Harper’s Index — From the January 2014 issue

Harper’s Index

Percentage change since 2007 in the number of cells in the New York City prison system devoted to solitary confinement : +63

Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness : 7/10

Estimated number of domestic workers employed in New York City homes : 200,000

Cost of admission to the New Year’s Eve party at the Marriott Marquis’s viewing room overlooking Times Square : $3,500

Percentage of smartphone-owning New Yorkers who admit to having made an online purchase during a funeral : 6

Percentage of U.S. gun retailers who believe that “it is too easy for criminals to get guns in this country” : 55

Estimated number of federally licensed U.S. gun dealers and pawnbrokers that sell firearms illegally : 1,719

Number of U.S. fast-food workers receiving federal and state aid : 942,000

Minimum amount spent annually on aid to these workers and their families : $7,000,000,000

Average number of hours per week spent on paid work by American fathers and mothers, respectively : 41, 23

Spent on leisure time : 28, 25

Portion of U.S. baby food that is delivered in squirtable pouches : 1/5

Number of spermatozoa in Washington State University’s apian-sperm bank : 3,250,000,000

Number of the seventeen people bitten by L.A. Sheriff’s Department dogs in the first half of 2013 who were black or Hispanic : 17

Percentage of black students in Illinois who attend schools where whites make up less than 1 percent of the student body : 41

Portion of immigrant detainees in the United States who are held in privately run prisons : 2/5

Amount two Somali women raised for the terrorist organization Al Shabab by going door-to-door in Minnesota : $15,000

Number of AK-47s that amount will buy on the Mogadishu black market : 12

Percentage change in the wealth of the average Libyan household in the past year : +61

Of the average Egyptian household : –11

Number of times in the past five years that an annual prize for good governance in Africa was not given out : 4

Percentage change in Freedom of Information Act requests made to the NSA since the Edward Snowden leaks : +671

Number of videos taken by personal drones shared on the online AR.Drone Academy since its launch in 2012 : 11,412

Percentage of self-identified Tea Party conservatives who believe President Obama is “destroying the country” : 71

Of all other self-identified conservatives : 6

Percentage of Malawians who believe that homosexuality is a “Western invention” : 75

Percentage of Israel’s Arab citizens who would be bothered by having a gay couple as their neighbors : 46

By having a Jewish family : 42

Percentage of American Jews who believe that following Jewish law is essential to Jewish identity : 19

Who believe that having a sense of humor is : 42

Date on which a Malaysian court banned a Catholic newspaper from using the word “Allah” to refer to God : 10/14/13

Percentage of all law-review articles that have never been cited in another article or in a judicial opinion : 43

Percentage of fee-charging open-access medical journals that accepted a spoof cancer-drug study for publication last year : 52

Number of patients over the past decade who participated in clinical trials based on research that was later retracted : 473,847

Percentage of revenue made on the NFL’s pink breast-cancer-awareness merchandise that goes to cancer prevention : 11

Portion of all amateur U.S. sports teams with American Indian names at the start of 1970 that have since dropped them : 2/3

Number of the seven professional teams with American Indian names at the time that have dropped them : 0

Amount Arizona’s Red Feather Lodge offered to pay to reopen the Grand Canyon during the government shutdown : $25,000

Chances a participant in a “prisoner’s dilemma” game will opt to cooperate if it’s called a “community game” : 7 in 10

If it’s called a “Wall Street game” : 3 in 10

Figures cited are the latest available as of November 2013.

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.


January Index Sources

1,2 N.Y.C. Board of Correction
3 Domestic Workers United (N.Y.C.)
4 New York Marriott Marquis (N.Y.C.)
5 Harris Interactive (Rochester, N.Y.)
6,7 Garen Wintemute, Violence Prevention Research Program, UC Davis School of Medicine (Sacramento)
8,9 Ken Jacobs, Center for Labor Research and Education, University of California, Berkeley
10,11 Pew Research Center (Washington)
12 Plum Organics (N.Y.C.)
13 Walter Sheppard, Washington State University (Pullman)
14 Police Assessment Resource Center (Los Angeles)
15 Gary Orfield, The Civil Rights Project, University of California, Los Angeles
16 The Sentencing Project (Washington)
17 U.S. District Attorney’s Office (Minneapolis)
18 Small Arms Survey (Geneva)
19,20 Credit Suisse (N.Y.C.)
21 Mo Ibrahim Foundation (London)
22 National Security Agency (Fort Meade, Md)
23 Parrot Inc. (Southfield, Mich)
24,25 Christopher Parker, University of Washington (Seattle)
26 Tara McKay, University of California, Los Angeles
27,28 Israel Democracy Institute (Jerusalem)
29,30 Pew Research Center (Washington)
31 Herald (Kuala Lumpur)
32 Thomas Smith, University of San Diego School of Law
33 John Bohannon (Boston)
34 Medical Communications Consultants (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
35 American Cancer Society (N.Y.C.)
36,37 Morning Star Institute (Washington)
38 Red Feather Properties (Williams, Ariz)
39,40 Lee Ross, Stanford University (Stanford, Calif)

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