Harper’s Index — From the November 2016 issue

Harper’s Index

Percentage of American renters who spend more than half their salary on housing : 28

Percentage change since 1996 in the price of U.S. higher education : +197

Of televisions : –96

Factor by which the annual number of reported bomb threats at U.S. schools has increased since 2011 : 15.6

Number of years by which an average U.S. book reader outlives a nonreader : 2

Rank of the United States among countries with the largest proportion of book readers : 6

Of China : 1

Rank of the United States among countries with the tallest male population today : 37

In 1914 : 3

Number of Egyptian anchorwomen suspended in August for being overweight : 8

Number of Syrian refugees settled in Erie, Pennsylvania : 265

In New York City and Los Angeles combined : 58

Years by which life expectancy has fallen for Syrian men since 2011 : 6

Number of suspected drug users or dealers who have been killed in the Filipino war on drugs since July : 2,078

Estimated number who have turned themselves in to the police : 700,000

Date on which the Justice Department announced that the thirteen privately run federal prisons would be closing : 8/18/2016

Number of state prisons that are at least partially run by private companies : 89

Factor by which the number of women held in local U.S. jails has increased since 1970 : 14

Rank of police officer among the deadliest professions in the United States : 15

Of logger : 1

Minimum number of traffic tickets that have been successfully challenged by an online chatbot named DoNotPay : 180,000

Factor by which the number of robocalls in the United States has increased over the past year : 3

Estimated number of postal codes into which a British startup has divided Mongolia : 175,000,000,000

Minimum number of Indian public employees who participated in a September strike : 160,000,000

Length in years of Irom Chanu Sharmila’s hunger strike against the Indian government : 16

Portion of the global population that has no access to a health-care worker : 1/5

Estimated portion of U.S. counties in which only one insurer will be available on their health exchange next year : 3/10

Number of states that require aborted fetuses to be either interred or cremated : 6

Number of states that do not require Electoral College members to vote for the candidate who won their state : 20

Number of states in which voters can be declared ineligible if they have a mental disability : 39

Percentage of Americans who cast a vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the 2016 primary elections : 9

Minimum number of superdelegates at the Democratic National Convention who were registered lobbyists : 63

Factor by which employees are more likely to contribute to a given political campaign if their CEO does : 3

Number of general-election television ads aired by the Clinton campaign before the Trump campaign aired its first : 70,724

Number of countries that have had a female head of state : 52

Respective ranks of Clinton and Trump among the least liked presidential candidates since polling began : 2,1

Number of successive years that the United States has been operating under a state of emergency : 36

Number of different states of emergency currently in effect in the United States : 28

Percentage by which U.S. sales of adult-incontinence products are expected to rise by 2020 : 48

Figures cited are the latest available as of September 2016.

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.


November Index Sources

1 Michael Carliner (Potomac, Md.)
2,3 American Enterprise Institute (Washington)
4 Educator’s School Safety Network (Genoa, Ohio)
5 Martin Slade, Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, Conn.)
6,7 GfK Global (London)
8,9 James Bentham, Imperial College London
10 Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness (Dakahlia, Egypt)
11,12 U.S. Department of State
13 Ali Mokdad, University of Washington (Seattle)
14,15 Human Rights Watch (N.Y.C.)
16 American Civil Liberties Union (Washington)
17 Management and Training Corporation (Centerville, Utah)/GEO Group (Boca Raton, Fla.)/Corrections Corporation of America (Nashville, Tenn.)
18 Vera Institute of Justice (N.Y.C.)
19,20 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
21 Joshua Browder (Stanford, Calif.)
22 YouMail National Robocall Index (N.Y.C.)
23 what3words (London)
24 Centre of Indian Trade Unions (New Delhi)
25 Human Rights Watch
26 International Labour Organization (Geneva)
27 Kaiser Family Foundation (Washington)
28 Tanya Marsh, Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
29 National Conference of State Legislatures (Denver)
30 Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (Washington)
31 Dave Leip (Newton, Mass.)
32 Sunlight Foundation (Washington)
33 Ilona Babenko, Arizona State University (Phoenix)
34 Wesleyan Media Project (Middletown, Conn.)
35 World Economic Forum (Geneva)
36 Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.)
37,38 The White House (Washington)
39 Euromonitor International (Chicago)

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