Harper’s Index — From the September 2013 issue

Harper’s Index

Number of refugees and internally displaced people in the world last year : 45,200,000

Last year in which there were as many : 1994

Number of hours Chinese workers held the head of a U.S. company hostage in June during a labor dispute : 162

Amount the company paid to secure his release : $300,000

Percentage of all luxury-goods consumers in 1995 who were Chinese : 2

Who are today : 25

Percentage of all private U.S. assets owned by white or Asian Americans : 99

Percentage of black and white Americans, respectively, who use marijuana : 14, 12

Factor by which a black American is more likely than a white American to be arrested for marijuana possession : 3.7

Number of CIA officers who have been embedded with the New York City Police Department since 2002 : 4

Number of “limitations” placed on those officers’ actions, according to the testimony of one : 0

Minimum number of mosques the NYPD has targeted in a clandestine surveillance program : 250

Number of terrorism leads the program has generated in six years : 0

Cost of fifty pork-coated 9mm rounds designed by an Idaho company as a “natural deterrent” to radical Islam : $24.75

Percentage of Americans who support using drones to enforce speed limits : 23

Tons of military equipment the United States has destroyed in anticipation of its withdrawal from Afghanistan : 85,300

Year by which the majority of Americans are expected to choose cremation over burial : 2017

Percentage of U.S. military sexual assaults in which the victim is male : 53

Amount of the signing bonus the U.S. Army is offering psychiatrists willing to serve for four years : $272,000

Minimum number of prescriptions paid for by Medicare in 2009 written by people not allowed to prescribe drugs : 417,000

Number that were written by a single Florida dietitian : 2,600

Factor by which a U.S. teenage boy is more likely to vomit or use laxatives to control his weight if he lives in L.A. : 2

Estimated number of high school students prosecuted each year for truancy by the state of Texas : 118,000

By the other forty-nine states combined : 52,000

Percentage of U.S. lesbians, gays, and bisexuals who are out to their mothers : 56

To their fathers : 39

Inflation-adjusted amount by which tuition and fees at the average public research university have increased since 1988 : $18,500

Percentage of that increase attributable to administrative costs : 40

Percentage change since 1996 in the number of U.S. children living in poverty : +12

In the number receiving cash aid from the U.S. government : –60

Portion of U.S. public-school students who are Latino : 1/4

Portion of U.S. children’s books published annually that are by or about Latinos : 1/50

Estimated number of immigrants deported since July 2010 whose children are native-born U.S. citizens : 200,000

Chance that a U.S. firearms dealer depends on trafficking to Mexico for its economic existence : 1 in 2

Factor by which Mexican economic growth has outpaced U.S. growth since 2008 : 2

Portion of Britons born before 1944 who consider the welfare state “one of Britain’s proudest achievements” : 3/4

Of Britons born after 1979 who do : 1/4

Number of European nations among the twenty most populous in the world in 1950 : 7

Today : 1

Ratio of bicycles to people in Amsterdam : 1:1


September Index Sources
1,2 United Nations High Commission for Refugees (N.Y.C.)
3,4 Specialty Medical Supplies (Parkland, Fla.)
5,6 Atwood Partners (N.Y.C.)
7 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
8,9 Criminal Law Reform Project, American Civil Liberties Union (N.Y.C.)
10,11 Central Intelligence Agency (McLean, Va.)
12 Associated Press (N.Y.C.)
13 New York City Police Department
14 Jihawg Ammo (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)
15 The Polling Institute, Monmouth University (West Long Branch, N.J.)
16 U.S. Department of Defense
17 Cremation Association of North America (Wheeling, Ill.)
18,19 U.S. Department of Defense
20,21 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
22 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta)
23 Texas Office of Court Administration (Austin)
24 National Center for Juvenile Justice (Pittsburgh)
25,26 Pew Research Center (Washington)
27,28 Robert E. Martin (Danville, Ky.)
29,30 National Center for Children’s Poverty (N.Y.C.)/Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Seattle)
31 Pew Research Hispanic Center (Washington)
32 Cooperative Children’s Book Center (Madison, Wis.)
33 Colorlines (N.Y.C.)
34 Topher McDougal, University of San Diego
35 The World Bank (Washington)
36,37 NatCen Social Research (London)
38,39 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (N.Y.C.)
40 City of Amsterdam Press Office.

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