The value of data visualisation: tracking geographies of informal care in Ireland, 2002–16

Authors: Ronan Foley1 and Zoe Hughes2
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  • 1 Maynooth University, , Ireland
  • | 2 Care Alliance Ireland, , Ireland
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As policy and funding associated with informal/unpaid/family caring develops, more attention has been given to data that support and inform such policy. In particular, evidence around aspects of inequality is often expressed in geographical variations between places in terms of numbers and rates. In general, to date, research on informal caring has focused little on how such variations can be visualised and analysed. This short article looks at the mapping of data from Irish censuses between 2002 and 2016 to: first, explore and visualise patterns of caring, including high-intensity caring. A second broad aim is to use different spatial techniques, including location quotients and clustering, to provide more robust visualisations of spatial variations. Finally, some putative links are but forward between the variable geographical distributions of caring and changes in legislation and policy for carers in Ireland during that same period.

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  • 1 Maynooth University, , Ireland
  • | 2 Care Alliance Ireland, , Ireland

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