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[Harper’s Index]

Harper’s Index


Portion of calls to the IRS help line that went unanswered during last year’s tax-filing season : 3/5

Percentage of middle-aged, college-educated white Americans who are millionaires : 22

Of middle-aged, college-educated black Americans : 6

Amount New York City plans to pay McKinsey & Company to consult on the reform of Rikers Island : $7,530,000

Percentage of registered Democrats who have a favorable view of socialism : 56

Estimated number of American households that do not have bank accounts : 9,600,000

Estimated amount the U.S. Mint could save annually by changing the metallic composition of its coins : $39,000,000

Percentage change in U.S. household debt in the six years leading up to the financial crisis : +96

In the six years after : –3

Rank of the restaurant industry among the largest U.S. employers : 1

Number of states in which the average restaurant worker’s wage is below the federal minimum wage : 21

Estimated number of slaves held by the Islamic State : 3,500

Estimated value of cash destroyed by U.S. air strikes against the Islamic State since last October : $20,000,000

Portion of asylum applicants in Europe who are men : 3/4

Number of Mississippi children in the state’s custody for each home in its foster-care system : 3.5

Percentage of state-funded Irish primary schools that are affiliated with the Catholic Church : 90

Chances that a gynecologist in Italy refuses to perform abortions for religious reasons : 7 in 10

Number of years El Salvador’s health minister has advised women to delay pregnancies because of the Zika virus : 2

Percentage of people in sub-Saharan Africa who slept under mosquito nets in 2000 : 2

Who do today : 55

Year in which the plastic in the world’s oceans is projected to outweigh the fish : 2050

Minimum average number of dams built globally each day over the past sixty years : 1

Portion of Saudi Arabia’s budget that comes from oil revenues : 3/4

Liters of alcohol consumed annually by the average Iranian drinker : 24.8

By the average French drinker : 12.9

Estimated number of South Korean teenagers who attend Internet-addiction-prevention programs each year : 4,000,000

Portion of the Israeli population that is Arab : 1/5

Of workers in Israeli technology companies : 1/33

Percentage of people worldwide who trust print and broadcast news as a source of accurate information : 58

Who trust search engines : 63

Portion of Americans in 1966 who said that they trusted the government most of the time : 2/3

Who say so today : 1/5

Minimum number of Mexican mayors who have been killed by hit men in the past decade : 44

Number of firearms found by U.S. airport-security screeners last year : 2,653

Percentage that were loaded : 83

Number of warrantless searches conducted in France since the attacks in Paris last November : 3,379

Number of surveillance cameras on the International Space Station that are available for private use : 2

Factor by which the brightness of a recent supernova exceeded that of all the stars in the Milky Way : 20

Percentage of Americans who feel a deep sense of wonder about the universe at least once a week : 46

Figures cited are the latest available as of February 2016.

April Index Sources

1 U.S. Government Accountability Office
2,3 Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
4 Office of the New York City Comptroller
5 New York Times/CBS Polling (N.Y.C.)
6 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
7 U.S. Government Accountability Office
8,9 McKinsey Global Institute (San Francisco)/Harper’s research
10 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
11 Harper’s research
12 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Geneva)
13 Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve (location undisclosed)
14 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Bureau for Europe (Brussels)
15 Mississippi Division of Family and Children’s Services (Jackson)
16 Ireland Department of Education and Skills (Dublin)
17 Libera Associazione Italiana Ginecologi (Rome)
18 Embassy of El Salvador (Washington)
19,20 World Health Organization (Geneva)
21 Ellen MacArthur Foundation (Cowes, England)
22 J.P.M. Syvitski, University of Colorado Boulder
23 Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia (Washington)
24,25 World Health Organization
26 Internet Addiction Prevention Center (Seoul, South Korea)
27 Central Bureau of Statistics (Jerusalem)
28 Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (N.Y.C.)
29,30 Edelman Square (N.Y.C.)
31,32 Pew Research Center (Washington)
33 Asociación de Autoridades Locales de México (Mexico City)
34,35 Transportation Security Administration (Arlington, Va.)
36 Assemblée Nationale (Paris)
37 Urthecast (Vancouver, British Columbia)
38 Krzysztof Stanek, Ohio State University (Columbus)
39 Pew Research Center