To be rich or poor, this is the “turnout”

A data-driven story published on El Diario uncovers the relationship between poverty and electoral turnout rates.

What this work is about

Raúl Sánchez and David Noriega analyse data relative to the 2015 local elections in Madrid and show that districts with lower incomes are those featuring higher levels of abstention. In terms of electoral turnout, the spread between the best-off and worse-off average income neighbourhoods reaches 10 percentage points. As a result, people living in districts such as Puente de Vallecas and Usera are those who discard elections the most. Interestingly, the same pattern can be found looking at the broader region of Madrid and, more specifically, at municipalities counting more than 10,000 inhabitants.

Why we like it

Far from merely outlining numerical evidence, Sánchez and Noriega dig into the topic and interview a set of experts. The issue of “political participation” is thus also analysed also from a theoretical standpoint. Moreover, scholars provide a historical contextualisation of the abstention rates among low-income social groups. The piece is an excellent example of how data and critical analysis can stand together journalistically speaking.