Harper’s Index — From the November 2015 issue

Harper’s Index

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Portion of physicians entering U.S. medical internships who suffer from depression : 1/30

Portion who suffer from depression at some point during their internship : 1/2

Factor by which the rate of retraction of scientific papers has increased in the past four decades : 10

Portion of retractions that stem from fraud, plagiarism, or duplicate publications : 2/3

Estimated amount of National Institutes of Health funding that has gone to studies withdrawn after publication : $58,000,000

Average amount Medicare paid for vacuum erection systems before it stopped covering them in July : $360.93

Average price for such a system on the Internet : $164.74

Percentage of U.S. boys aged 15 to 19 who were sexually active in 1988 : 60

Who are today : 47

Percentage of Americans aged 18 to 34 who identify as millennials : 40

Who identify as baby boomers : 8

As members of the greatest generation : 8

Portion of U.S. college freshmen who rate themselves above average in academic aptitude : 7/10

Average amount U.S. colleges raise tuition for every additional dollar of Pell Grant aid available to their students : $0.55

Percentage by which the number of women graduating from college is expected to exceed the number of men in 2025 : 47

Percentage of U.S. mothers who have stopped working or switched to less challenging jobs in order to care for children : 62

Of U.S. fathers : 36

Portion of U.S. households with children in which a woman is the primary earner : 2/5

Age at which a patient may be prescribed OxyContin, according to an August FDA decision : 11

Portion of U.S. children aged six to eight who watch YouTube videos every day : 3/4

Percentage change since 1977 in the number of institutionalized U.S. children : –98

Estimated number of Americans with developmental disabilities living with caregivers older than 60 : 863,000

Percentage of U.S. adults with disabilities who lived in poverty when the Americans with Disabilities Act became law : 27

Who do today : 32

Amount the average worker without a bank account will pay in unnecessary fees over a lifetime : $40,000

Percentage of married U.S. women who live in poverty : 7

Of unmarried U.S. women who do : 23

Chance that the breakup of an unmarried heterosexual U.S. couple is initiated by the woman : 1 in 2

Chances that the breakup of a married heterosexual U.S. couple is : 2 in 3

Percentage of married Indian women with no education who met their husbands before marrying : 14

Of married Indian women with college degrees who did : 48

Number of service centers Alibaba plans to build in the next three years to help rural Chinese shop online : 100,000

Estimated number of deaths each day in China attributable to air pollution : 4,400

Tons of food destroyed by Russian authorities on August 6 for violating a ban on European imports : 319

Rate of inflation of Russian food prices in the past year : 18

Minimum number of violent attacks against Roma migrants in Sweden since the beginning of 2014 : 81

Portion of Iowa Republicans likely to attend a caucus who said in May that they would never back Donald Trump : 3/5

In August : 3/10

Amount that Carly Fiorina’s tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard cost the company’s shareholders : $55,200,000,000

Figures cited are the latest available as of September 2015.

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.


November Index Sources

1,2 Srijan Sen, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
3–5 Ferric Fang, University of Washington (Seattle)
6,7 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
8,9 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Hyattsville, Md.)
10–12 Pew Research Center (Washington)
13 Jean Twenge, San Diego State University
14 Federal Reserve Bank of New York (N.Y.C.)
15 U.S. Department of Education
16,17 Washington Post
18 Pew Research Center (Washington)
19 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Silver Spring, Md.)
20 Smarty Pants (Jonesborough, Tenn.)
21 Sheryl Larson, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
22 Harold Pollack, University of Chicago
23,24 Yang-Tan Institute, Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.)
25 Brookings Institution (Washington)
26,27 I-Fen Lin, Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio)
28,29 Michael Rosenfeld, Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
30,31 The India Human Development Survey (College Park, Md.)
32 Alibaba Group (Hangzhou, China)
33 Robert Rohde, Berkeley Earth (Berkeley, Calif.)
34 Ministry of Agriculture for the Russian Federation (Moscow)
35 The World Bank (N.Y.C.)
36 Expo (Stockholm)
37,38 Selzer & Company (West Des Moines, Iowa)
39 Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)

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