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I am new to ArcGIS and I am trying to create a choropleth map to display ratio values for different countries.

I believe that my basemap will need to have a country layer so that the shading of country polygons will be possible but I don't understand how to link this with my data.

Will the world topographic map have an attribute table for the country layer in which I can add a new column containing my ratio values or do I need to create and import an excel file contains this information? If I need to create an excel sheet how do I link this so that the country polygons fill to represent the ratio values?

I have found some useful tutorials to show how I can view layer properties and select quantities from the symbology tab however I don't understand have to get my data to this stage.

Please can someone point me in the right direction

Thanks!

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You can use the Join Field method to link your non spatial table (excel sheet), to your country layer. You will need a common joining column between the two tables (in your case it will probably be something like country name). Once you perform the join I would recommend to export your joined layer to a new feature class, which you can then set your cloropleth rendering on (Layer Properties>Symbology>Quantities).

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