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The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung released a research outlining the state of inequalities in Germany. Der Spiegel draws on the data and creates multidimensional heatmaps.
In order to measure the degree of inequality across 402 German local metropolitan and land districts, the authors of the study "Unequal Germany" (Ungleiches Deutschland) bundled together some 20 different socio-economic indicators. The latter range from the share of early school-leavers to the net-migration balance, from income indicators to the level of investments in infrastructure. As a result, researchers clustered every district into one of 5 “ideal-types”: dynamic cities, strong outside-of-town areas, resilient land-districts, counties in a long-term crisis-mode, metropolitan areas and land-districts undergoing structural change.
Researchers dig deep into the multidimensional nature of inequality and provide a comprehensive understanding of the socio-economic divisions that characterise not only Germany but, more generally speaking, contemporary societies. The several interactives heatmaps designed by and published on Der Spiegel are an excellent infographic tool to share the results of such a study with a general audience. The article is a perfect example in case of how academic research and journalism can be mutually reinforcing.