Data Visualisation Analysis – Brazilian Flag


What is the story?

The Brazilian flag graphic tells the story of how money is dispersed amongst the Brazilian population in categories. It does this by using each different colour featured on the Brazilian flag to represent one statistical group of people. The green (the largest area) being people who live with ten dollars a month and the white (smallest area) being those who live with more than 100,000 dollars a month.

How is it being told?

The story is being told through the clever use of the Brazilian national flag. Each colour on the flag represents one group of people. The data visualisation is the flag. There is no bar graph of pie chart used here to show the data, only an already recognisable symbol of Brazil. The use of colour, shape and varying size is how each section is compared.

Does it allow for different levels of interrogation that can be seen or used on the part of the reader? eg can they drill down to discover more detail?

No. This Data Visualisation does not allow you to interrogate it at all. Each statistic is only alluded to through the size of the area of each colour, which you cannot easily tell anyway. There are no numbers used at any point in this data visualisation.

The data visualisation is only displaying one dimension of the money figures- how it is dispersed. It does not allow different aspects of the information to be interpreted such as, what the employment rate is, where these people live in each category around brazil, etc.

Are you able to create multiple stories from it? If so what are they?

Not really. All you can really tell from this visualisation is that there is a huge divide in the income with most being very poor.

What can you say about the visual design- layout, colour, typography, visualisation style?

Honestly, there is not much actual design involved in this visualisation. All that has been done here is to stylize the Brazilian flag to give it a little more depth and add a key to show the statistics. The small amount of type used is just a normal sans serif typeface used for body text, easy to read and simple, but it works well. The actual yellow and blue parts of the visualisation also look to be about the same size in terms of area, despite the intent to have the yellow bigger.

By using the Brazilian flag to layout each section, it does make it harder for the reader to compare as the distance is further away, the sections are dispersed into smaller sections as well.

What improvements would you suggest?

I would suggest a clearer or more organized comparison of data against each other (The visual style of the flag makes it hard to really compare the size and shape of each colour against the others when they are placed abstractly amongst each other in the shape of a flag).

Perhaps including a different dimension of information to create a stronger story about the topic. So instead of just talking about each group and how much money they live off each month, maybe also compare where around brazil majority of those people live in each money bracket.

I would also suggest the use of some actual statistics in this visualisation to give it more credibility.

Where does the data came from, and comment on it’s source.

It is doubtful that there were any actual statistics used in this visualisation at all. We could not find any actual data source cited at all throughout this visualisation or anywhere on the websites we found it. It is likely that this “data” was simply anecdotal observations used to make a point about the living conditions in Brazil. Raw statistics is not what this visualisation is about, it is about making a point.

Feedback and comments on this visual on the website we found it, commented on how powerful the visual was, although they did also question just how credible the scale was in terms of representing real data.


Icaro Doria. Meet the World, Brazil [Image] (2007, February 16). Retrieved July 28, 2016, from