As a followup to my previous post on making maps with R, I decided to go ahead and make a bunch of maps of that data for the top 15 metro areas in the US. I posted it on Reddit where you can find a good discussion on my methods and data source.

The following maps represent estimates for the percentage of people without any form of health insurance (public or private).







Los Angeles

Miami (working on fixing this first)

Minneapolis/St. Paul

New York City



Riverside/San Bernadino

San Francisco


St. Louis

Washington D.C.


Where did the data come from?

The data came from the 2012 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. It represents the percentage of the civilian, non-institutionalized population that does not have any form of health insurance (public or private).

People who live in lakes and oceans seem to all have health insurance…

Yeah… the interpolation I used produces funny results when there is no data present, so you just have to ignore anything over a body of water or a national park. One day I’ll take the time to fix it.

Why not just make a choropleth map?

I didn’t like the jagged edges of the census tract boundaries, so I smoothed out the borders a bit. I think it makes it easier on the eyes without losing any important information. Look at my previous post linked at the top to see a comparison, it’s roughly the same.

Where’s my city, and what’s Riverside doing there?

I used this list to determine the cities, plus a few extras requested by people on Reddit.