Decision MediaWorks

How Many Restaurants Are In Florida?

Ever wondered what Florida county has the most residents per restaurant?

I did.

To satisfy my curiosity I pulled the number of restaurant permits in each county going back to the 1987 and got to work. The “Pop/Rest” stat shows the population divided by the number of restaurants in each county. The PoP/Rest stat is a proxy to the amount of disposable income in each county.

Counties where people have little disposable income have fewer restaurants because people eat out less. Wealthier counties (or counties with lots of tourists) have more restaurants because there are more diners to serve.

In 2012, Liberty county had 1,704 residents for every restaurant. In Orange County however, there were 402 residents for each restaurant. In effect, Orange County residents dine out six times more often than Liberty County residents.

You can explore the data in the interactive viz below.

Do Real Jobs Really Pay for The Jobs Governor?

The mantra of “jobs” has been echoing through the halls of the capitol since the last days of the Crist era.

Governor Rick Scott has hung his hat on being “The Jobs Governor.” But has it worked? Our hypothesis on the virtues of jobs (private sector jobs, specifically) is twofold:

1. Gainfully employed people are satisfied with the status quo and will support incumbents.

2. Gainfully employed people want to keep more of their earnings and will vote for Republican tax policies.

We designed a simple test of the jobs hypothesis. We looked at private sector employment in every 2002 and 2012 drawn House and Senate district and plotted it alongside Scott’s performance in that seat. The resulting interactive graph (and more analysis) is below. Be sure to explore the filter and mouse over tool tips.

A few takeaways:

- Interestingly, the results show that private sector employment is negatively related to Scott’s performance. In fact, for every 1% gain in private sector employment, the Governor lost .30% of the vote share.

- Or, we could be seeing that voters with jobs just are not motivated by a jobs message. An interesting paradox for a Governor who is focused on creating jobs.

- The relationship here is somewhat weak, suggesting that the portion of voters employed in private sector jobs actually had very little bearing on Scott’s 2010 outcome.

- The voter perception of jobs being created may be more valuable than the same voter holding a private sector job. Example: Retirees or active duty-military who vote conservatively but do not actually hold private employment.

In the coming weeks, we will look at more demographic and economic factors and how they will impact the 2014 gubernatorial contest.

Tarpon Fishing in Boca Grande

If you are a sportsman in Florida (or just watched the Florida Channe today), you’ve likely heard of the controversy surrounding fishing tarpon in the Boca Grande pass using the jigging method.

The Florida Wildlife Commission had a seven hour long hearing today in Lakeland on rather to make tarpon a catch-and-release species and rather to ban jigging in the pass.

This got us wondering, is there any data on tarpon fishing?

Below is a chart of the Google search volume for the term “tarpon fishing.” ¬†You see a clear pattern of peaks and valleys in searchs that seem to reflect the tarpon fishing season. There is a slight overall decrease in “tarpon fishing” searches from 2007 to present.

You will also find a U.S. map that plots where search volumes for “tarpon fishing” are highest. Besides Florida being the gold standard in “tarpon fishing” searches, you can also see where other tarpon fishermen live and thereby have an idea what states send us the most tarpon tourists.

N.B. Click here to learn more about how Google measures the data below.