Harper’s Index — From the August 2017 issue

Harper’s Index

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Percentage change since last year in the arrests of U.S. immigrants with criminal convictions : +18

Of immigrants without criminal convictions : +156

Portion of children with New York Public Library cards who can’t use them because of unpaid fines : 1/5

Minimum annual amount the Palestinian Authority pays each Palestinian imprisoned for an attack in Israel : $4,368

Per capita income in Palestine : $3,090

Minimum number of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria caused by the United States’ twelve coalition allies : 80

Number of those countries that have publicly acknowledged culpability : 0

Percentage by which a young Republican is more likely to know a millionaire than a Muslim : 27

Number of U.S. colleges that have more students from the wealthiest 1 percent than the bottom 60 percent : 38

Percentage of white working-class Americans who believe that college is a good investment : 44

Projected percentage of U.S. jobs in 2020 that will require education beyond high school : 65

Rank of “smart” among words that occur to U.S. voters when they think of Donald Trump : 28

Of “idiot” : 1

Percentage of Republicans who believe millions of illegal votes were probably cast in last year’s election : 52

Of Democrats who believe Russia tampered with the vote count : 59

Estimated number of leeches legally bred in Russia each year for medicinal purposes : 7,000,000

Number of countries worldwide with maternal death rates lower than that of the United States : 76

Estimated chance that a Texas woman has attempted to self-induce an abortion : 1 in 50

Factor by which a U.S. man is more likely than a woman to have “a lot of confidence” in the future of the country : 2

Percentage change since 2008 in the number of visits to U.S. children’s hospitals for suicidal thoughts or attempts : +101

Estimated portion of FDA-approved drugs that are found to pose further safety risks after the approval process : 1/3

Chance that an American’s tap water does not meet national safety standards : 1 in 4

Factor by which recalled Bombay Sapphire gin in Canada was more alcoholic than advertised : 2

Portion of the gin that was returned : 1/5

Percentage of American vacationers who are taking on debt to finance their trips this summer : 21

Number of private debt-collection firms that the IRS plans to use to obtain overdue payments : 4

Date on which a U.S. government agency sued one of those firms for deceptive collection practices : 1/18/2017

Amount of revenue the IRS lost the previous time it employed private debt collectors : $4,460,000

Estimated portion of U.S. employees who are bound by a noncompete clause : 1/5

Of those employees who don’t realize it : 3/10

Portion of U.S. workers who believe that having to email outside work hours is reasonable : 9/10

Percentage of U.S. adults who plan on working past retirement age : 74

Year in which every Chinese coal plant is projected to be more efficient than every U.S. coal plant : 2020

Number of years early that cicadas appeared in the mid-Atlantic this April : 4

Projected year in which cargo ships will be able to pass directly over the North Pole : 2050

Estimated percentage change in the number of glaciers in Glacier National Park since its founding : –83

Minimum number of animal species that are not officially extinct but have not been observed for at least ten years : 857

For at least one hundred years : 104

Number of years humans had last year to colonize another planet or risk extinction, according to Stephen Hawking : 1,000

That humans have this year, according to Hawking’s new projection : 100


August Index Sources

1,2 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
3 New York Public Library (N.Y.C.)
4 Middle East Media Research Institute (N.Y.C.)
5 The World Bank (Washington)
6,7 Airwars (London)
8 Harvard Institute of Politics (Cambridge, Mass.)
9 Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (Calif.)
10 Public Religion Research Institute (Washington)
11 Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (Washington)
12,13 Quinnipiac University Poll (Hamden, Conn.)
14,15 The Economist/YouGov Poll (Hilo, Hawaii)
16 International Medical Leech Centre (Moscow)
17 Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Seattle)
18 Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco
19 Pew Research Center (Washington)
20 Gregory Plemmons, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.)
21 Joseph Ross, Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
22 Natural Resources Defense Council (N.Y.C.)
23,24 Bacardi Limited (Miami)
25 MagnifyMoney (N.Y.C.)
26 Internal Revenue Service
27 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Washington)
28 Internal Revenue Service
29,30 Evan P. Starr, University of Maryland, College Park
31,32 Gallup (Washington)
33 Center for American Progress (Washington)
34 Michael Raupp, University of Maryland, College Park
35 Nathanael Melia, University of Reading (England)
36 U.S. Geological Survey (West Glacier, Mont.)
37,38 Global Wildlife Conservation (Austin, Tex.)
39 Harper’s research
40 British Broadcasting Corporation (London)

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