Hillary Clinton’s graph of the year

January 1

Time has its "Person of the Year." Amazon has its books of the year. Pretty Much Amazing has its mixtapes of the year. Buzzfeed has its insane-stories-from-Florida of the year. And Wonkblog, of course, has its graphs of the year. For 2013, we asked some of the year's most interesting, important and influential thinkers to name their favorite graph of the year — and why they chose it. Here's Hillary Clinton's.


I used to sing to Chelsea when she was a baby -- until she was old enough to gently tell me that I couldn’t carry a tune. This graph shows us that about two thirds of our youngest children are fortunate enough to have a family member tell them a story or sing to them regularly, and about half are read to by a family member. That's a great start. We’ve known for years that singing, reading, and talking to our children helps their brains grow and develop. Now new research is telling us even more about how important this is for our kids as they build vocabularies and prepare for school. Seven hundred new neural connections are formed every second, laying the foundation for learning, behavior, health. What happens to children’s brains in the earliest years shapes the adults they become, the successes they achieve and the contributions they make to our economy and our society.

Every child deserves an equal chance for success. But studies show that by age four, children in middle and upper income families hear 15 million more words than children in lower income families, and 30 million more words than children in families on welfare. So we've got work to do. That’s why the Clinton Foundation is focusing on closing this "word gap" through an initiative called Too Small to Fail. We want to help all parents give their kids a good start in school and in life. That's what this graph is all about.

Hillary Clinton is a former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States.

See all the graphs of 2013 here, including entries from Vice President Joe BidenBill GatesJonathan FranzenPatty MurrayTyler CowenBill McKibbenEmily OsterTa-Nehisi CoatesBrian GreeneChuck Schumer,  Chris Hayes, and Ron Wyden.

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