Harper’s Index — From the January 2016 issue

Harper’s Index

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Factor by which a U.S. drone strike is more likely than a conventional U.S. air strike to kill civilians : 10

Estimated percentage of people killed in U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan in 2012 who were not intended targets : 84

Number of people killed since 2010 in encounters with U.S. border-patrol agents : 40

Number of agents facing federal charges as a result : 1

Percentage of Republican voters who favor a constitutional amendment ending birthright citizenship : 53

Portion of Turkish citizens who hold a positive view of the European Union : 1/3

Who favor joining : 1/2

Number of applicants for a U.S. refugee program created in 2014 for Central American children : 5,429

Number of children accepted to date : 0

Percentage of U.S. federal prisoners who have a child under the age of 18 : 53

Estimated number of federal prisoners released in November after a change in sentencing guidelines : 6,000

Percentage of the federal-prison population that number represents : 3.8

Chance that a U.S. man stole something as a teenager : 1 in 5

That a U.S. woman did : 1 in 10

Number of U.S. law schools that accepted students with LSAT scores below 147 in 2010 : 8

In 2014 : 45

Number of U.S. state attorneys general who have sued the federal government over new climate regulations : 26

Average approval rating of the regulations in those states : 61

Portion of China’s natural coastline that has disappeared because of development since 1950 : 3/5

Percentage of Chinese men who are now or once were habitual smokers : 68

Of Chinese women : 3

Estimated percentage of women under 30 in Monrovia who have engaged in transactional sex with U.N. workers : 46

Number of practicing psychiatrists in Liberia : 1

In Sierra Leone : 0

Portion of the insurance co-ops created under the Affordable Care Act that will not offer plans this year : 1/2

Amount the White House plans to spend on standing desks over the next five years : $700,000

Percentage change in the stock price of Weight Watchers on the day Oprah bought a 10 percent stake in the company : +105

Estimated amount Oprah made on the stock that day : $70,412,000

Number of chemicals the World Health Organization has evaluated for their carcinogenic potential since 1971 : 985

Number it has found “probably not” carcinogenic : 1

Percentage of major-trauma victims taken to the hospital in basic ambulances who survive after ninety days : 82

Of those taken to the hospital in ambulances with more advanced equipment : 76

Estimated number of emergency-room visits last year attributed to adverse effects of sexual-enhancement supplements : 610

Factor by which a U.S. gun death is more likely to be a suicide than a homicide : 1.8

Estimated number of firearms in the average U.S. gun-owning household in 1994 : 4.5

Today : 8.2

Minimum number of shooting incidents in the United States in the past year in which the shooter was a dog : 2

In which the shooter was a toddler : 50

Estimated number of Safety 1st–brand high chairs recalled in October because of child injuries : 35,000

Figures cited are the latest available as of November 2015.

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.


January Index Sources

1 Center for Naval Analyses (Arlington, Va.)
2 The Intercept (N.Y.C.)
3,4 Southern Border Communities Coalition (San Diego)
5–7 Pew Research Center (Washington)
8,9 U.S. Department of State
10 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics
11,12 U.S. Sentencing Commission
13,14 Geoffrey Williams, Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)
15,16 Law School Transparency (Raleigh, N.C.)
17 American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (Washington)
18 Seth Rosenthal, Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
19 Lei Guangchun, Beijing Forestry University
20,21 Zhengming Chen, University of Oxford (England)
22 Bernd Beber, New York University (N.Y.C.)
23,24 World Health Organization (Geneva)
25 National Alliance of State Health Co-ops (Washington)
26 Office of Procurement, the White House (Washington)
27,28 Harper’s research
29,30 World Health Organization (Geneva)
31,32 Prachi Sanghavi, University of Chicago
33 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta)
34 Pew Research Center (Washington)
35–37 Harper’s research
38 Everytown for Gun Safety (N.Y.C.)
39 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (Bethesda, Md.)

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