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Washington Post introduces new data column

The Washington Post has announced a new weekly column called ‘The Department of Data.’

Washington Post introduces new data column
Lori Montgomery: “Andrew has distinguished himself as a brilliant analyst of data and has long helped set the agenda for our economics coverage." Photograph: The Washington Post.

Published on a Friday morning each week, business columnist Andrew Van Dam will explore overlooked and underappreciated data sets to unearth insights that will interest readers - and maybe even challenge some long-held misconceptions, says the publisher.

Van Dam, whose writing has largely centred on analysis of economic trends, has also addressed more offbeat topics, like ‘which birds are the biggest jerks at the feeder?’

“Andrew has distinguished himself as a brilliant analyst of data and has long helped set the agenda for our economics coverage. With this column, he's going to spend more time on his passion for addressing quirkier questions,” said business editor Lori Montgomery.

She continues: "The column will give Andrew the freedom to rummage around in a much broader range of topics, and to spend more time engaging with ideas that excite and intrigue our readers.”

The first column focused on Prince George’s County in Maryland, a D.C. suburb that has been identified for years as the richest majority-Black county in America. Using Census Bureau data, Van Dam breaks the news that a different fast-growing Maryland county now likely claims that distinction, and examines the social and economic forces driving the shift.

Readers can submit ideas for data sets and column topics here, says The Washington Post.