Creating and Analyzing a Binary Map Using FRED® Maps

This lesson demonstrates how easy it is to create a binary FRED map. Students search for state-level data on average weekly earnings and visualize them in FRED. The goals are for students to customize a map, observe patterns in mapped data, and note differences across geographical areas.

Economic and Statistical Concepts Covered in this Lesson

  • Average: The sum of a collection of numbers divided by the count of numbers in the collection.
  • Binary map: A map with regions divided into two classes.
  • Choropleth map: A map that uses shading, color, or symbols to convey a quantity or property for an area.
  • Median: The middle number in a list of numbers; the number that divides data into a top half and a bottom half.
  • Per capita: A quantity per person determined by dividing the total quantity by total population.
  • Personal income: The income that individuals receive from all sources, including wages and salaries, dividends and interest, rents, profits, and transfer payments.


Students will be able to:

  • explain the differences between a binary map and a map with more than two data categories,
  • define personal income and per capita personal income, and
  • compare maps of the same data displayed with equal intervals and with fractile intervals.

Compelling Question

How does a binary map show values above and below the median?


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Education Level: 9-12
Subjects: Economics Geography
Concepts: Income
Resource Types: Charts/Graphs Data Lesson
Languages: English
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