Harper’s Index — From the May 2015 issue

Harper’s Index

Number of years in the past decade in which the violent-crime rate in the United States has fallen : 8

In which the majority of Americans have believed that crime is on the rise : 10

Minimum number of times in 2014 that Rikers Island correction officers broke the bones of an inmate : 98

Days of solitary confinement a South Carolina prisoner was assigned in 2012 for threatening a prison employee : 41

Years of solitary confinement he was assigned in 2013 for posting on Facebook : 37

Percentage of last meals requested by male death-row prisoners that include salad or vegetables : 11

Of those requested by female death-row prisoners : 62

Estimated percentage increase in popcorn a person eats when watching a drama rather than a comedy : +42

Portion of Americans who think it is safe to eat genetically modified foods : 2/5

Of U.S. scientists who do : 9/10

Estimated number of genetically modified mosquitoes released since 2012 to combat dengue and chikungunya : 70,000,000

Number of African countries with vaccination rates higher than that of the United States : 16

Estimated number of deaths caused by the Islamic State since January 2014 : 4,000

By Boko Haram : 7,200

Number of countries worldwide in which attacks on schools have occurred in the past five years : 70

Percentage of deaths in the developing world caused by chronic diseases : 64

Percentage of all medical development aid allocated to fighting chronic diseases : 1

Number of the twenty-three health insurance co-ops created under the Affordable Care Act that reported losses last year : 22

Chance that an American would give up at least one week of life to avoid taking a pill every day : 1 in 3

Percentage of U.S. death certificates in which the stated cause of death is overly general or medically impossible : 22

Portion of Americans with combined finances who have lied to their partners about money : 1/3

Average household savings of Americans aged 65 to 69 living with a spouse : $111,600

Living alone : $12,500

Percentage of U.S. evangelical Christians under the age of 40 who supported gay marriage in 2003 : 20

Who do today : 43

Estimated portion of calls to a lesbian-support line in India that are made by men : 1/2

Percentage change in the market value of South Korea’s leading condom maker after the country ended its adultery ban : +15

Pounds of marijuana a New Mexico family discovered in January in a van they bought used thirteen years ago : 13.5

Estimated portion of ivory sold in Los Angeles that is illegal under California law : 9/10

Number of indigenous mammal species that have gone extinct since the European settlement of North America began : 1

Since the European settlement of Australia began : 29

Minimum number of animals that USDA Wildlife Services has killed by mistake since 2000 : 61,381

Number of bird-species names the Swedish Ornithological Society changed in February over concerns about racism : 10

Monthly rent the Austrian government pays on Hitler’s birthplace to prevent it from becoming a pilgrimage site : $5,000

Amount Greece’s ruling Syriza party believes that Germany owes Greece in war reparations : $172,000,000,000

Portion of the current Greek debt this number represents : 1/2

Percentage of European investors who believe that the euro zone will break up within the next year : 38

Advertised daily cost to rent the village of Megyer, Hungary, and to assume the position of deputy mayor : $750

Minimum number of people who have paid to be considered for a one-way trip to Mars planned by a Dutch media company : 2,761

Number the company plans to select for a reality show set on the planet : 4

Figures cited are the latest available as of March 2015.

“Harper’s Index” is a registered trademark.


May Index Sources

1 FBI Criminal Justice Information Service (Clarksburg, W.Va.)
2 Gallup (Princeton, N.J.)
3 NYC Department of Correction
4,5 South Carolina Department of Corrections (Columbia)
6,7 Ty Treadwell (Miami)
8 Aner Tal, Cornell Food and Brand Lab (Ithaca, N.Y.)/Harper’s research
9,10 Pew Research Center (Washington)
11 Oxitec (Abingdon, England)
12 Good Governance Africa (Johannesburg)
13 Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (Coventry, England)
14 Council on Foreign Relations (N.Y.C.)
15 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Geneva)
16,17 Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Seattle)
18 A.M. Best Company (Oldwick, N.J.)
19 Robert Hutchins, UCSF School of Medicine (San Francisco)
20 Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Seattle)
21 National Endowment for Financial Education (Denver)
22,23 National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Mass.)
24,25 Public Religion Research Institute (Washington)
26 Indian Community Welfare Organisation (Chennai)
27 MarketWatch (San Francisco)
28 Alamogordo Police Department (New Mexico)
29 Natural Resources Defense Council (Santa Monica, Calif.)
30,31 John Woinarski, Charles Darwin University (Melbourne, Australia)
32 U.S. Department of Agriculture/Center for Biological Diversity (Portland, Ore.)
33 Swedish Ornithological Society (Halmstad)
34 Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior (Vienna)
35,36 Embassy of Greece (Washington)
37 Sentix (Frankfurt, Germany)
38 Office of the Mayor (Megyer, Hungary)
39,40 Mars One (Amersfoort, Netherlands)

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