Harper’s Index — From the February 2014 issue

Harper’s Index

Percentage of uninsured Democrats who say they will pay a fine rather than buy health insurance under Obamacare : 15

Percentage of uninsured independents who do : 31

Of uninsured Republicans : 45

Amount Georgia senator Saxby Chambliss’s PAC spent at a Palm Beach resort in the lead-up to the 2012 election : $107,751.65

Amount his PAC contributed to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during that time : $30,000

Amount Representative Charles B. Rangel’s PAC spent to commission a painting of Rangel : $64,500

Percentage of Americans who say that corruption in their government is “widespread” : 73

Portion of Democratic women who think it would be a good thing if more women were elected to Congress : 7/10

Portion of Republican women who do : 1/4

Percentage of self-identifying libertarians who are men : 68

Who are white : 94

Chances a white American thinks “more personal responsibility” in minority communities will reduce the income gap : 2 in 5

Percentage change in the number of homeless students in the United States since 2007 : +72

Number of states in which the majority of public-school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches : 17

Estimated per capita amount the federal government spends on programs for children each year : $3,822

On programs for the elderly : $25,455

Percentage change in the past decade in the suicide rate of U.S. men in their fifties : +49

Percentage of American universities whose research activities have been directly affected by the budget sequestration : 81

Portion of U.S. smartphone owners who can’t remember the last time their phones were not in the room with them : 1/4

Minimum length of stay, in days, required by an inpatient Internet-addiction program at a Pennsylvania hospital : 10

Ounces of beer that alcoholics participating in a street-cleaning initiative in Amsterdam receive for each day of work : 84.5

Percentage of Canadians with no income who call themselves “workaholics” : 17

Portion of Puerto Rico’s population that is employed : 1/4

Percentage of Americans who thought in 2007 that the president should focus on foreign policy : 40

Who think so today : 6

Amount China contributed to relief efforts in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Haiyan : $1,741,497

Amount IKEA contributed : $4,021,600

Percentage of Americans who name the Iraq war the recent event “most damaging” to America’s global reputation : 25

Who name the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi : 17

Factor by which the number of U.S. Army soldiers dismissed for being overweight has increased in the past five years : 11

Estimated number of cities around the world that had bike-share programs in 2006 : 25

That have them today : 670

Number of squats accepted as fare for one ride by the Moscow Metro this fall in a promotion for the Sochi Olympics : 30

Number of Chicken McNuggets Usain Bolt ate during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, according to his autobiography : 1,000

Percentage change since 2002 in the number of Americans addicted to heroin : +118

Minimum number of nonviolent criminals serving life without parole in the United States : 3,278

Percentage of those life sentences that were legally mandatory : 81

Number of days former Texas district attorney Ken Anderson spent in jail for withholding evidence in a 1987 murder trial : 4

Number of days spent in prison by the innocent man Anderson helped convict : 8,995

Figures cited are the latest available as of December 2013. 

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.


February Index Sources

1–3 Gallup (Washington)
4–6 Federal Election Commission
7 Gallup (Washington)
8,9 Langer Research Associates (N.Y.C.)
10,11 Public Religion Research Institute (Washington)
12 National Journal (Washington)
13 National Center for Homeless Education, University of North Carolina (Greensboro)
14 Southern Education Foundation (Atlanta)
15,16 Urban Institute (Washington)
17 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta)
18 Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (Washington)
19 IDC (San Mateo, Calif.)
20 Center for Internet Addiction (Bradford, Pa.)
21 De Regenboog Groep (Amsterdam)
22 Statistics Canada (Ottawa)
23 Bureau of Labor Statistics/U.S. Census Bureau (Suitland, Md.)
24,25 Pew Research Center (Washington)
26 Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Beijing)
27 IKEA Foundation (Leiden, Netherlands)
28,29 Ipsos (N.Y.C.)
30 Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Army (Washington)
31,32 MetroBike (Washington)
33 Moscow Metro
34 Harper’s research
35 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Rockville, Md.)
36,37 ACLU (N.Y.C.)
38 Eric Nichols (Austin, Texas)
39 The Innocence Project (N.Y.C.)

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