Harper’s Index — From the December 2012 issue

Harper’s Index

Estimated percentage of North American pit-viper litters that are “virgin births” : 5

Percentage of freshmen at four-year colleges who declare “Roman Catholic” as their religious affiliation : 26

Who declare “None” : 25

Percentage of college students in Iran who are female : 56

Number of subjects that Iranian universities have barred undergraduate women from studying : 77

Average salary subjects in a September study offered a fictional woman applying for a U.S. university laboratory position : $26,508

Average salary they offered a fictional man with identical credentials : $30,328

Percentage of murders of Pakistani women in 2011 committed by the victim’s husband or brother : 38

Minimum chance that a Bangladeshi woman’s first experience of sex is rape : 1 in 4

Amount Massachusetts has been ordered to pay for the sex-reassignment surgery of an inmate serving life in prison : $23,000

Minimum square footage of San Francisco apartments allowed under new regulations : 220

Number of San Quentin prisoners who could reside in one such apartment, based on their average cell size : 10

Minimum funds smuggled out of China in the past two decades by officials fleeing the country : $120,000,000

Percentage change in the theft of Apple products in New York City since January : +40

Chance that a crime committed in New York City in 2012 was one of these thefts : 1 in 7

Projected percentage increase in the 2012 U.S. GDP attributable to sales of the iPhone 5 : 0.33

Percentage of U.S. children who save their allowance money, according to a survey of American parents : 1

Percentage change in the likelihood a child will eat an apple from the school cafeteria if the apple has an Elmo sticker on it : +68

Projected year by which more than half of Americans will be obese : 2030

Average number of times each week U.S. surgeons operate on the wrong patient or body part : 40

Rank of preventable medical errors among the leading causes of death in the United States : 3

Portion of the National Institutes of Health’s research-chimp population going into retirement in the next year : 1/5

Percentage increase since 2000 in the compensation of full professors at the fifty wealthiest private U.S. universities : 14

In the compensation of the presidents of those universities : 75

Average SAT score (out of 2400) of students from households with an income below $20,000 : 1322

From households with an income above $200,000 : 1722

Average out-of-state tuition surcharge a resident child of illegal immigrants must pay to attend a Florida public university : $14,521

Percentage of British teens who say they are embarrassed to be seen reading : 17

Percentage of recruiters or hiring managers who find applicants with nonfelony criminal records “very difficult” to place : 31

Who find this about applicants unemployed for more than two years : 44

Percentage increase since 2008 in the portion of Americans who call themselves “lower-class” : 28

In the portion earning more than $100,000 annually who do : 20

Ratio of U.S. tax breaks to tax revenue in 2011 : 1:1

Number of Washington, D.C., cops arrested in the past four years : 93

Number of trees that will be cleared so the space shuttle Endeavor can be towed to the California Science Museum : 400

Number of rental bicycles vandalized in wealthy areas of Paris in September in the name of class warfare : 50

Percentage change in the past five years in the share of new U.S. cars sold to people between ages 18 and 34 : –42

Portion of New York City taxis driven by women : 1/100

Minimum number of miniature liquor bottles stolen by employees at John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2012 : 117,000

Estimated minimum number of adult male elves who could get drunk off this amount of alcohol : 60,245


December Index Sources
1 Warren Booth, University of Tulsa (Oklahoma)
2,3 Higher Education Research Institute (Los Angeles)
4 UNESCO Institute for Statistics (Montreal)
5 Human Rights Watch (N.Y.C.)
6,7 Jo Handelsman, Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
8 Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (Lahore)
9 World Health Organization (Geneva)
10 Marci L. Bowers (Trinidad, Colo.)
11 Panoramic Interests (Berkeley, Calif.)
12 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (San Quentin)
13 Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing)
14,15 New York City Police Department
16 JPMorgan Chase (N.Y.C.)
17 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Durham, N.C.)
18 Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics (Ithaca, N.Y.)
19 Trust for America’s Health (Washington)
20 Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare (Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.)
21 Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality (Baltimore)
22 National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Md.)
23,24 The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington)
25,26 The College Board (N.Y.C.)
27 State University System of Florida (Tallahassee)
28 National Literacy Trust (London)
29,30 Bullhorn (Cambridge, Mass.)
31,32 Pew Research Center (Washington)
33 U.S. Department of the Treasury
34 Fraternal Order of Police (Washington)
35 California Science Center Foundation (Los Angeles)
36 JCDecaux (Paris)
37 Polk (Southfield, Mich.)
38 New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
39 Queens County District Attorney’s Office (Queens, N.Y.)
40 Harper’s research.

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