French citizens movements during COVID19

Analysis of the movements of the French population during the lockdown

By MFG Labs
04/15/2020
Analysis of the movements of the French population during the lockdown

Numerous comments abounded about the movements of the French population at the beginning and during the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the publication of data from an INSEE / Orange partnership on April 8, MFG Labs wanted to highlight the reality of the facts.

The infographic below compares the population by department, between the period preceding the lockdown and the start of the lockdown. It is also an opportunity to ask a few questions to the data analyst in charge of this infographic.

Movement of the French population during the Covid-19 crisis :

Interview with Juliette Bassnagel, data analyst, about this infographic:

Why did you want to create a dataviz on this subject?

We had already been talking for a few days about the fled of part of the Parisians to the provinces. The data on this subject were published on Wednesday, April 8th and the format is interesting, because the data come from a collaboration between INSEE and Orange. This collaboration makes it possible to provide an estimate of the population present (tourists included) at a given point based on the number of nights resulting from the activations of the mobile phone network (readjusted on the departmental population for French mobile carriers).

This makes this dataviz temporary too. INSEE notes in particular with regard to these data: “INSEE considers these results to be provisional. These will be consolidated and then updated using more recent information from several operators and from alternative sources. “

Note also, that the data only give an estimate of the gains or losses in population by department, but we do not know the flows: we cannot say for example, that those who left the ski resorts are mainly Parisians.

What was the method? What were the tools?

The data source, available on the INSEE website, includes two scenarios which correspond to two different estimates. For this dataviz, I used scenario 1.

I started data mining in the Excel provided by INSEE, then I continued with R to finish the exploration, reprocessed the data and created the final infographic. Data reprocessing required the {dplyr}, {stringi}, {tidyr} and {forcats} packages. For the creation of the infographic itself, I used the {ggplot2} and {patchwork} packages. The maps were created using a function of {ggplot2} allowing to associate to each department its latitudes and longitudes.

What can we deduce from this dataviz?

What is interesting is to clearly differentiate 2 types of departments which have seen a large part of the present population flee:

  • Touristic areas specifically over the period: ski resorts (Alps & Pyrenees). There is a leakage of tourists, but also seasonal workers who have also returned back home. The percentages are impressive and exceed those of the capital for Savoy and the Hautes Alpes department.
  • Paris, touristic all year round, but which is also concerned by a loss of its “resident” population.

By Juliette Bassnagel, data analyst at MFG Labs.

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