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HuffPost's Data Team Picks Its Best Stories Of 2015

A look back at the investigations and visuals that made a real difference this year.

From a hard-hitting investigation into the World Bank's lending practices to poignant anecdotes from Muslim-Americans about life in the U.S., HuffPost's data team published projects this year that were interesting, surprising and, perhaps most importantly, moved the conversation forward on topics like climate change and mass shootings. Here's some of our best work of 2015:

  • “For more than three decades, the [World Bank] has maintained a set of 'safeguard' policies that it claims have brought
    The Huffington Post
    “For more than three decades, the [World Bank] has maintained a set of 'safeguard' policies that it claims have brought about a more humane and democratic system of economic development. Governments that borrow money from the bank can’t force people from their homes without warning. Families evicted to make way for dams, power plants or other big projects must be resettled and their livelihoods restored.

    The bank’s commitment, it says, is to 'do no harm' to people or the environment.

    The World Bank has broken its promise.”

    This project was honored by the 2015 Online Journalism Awards.

    Read the full story here.
  • “A river of cash is flowing into college sports, financing a spending spree among elite universities that has sent coac
    Mike Reddy/The Huffington Post
    “A river of cash is flowing into college sports, financing a spending spree among elite universities that has sent coaches’ salaries soaring and spurred new discussions about whether athletes should be paid. But most of that revenue is going to a handful of elite sports programs, leaving colleges like Georgia State to rely heavily on students to finance their athletic ambitions.

    In the past five years, public universities pumped more than $10.3 billion in mandatory student fees and other subsidies into their sports programs, according to an examination by The Huffington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education.”

    Read the full story here, and take a closer look at the data here and here.
  • "The Huffington Post analyzed five years of mass shooting data compiled by <a href="http://everytownresearch.org/?source=prno
    The Huffington Post
    "The Huffington Post analyzed five years of mass shooting data compiled by Everytown For Gun Safety, a gun violence prevention organization backed by former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. We looked at shootings in which at least four people were killed with a gun (the common definition of mass shootings, though there is debate over the best way to define them).

    We found that in 57 percent of mass shootings, the shooter targeted either a family member or an intimate partner. According to HuffPost's analysis, 64 percent of mass shooting victims were women and children. That's startling, since women typically make up only 15 percent of total gun violence homicide victims, and children only 7 percent.”

    Read the full story here.
  • &ldquo;Long before Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed a black teenager, sparking a public outcry and now a
    The Huffington Post
    “Long before Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed a black teenager, sparking a public outcry and now a Justice Department probe into the city’s troubled police department, he had established a track record as one of Chicago’s most complained-about cops.

    Since 2001, civilians have lodged 20 complaints against Van Dyke. None were sustained by investigators.

    While it may seem surprising that so many complaints against one officer would be tossed out, a Huffington Post analysis of four years of city data released by the Invisible Institute, a nonprofit journalism organization, reveals that there are more than 180 city police officers with more complaints than Van Dyke who weren’t disciplined at all over that time. Most of those complaints were made by black residents, whose allegations of police misconduct are dismissed at nearly four times the rate of complaints filed by whites, HuffPost found.”

    Read the full story here.
  • &ldquo;The consequences of a heating globe are already being felt in Alaska, which is <a href="http://nca2014.globalchange.go
    The Huffington Post
    “The consequences of a heating globe are already being felt in Alaska, which is warming twice as fast as the rest of the U.S. Rising temperatures have thawed frozen soil in some areas, leaving coastlines vulnerable to storms and tidal activity. Shishmaref, a remote village that sits on an island 30 miles outside the Arctic circle, is losing as many as 9 feet of land a year — chunks of coastline that simply break into the sea.”

    Read the full story here.
  • &ldquo;A two-tiered health care system is taking deeper root in America. In mainly Republican-led, Southern states, the unins
    The Huffington Post
    “A two-tiered health care system is taking deeper root in America. In mainly Republican-led, Southern states, the uninsured rate remains disproportionately high. In sharp contrast, the ranks of the uninsured are falling sharply in states — most run by Democrats — that expanded Medicaid.”

    Read the full story here.
  • "Measles <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/measles-in-us-on-the-rise_n_5461600" target="_hplink">continues to be a glob
    The Huffington Post
    "Measles continues to be a global problem, but was declared "eliminated" in the U.S. in 2000. This was achieved through high vaccination rates, but an increasing number of American parents delaying or refusing vaccinations for their children means the disease is once again on the rise in the U.S.California has long had hot beds of under-immunization, but the latest measles outbreak, which has sickened dozens and is thought to have begun with an exposure at Disneyland, has parents and doctors pleading for common sense around vaccines."

    Read the full story here.
  • "The diversity of Muslims in the United States is vast, and so is the breadth of the Muslim American experience. The followin
    The Huffington Post
    "The diversity of Muslims in the United States is vast, and so is the breadth of the Muslim American experience. The following animated videos depict the experiences of nine Muslim Americans from across the country who differ in heritage, age, gender and occupation. Relaying short anecdotes representative of their everyday lives, these Muslim Americans demonstrate both the adversities and blessings of Muslim American life."

    Read the full story here.
  • "Trans people in general experience higher rates of HIV, higher smoking rates and more suicide attempts <a href="http://www.t
    The Huffington Post
    "Trans people in general experience higher rates of HIV, higher smoking rates and more suicide attempts than the general population, according to a 2011 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality. They also face more discrimination and harassment when seeking health care. One-fifth of people who identify as transgender have reported being homeless at some point in their lives.

    It's not surprising there are so many health and safety issues in the transgender community -- in many places, particularly in southern states, there aren't laws to protect them from housing or workplace discrimination, and hate crime legislation is nonexistent or doesn't include trans people as a protected group."

    Read the full story here.
  • "On average, <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/pdf/metals1.pdf" target="_hplink">between 1999 and 2004</a>, black ch
    The Huffington Post
    "On average, between 1999 and 2004, black children were 1.6 times more likely to test positive for lead in their blood than white children. And among children who tested positive for extremely high lead levels (≥10 micrograms per deciliter), the disparity was even more stark. Black children were nearly three times more likely than white children to have highly elevated blood-lead levels, the type of lead poisoning where the most damaging health outcomes occur."

    Read the full story here.
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