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Average age, in years, of the thirty most frequently played holiday songs : 61

Year when the youngest of these songs, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” was released : 1994

Percentage change since 2005 in annual payments made to the music-licensing organization BMI : +40

In overall music-industry revenue : –30

Annual revenue earned on “Happy Birthday” before a judge ruled that Warner Music never owned rights to the song : $2,000,000

Amount spent last year on U.S. broadcast-television advertising : $40,000,000,000

On U.S. Internet advertising : $49,000,000,000

Percentage change since last year in annual revenue from U.S. e-book sales : –10

From U.S. paperback sales : +13

Portion of white Americans who say that the closing of a local public library would have a major impact on their family : 1/4

Of Hispanic Americans : 1/2

Estimated percentage of students in Harvard’s class of 2019 who do not have a parent who went to college : 16

Who have at least one parent who went to Harvard : 17

Number of U.S. members of Congress with a parent who served in Congress : 20

Percentage of state legislative bodies that have become more Republican since Obama became president : 87

Amount Congress has spent on investigating the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi : $4,600,000

On investigating the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina : $86,607

Amount the Pentagon spent training and arming Syrian rebels before “pausing” its efforts in October : $384,000,000

Number of fighters trained : 124

Number of migrants who have entered Greece so far this year : 453,912

Number who applied for asylum there : 8,519

Percentage of Syrian asylum seekers in Germany who have been granted refugee status : 99.5

Percentage of Afghan asylum seekers who have : 37

Portion of likely North Carolina Republican-primary voters who believe that a Muslim should be allowed to be president : 1/6

Percentage of recently arrived adult immigrants to the United States who have a bachelor’s degree : 41

Percentage of native-born U.S. adults who do : 30

Rank of domestic work among the fastest-growing U.S. occupations : 1

Average annual income among U.S. domestic workers : $17,000

Percentage change since 1973 in inflation-adjusted median wages for U.S. men : –5

For U.S. women : +31

Number of countries that bar a married woman from getting a job without her husband’s permission : 16

Date on which Saudi Arabia was appointed to chair a panel at the U.N. Human Rights Council : 5/7/15

Number of cane lashes to which the country sentenced a free-speech blogger in June : 1,000

Number of cadets injured this year in a West Point pillow fight : 30

Percentage of likely Republican voters who say they could imagine supporting a military coup in the United States : 43

Minimum amount charged on Defense Department credit cards last year at strip clubs and casinos : $3,000,000

Rank of NASA among thirty-seven large federal agencies in an October survey of employee satisfaction : 1

Rank of the Department of Homeland Security : 37

Portion of Americans who would support building a wall along the border with Canada : 2/5

Figures cited are the latest available as of October 2015.

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.

December Index Sources

1,2 American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (N.Y.C.)
3 Broadcast Music, Inc. (N.Y.C.)
4 International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (London)
5 Robert Brauneis, George Washington University (Washington)
6,7 Interactive Advertising Bureau (N.Y.C.)
8,9 Association of American Publishers (Washington)
10,11 Pew Research Center (Washington)
12,13 Harvard Crimson (Cambridge, Mass.)
14,15 Harper’s research
16,17 U.S. Select Committee on Benghazi
18,19 U.S. Department of Defense
20,21 International Organization for Migration (Geneva)
22,23 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Berlin)
24 Public Policy Polling (Raleigh, N.C.)
25,26 Pew Research Center (Washington)
27,28 Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (N.Y.C.)
29,30 Brookings Institution (Washington)
31 World Bank (Washington)
32 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Geneva)
33 Human Rights Watch (N.Y.C.)
34 United States Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.)
35 YouGov (N.Y.C.)
36 Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense
37,38 U.S. Office of Personnel Management
39 Selzer & Company (West Des Moines, Iowa)

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December 2015

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