Harper’s Index — From the February 2016 issue

Harper’s Index

Percentage of likely Republican-primary voters who support shutting down U.S. mosques : 27

Number of days before the Iowa caucuses that Ted Cruz officially entered the presidential race : 314

Length in days of France’s official presidential-campaign season : 13

Estimated portion of French citizens with radical-Islamist beliefs who grew up in Muslim families : 1/5

In Catholic families : 2/5

Minimum number of people providing tech support for the Islamic State : 6

Estimated number of White House aides who manage President Obama’s social-media accounts : 20

Amount the Defense Department has paid U.S. sports franchises for advertising and marketing since 2012 : $53,000,000

Amount of student fees and subsidies spent on public-university sports programs since 2010 : $10,300,000,000

Minimum number of U.S. teenagers who died last year from injuries sustained while playing high-school football : 14

Estimated number of child soldiers recruited in South Sudan during the past two years : 16,000

Number of years that a British couple kept a Nigerian man as a slave before he escaped in 2013 : 24

Combined length in years of the prison sentences the couple received in December : 12

Years in prison to which a New Mexico man was sentenced last year for shooting children with a semen-filled squirt gun : 18

Factor by which the number of reported U.S. syphilis cases has increased since 2000 : 3.3

Portion of new cases that occur in men : 9/10

Percentage increase in the likelihood a gay man will contract chlamydia if he meets a partner through a mobile app : 37

Factor by which a tech job listing is more likely to perform poorly if it includes the phrase “drug-free workplace” : 21

Portion of British children aged 12 to 15 who believe that information retrieved by Google searches is always true : 1/5

Percentage of Americans who believe that the government should be able to censor statements offensive to minorities : 28

Of Americans aged 18 to 34 : 40

Amount the government of New Zealand plans to spend on referenda to choose a new flag : $12,000,000

Percentage of New Zealanders who are content with the current flag : 60

Portion of Americans who believe that their “side” has been losing on important political issues : 2/3

Net change in the number of Mexican immigrants living in the United States between 2009 and 2014 : –140,000

Average number of gallons of water used each day by a typical Los Angeles resident : 107

By a single Bel Air resident : 32,000

Estimated number of people who will be driven into extreme poverty by 2030 because of climate change : 100,000,000

Estimated percentage change in the rate of extreme poverty worldwide over the past twenty years : –66

Chances that an American believes the rate has “almost doubled” over that period : 2 in 3

Number of remaining northern white rhinoceroses : 3

Number of armed guards employed by Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy to protect them : 2

Total value of assets taken from U.S. citizens by federal law-enforcement officers in 2014 : $5,200,000,000

By burglars : $3,900,000,000

Number of background checks run since 2004 on people on U.S. terrorism watchlists who attempted to buy firearms : 2,233

Number of those people who passed the checks : 2,043

Percentage of the world’s civilian-owned firearms that are owned by Americans : 48

Portion of Americans in 1997 who thought that the American people had a “good deal” of political wisdom : 1/2

Portion who think so today : 1/4


February Index Sources

1 Public Policy Polling (Raleigh, N.C.)
2 Harper’s research
3 U.S. Library of Congress
4,5 Center for the Prevention of Sectarian Drift Related to Islam (Lille, France)
6 Aaron Brantly, Combating Terrorism Center (West Point, N.Y.)
7 The White House (Washington)
8 Office of Senator John McCain (Washington)
9 Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington)
10 National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
11 UNICEF (N.Y.C.)
12 Crown Prosecution Service (London)
13 Metropolitan Police Service (London)
14 Bernalillo County Court (Albuquerque, N.M.)
15,16 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta)
17 Los Angeles LGBT Center
18 Textio (Seattle)
19 Ofcom (London)
20,21 Pew Research Center (Washington)
22 New Zealand Flag Consideration Project (Wellington)
23 COMPASS Research Centre (Auckland)
24,25 Pew Research Center (Washington)
26,27 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
28,29 World Bank (Washington)
30 Novus Group International AB (Stockholm)
31,32 Ol Pejeta Conservancy (Laikipia County, Kenya)
33 Institute for Justice (Arlington, Va.)
34 Federal Bureau of Investigation
35,36 Center for American Progress (Washington)
37 Aaron Karp, Small Arms Survey (Geneva)
38,39 Pew Research Center (Washington)

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