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Harper’s Index — From the December 2017 issue

Harper’s Index

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Minimum number of times since September 2015 that Donald Trump has referred to Christmas in speeches : 23

Number of those references that suggested the holiday was under attack : 19

Median age of voters in the 2016 US presidential election : 53

In mayoral elections : 57

Ratio of white millennials who view the Republican Party favorably to those who view the Democratic Party favorably : 1:1

Portion of Americans who prefer to try alternative treatment before being prescribed pain medication : 4/5

Percentage by which opioid prescriptions outnumber residents in Trinity County, California : 44

Estimated percentage change in male labor-force participation since 1999 that is linked to the opioid epidemic : –20

In female labor-force participation : –25

Percentage increase since 2015 in the amount West Virginia spends on substance-abuse prevention and treatment : 3

On hiring contractors to transport corpses : 102

Portion of migrants found dead in southern Arizona since 2001 who have yet to be identified : 2/5

Rank of the United States in 2014 among countries in which expats most want to live : 5

In 2017 : 43

Percentage of US births that are paid for by Medicaid : 47

Estimated portion of part-time college faculty in the United States who receive public assistance : 1/4

Number of US states that have reported teacher shortages since 2005 : 50

Projected year in which the median net worth of black Americans will be $0 : 2053

Average amount an American has paid in income taxes since 2001 to fund wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria : $7,170

Estimated percentage of Americans for whose entire lives the United States has been at war : 21

For the majority of whose lives the United States has been at war : 46

Ratio of domestic terrorism cases under investigation by the FBI to cases involving foreign terrorist groups : 1:1

Percentage of African extremists who point to religion as a reason for joining an extremist group : 51

Who point to government action : 71

Number of German churches that housed asylum seekers last year to prevent their deportation : 692

Portion of Seattle’s luxury office space occupied by Amazon : 1/5

Estimated percentage increase since 1992 in the US Amish population : 150

Estimated average percentage change last year in the traffic to news websites that announced a shift to video : –60

Portion of downtown San Francisco traffic violations from April to June that were committed by ride-sharing drivers : 2/3

Amount that North Korea owes New York City in parking tickets : $152,505

That Egypt owes : $1,989,554

Value of the prizes revoked from the Irish owners of a greyhound racing champion that tested positive for cocaine : $35,000

Total number of penalty minutes for fighting accrued by the NHL’s senior vice president of player safety : 1,092

Minimum number of NHL players whose children have been baptized in the Stanley Cup : 2

Whose children have defecated in the cup : 2

Portion of EPA Superfund sites whose cleanup costs are borne entirely by taxpayers : 3/10

Year in which wild bison were last observed in Germany before a sighting in September of this year : 1755

Estimated hours after the sighting that the bison was killed by a local hunter : 5

Percentage change since October 2014 in the number of complaints about rats in Washington, D.C. : +64

Figures cited are the latest available as of October 2017.

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.


December Index Sources

1,2 Factba.se (Washington)
3 Tufts University Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (Boston)
4 Who Votes for Mayor? (Portland, Ore.)
5 GenForward (Chicago)
6 Gallup (Atlanta)
7 California Department of Public Health (Sacramento)/US Census Bureau (Suitland, Md.)
8,9 Alan Krueger, Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)
10,11 West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (Charleston)
12 Humane Borders (Tucson, Ariz.)
13,14 InterNations (Munich)
15 Kaiser Family Foundation (Menlo Park, Calif.)
16 University of California, Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education
17 Learning Policy Institute (Palo Alto, Calif)
18 Institute for Policy Studies (Boston)
19 US Department of Defense
20,21 US Census Bureau
22 Federal Bureau of Investigation
23,24 United Nations Development Program (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
25 Asyl in der Kirche (Berlin)
26 CoStar (San Diego)
27 Elizabethtown College Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies (Elizabethtown, Pa.)
28 comScore (Chicago)
29 San Francisco Police Department
30,31 New York City Department of Finance
32 Irish Greyhound Board (Limerick, Ireland)
33 Sports Reference (Philadelphia)
34,35 Hockey Hall of Fame (Toronto)
36 US Environmental Protection Agency
37 German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bonn)
38 World Wildlife Fund Germany and Europe (Berlin)
39 Washington, D.C., Department of Health

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