Harper’s Index — From the September 2014 issue

Harper’s Index

Percentage of U.S. children under the age of fifteen who expect their parents to pay for most or all of college : 53

Percentage of U.S. parents who plan to do so : 29

Estimated number of U.S. fathers of minors in 1989 who did not work outside the home : 1,100,000

Estimated number who do not today : 2,000,000

Portion of U.S. school superintendents who approve of physically restraining children as punishment : 1/5

Average number of hours per week U.S. public-school teachers are required to work to receive base pay : 38

Average number they actually work : 52

Chance that a U.S. public school had at least one security camera in 1999 : 1 in 5

Chances today : 2 in 3

Percentage of black public high school students who say they carry a weapon : 14

Of white public high school students : 17

Chance that a poor woman in a predominantly white Milwaukee neighborhood will be evicted this year : 1 in 150

That a poor woman in a predominantly black Milwaukee neighborhood will be : 1 in 17

Chance that a U.S. Google employee is black : 1 in 50

Number of film companies that have asked the FAA for permits to use drones : 7

Percentage of Iranians who support full trade and diplomatic relations with the United States : 74

Who support recognizing Israel in the event of a peace accord with Palestine : 16

Portion of adults in Great Britain who believe their nation fought the First World War against the Nazis : 1/5

Number of firefighters required to free an American student trapped in a 32-ton sculpture of a vagina in Germany in June : 25

Year in which the World Health Organization began keeping records on global obesity : 1980

Number of years since then in which at least one country has reduced its obesity rate : 0

Amount a couple in Sarasota, Florida, earning $62,040 will receive in federal health care subsidies under the ACA : $8,736

Amount a couple earning $62,041 will receive : $0

Number of inmates in Quebec prisons and jails who have escaped by helicopter in the past 15 months : 5

Factor by which the number of recalls GM has issued this year exceeds the number of cars it sold in the previous two years : 5

Portion of the U.S. electrical-power supply that comes from coal : 2/5

Average per capita income within three miles of a major U.S. coal plant : $18,400

Number of tank cars of crude oil transported by U.S. railways in 2008 : 9,500

In 2013 : 400,000

Number of states that have reduced their carbon emissions by at least 30 percent since 2005 : 10

Number that have seen a concurrent decline in economic activity : 0

Gigatons of cement used in the United States in the twentieth century : 4.4

Gigatons used in China in the past three years : 6.1

Percentage of roads in sub-Saharan Africa that are passable year-round : 16

Percentage of liberal Americans who would prefer a large house to a “walkable” community : 32

Of conservative Americans : 69

Pieces of underwear brought to the New York City transit system’s lost-and-found so far this year : 569

Number of johns a suspected pimp must attempt to solicit with “chica cards” to be arrested under New York State law : 10

Amount of the fine a recently passed New York State law would impose for taking selfies with tigers : $500

Cost to be buried beside your pet at the People and Pet Gardens in Hermitage, Pennsylvania : $795

Figures cited are the latest available as of July 2014.


September Index Sources

1,2 T. Rowe Price (Baltimore)
3,4 Pew Research Center (Washington)
5 American Association of School Administrators (Alexandria, Va.)
6–11 National Center for Education Statistics (Washington)
12,13 Matthew Desmond, Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
14 Google (Mountain View, Calif.)
15 Federal Aviation Administration
16,17 Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (Israel)
18 YouGov (London)
19 Tübingen Feuerwehreinsatzzentrale (Germany)
20,21 World Health Organization (Geneva)
22,23 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
24 Ministry of Public Security (Quebec City)
25 Harper’s research
26 U.S. Energy Information Administration
27 Adrian Wilson, University of Massachusetts Amherst
28,29 Association of American Railroads (Washington)
30,31 Georgetown Climate Center (Washington)
32,33 U.S. Geological Survey (Reston, Va.)
34 International Road Federation (Geneva)
35,36 Pew Research Center (Washington)
37 Metropolitan Transit Authority (N.Y.C.)
38 New York State Senate (Albany)
39 Office of Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (N.Y.C.)
40 Hillcrest Memorial Park People and Pet Gardens (Hermitage, Pa.)

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