Which chart types did our users create in 2021?

Wrapping up another Datawrapper year

Hi, this is Lisa, a blog writer at Datawrapper. If you’ve checked this blog around this time of the year one, two, three and four years ago, you know what this is: I’ll look back at what you have created in 2021.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, we saw a crazy increase in data visualization created with Datawrapper. And they didn’t lose their appeal this year: Reporters, researchers, and writers in journalism, finance, government, statistical offices, and many other places used Datawrapper to communicate data more than ever before.

Last year, our users published almost half a million visualizations. This year, that number grew threefold: More than 1.5 million charts, maps, and tables were created and published by you all with Datawrapper in 2021. If you published a Datawrapper visualization on any day in 2021, it was one of on average 5000 visualizations that got published that day.

Here’s the one chart that we’ve updated four times by now. Let’s see (as we did in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020) the breakdown of the visualization types you published:

Our non-chart types got used more than ever: One in four Datawrapper published visualizations was a map in 2021 (last year, it was one in five). And our tables once again could increase their share slightly, from 17% to 17.8%.

The surprise winner of the year: Stacked column charts – and bar charts. This is the first time since 2013 that the share of bar charts increased.

The surprise loser: Line and area charts. You all built 90,000 more of them than last year. But share-wise, they're at their lowest point since 2013, losing almost half of the popularity they still enjoyed last year.

More live-updating visualizations

We launched live-updating visualizations in 2018 – but until last year, they were more of a niche feature. In 2020, they got reeeeally popular. Especially people in news used them to show their readers the latest COVID-19 cases, and continued doing so in 2021. This year, you all created almost half a million live-updating charts, maps, and tables. (It helps that we launched a new data upload for our choropleth maps that makes creating live-updating maps easier than ever.)

A year of improvements

Like every year, we look at these numbers and can't help feeling proud, excited, and thankful. And like every year, we tried to make it a bit easier for you to create data visualizations, so that we can serve you even better (and feel even prouder!). In 2021, we made

And like every year, we fixed tons of smaller bugs, pushed dozens of smaller improvements, and added hundreds (780, to be exact!) of maps.

A year of helping you create better data visualizations

But we don't just want to build a good data visualization tool for you – we help you use it. We

  • replied to 9,200 emails sent to support@datawrapper.de
  • gave 40 customer trainings
  • wrote >20 how-to articles for our Academy and updated many more
  • wrote 52 Weekly Charts and lots of smaller and bigger blog posts
  • read four books in our Data Vis Book Club, and
  • wrote 26 Data Vis Dispatches, our new weekly format to show you the best big and small data visualizations out there.

All that was possible because of a bigger team. We hired Rose as the first person who's writing full-time on this blog, and welcomed Margaux as an addition to our support team. To help us grow our team of developers, we were thrilled that Rebecca and Marten joined the company. We're now 19 people – and very excited for 2022.

We hope you all had the best possible 2021. Here's to an even better 2022! We'll see you next week with a fresh Weekly Chart.