    1. Select table/range: Births!$A:$C
    2. Choose a “New Worksheet”
    3. Click OK.
  3. Within the New Sheet you now will build the pivot table.
    1. Select all three columns (Day, DOB, Births)
    2. Follow the instructions. Please do not use the “Filters” section. 
    3. Now you will need to decide how you want to organize your data. 
  4. Insert a graph for your new pivot table.
  5. Use your graph(s) as evidence to support your analysis in (D).

Tools to help your research:

See also

Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can look for and make use of structure.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
  • Patterns