Harper’s Index — From the May 2013 issue

Harper’s Index

Chance that a U.S. combat pilot suffers from a mental-health problem : 1 in 17

That a remote drone pilot does : 1 in 12

Estimated percentage change since 2007 in the number of U.S. veterans committing suicide each day : +22

Portion of all active-duty U.S. servicepeople who committed suicide in 2011 who had never been deployed : 1/2

Number of people killed in mass shootings in the United States last year : 66

Number killed by Muslim-American terrorists since September 11, 2001 : 33

Number of former prosecutors President Obama has nominated to the federal judiciary : 99

Number of former public defenders : 33

Number of presidential question-and-answer sessions held with the media during George W. Bush’s first term : 355

During Obama’s first term : 107

Number of on-air minutes during last fall’s campaign season that CNN devoted to climate change : 23

To Joe Biden’s smile : 43

Percentage change in the incomes of the top 1 percent of earners during the economic recovery : +11.2

Of the bottom 99 percent : –0.4

Chance that an American has been laid off at least once since the start of the recession : 1 in 4

Portion of Americans who believe that they are “living the American dream” : 1/4

Profits earned by Facebook last year : $1,100,000,000

Tax refund the company received from the federal government : $429,000,000

Percentage of movies that led the U.S. box office for at least one weekend in 2011 that featured Apple products : 42

Portion of all North American Internet traffic accounted for by videos streamed from Netflix : 1/4

Rank of the United States among porn actor–producing nations : 1

Rank of Hungary : 2

Number of amendments made to a February parliamentary bill legalizing same-sex marriage in France : 5,395

Chance an American provides financial support to both adult children and elderly parents : 1 in 9

Percentage change since 2001 in the number of U.S. young adults who have credit card debt : –22

In the number who have student-loan debt : +54

Minimum number of exams a student must take between third and twelfth grade under No Child Left Behind : 17

Percentage change since 1976 in the test-score gap between the children of America’s richest and poorest deciles : +40

Amount Florida spent per student on testing in 1996 : $4.44

Last year : $30.59

Percentage change since 1980 in California’s spending on public universities : –13

On prisons : +436

Number of U.S. states that have fewer abortion providers today than in 1978 : 48

Portion of U.S. women with a bachelor’s degree who use sterilization as their primary form of birth control : 1/10

Of U.S. women without a high school diploma who do : 2/5

Factor by which white girls are more likely than black girls to binge drink : 2

Percentage change since 2002 in the portion of U.S. women who use the morning-after pill : +175

Percentage of horses in the 2012 Kentucky Derby that had the thoroughbred Mr. Prospector in their pedigree : 95

That had him in their pedigree more than once : 55


May Index Sources

1,2 Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (Silver Springs, Md.)
3 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
4 U.S. Department of Defense
5 Mother Jones (San Francisco)
6 Charles Kurzman, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
7,8 Alliance for Justice (Washington)
9,10 Martha Joynt Kumar, Towson University (Washington)
11,12 Media Matters for America (Washington)
13,14 Center for Equitable Growth, University of California, Berkeley
15 John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development (New Brunswick, N.J.)
16 Public Agenda (N.Y.C.)
17,18 Citizens for Tax Justice (Washington)
19 Brand Channel (Shanghai)
20 Sandvine, Inc. (Waterloo, Ont.)
21,22 Jon Millward (Derby, England)
23 Assemblée nationale (Paris)
24–26 Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends (Washington)
27 U.S. Department of Education
28 Sean F. Reardon, Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
29,30 Florida Department of Education (Tallahassee)
31,32 California Common Sense (Los Altos)
33 Guttmacher Institute (N.Y.C.)
34,35 National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, Md.)
36 National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta)
37 National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, Md.)
38,39 Harper’s research.

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