What Did Obama Do As POTUS? This Interactive Tests Your Assumptions

From The New York Times, an exercise in opinion versus reality.

What Did Obama Do As POTUS? This Interactive Tests Your Assumptions
[[Photo: via White House official Flickr]

Some people might think Obama is the devil incarnate–to others, he’s the most successful Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

While the question of Obama’s legacy might be the subject of popular debate, real data paints a much clearer picture of our 44th president. A new interactive from The New York Times challenges you to draw a trendline for key metrics during the Obama years, like the unemployment rate, the number of criminal deportations, the national debt, and more. For comparison’s sake, the graphic shows you how each trend fared during the Bush years, too.

Explore the full series of graphics here. The New York Times

Thought Obama went easy on immigrants? Think again–the graphic shows that Obama deported more than double the number of immigrants who were convicted criminals. Thought Obamacare shot health care spending through the roof? Not quite–the graphic reveals how spending increased by only 2%, about the same rate that it did during the Bush years. Thought the number of violent crimes increased under Obama, as Donald Trump has claimed? The numbers say otherwise. Today, crime is lower than it was during the 1990s.

By asking readers to draw what they think the statistics show, the interactive reveals how far our assumptions often are from reality. The numbers don’t lie. Try your own hand at the game here.

About the author

Katharine Schwab is a contributing writer at Co.Design based in New York who covers technology, design, and culture. Follow her on Twitter @kschwabable.