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Two-Way Scatter Plot and the U.S. Statistical Abstracts (2012): Male and Female Smoking Rates in the U.S.

By: The Odum Institute Published: 2015 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Datasets
Methods: Scatterplots
Data Type: Numeric
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This dataset example introduces researchers to two-way scatter plots. Two-way scatter plots, often simply called scatter plots, allow researchers to explore graphically the relationship between two continuous variables. This example uses a subset of data from the U.S. Statistical Abstracts, 2012, looking specifically at smoking rates for men and women across the 50 U.S. states plus Washington, DC. Understanding the dispersion of smoking rates across the states is important for evaluating health behavior and possible health policies in the U.S.

In this example, readers are introduced to how to produce and interpret two-way scatter plots. The sample dataset has been cleaned and organized to make this example easier to follow. Interested readers should consult the full documentation for this dataset located at (

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About This Dataset
Data Source Citation

U.S. Census Bureau. (2012) Statistical abstract of the United States (131st edition). Washington, DC;

Full title of originating dataset

The 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States

Data author(s) and affiliations

U.S. Census Bureau

Dataset source website address

First publication date


Data Universe

United States

Funding sources/suppliers

U.S. Census Bureau

Unit of analysis


Location covered by data

United States

Links to SRM content
  • Fox, J. (2004). Scatterplot. In M. S. Lewis-Beck, A. Bryman, & T. Futing Liao (Eds.), The SAGE encyclopedia of social science research methods (pp. 1003–1005). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. doi:
  • The scatterplot matrix. (1998). In W. G. Jacoby (Ed.), Statistical graphics for visualizing multivariate data (pp. 39–54). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:
List of variables


State Code


State Name


Infant Mortality 2007


Percent Persons Uninsured 2009


Percent Children Uninsured 2009


Percent Graduated High School 2007


Percent Graduated College 2007


Percent Persons Smoked 2009


Percent Males Smoked 2009


Percent Females Smoked 2009


Median Household Income (Thousands) 2009


Percent Persons in Poverty 2007


Food Stamp Exp. per Recipient 2007