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Harper’s Index — From the May 2017 issue

Harper’s Index

Number of U.S. states that include cursive writing in their educational standards : 24

Portion of U.S. college freshmen who are required to write papers longer than 11 pages : 1/4

Who spend an average of less than five hours a week on assigned reading : 1/2

Number of books on a list that a Virginia judge assigned to five teens for defacing a historic black schoolhouse : 35

Factor by which the number of U.S. anti-Muslim hate groups has increased this year : 3

Portion of Americans who believe that people who commit violence in the name of Islam are “really Muslim” : 2/5

Who believe that people who commit violence in the name of Christianity are “really Christian” : 1/5

Estimated number of Rohingya Muslim refugees that Bangladesh plans to relocate to a remote island : 32,000

Average number of months each year that the island is submerged underwater : 2.5

Number of immigrants Canada has rejected since 2013 for having disabilities : 330

Percentage of asylum seekers Japan accepted last year : 0.26

Number of Irula tribesmen the state of Florida hired from India in February to hunt invasive Burmese pythons : 2

Number of pythons they helped capture : 33

Percentage decline since 1970 in the portion of U.S. homicides in which charges are filed : 28

Number of the 100 highest-paid city employees in Boston last year who were members of the police department : 98

Factor by which the director of the Australian postal service earned more in 2016 than the prime minister : 11

Net loss the service reported in 2015 : $167,000,000

Estimated minimum combined net worth of Donald Trump’s Cabinet members and advisers : $61,380,600,000

Number of countries whose GDP is lower than that figure : 114

Number of African nations that have used internet blackouts since 2015 to control dissent : 12

Portion of U.S. transgender adults who have refrained from eating and drinking to avoid using the bathroom : 1/3

Average percentage change in suicide rates among gay and bisexual teens after their states legalized same-sex marriage : –14

Percentage increase last year in the number of Afghan children killed or wounded by explosive remnants of war : 65

Percentage change since 2005 in the volume of the global arms trade : +44

Portion of U.S. senators who had military experience in 1975 : 4/5

Today : 1/5

Rank of Russia among the United States’ greatest national enemies, according to Democrats : 2

According to Republicans : 18

Number of New York Times articles labeled “fake news” by a Russian Foreign Ministry website in the month after its launch : 2

Portion of Americans who believe The Onion is a credible news source : 1/5

Total estimated value of free media coverage Donald Trump received in February : $681,531,302

That the next fifty most frequently mentioned public figures received : $625,643,071

Estimated ratio of time Trump spent in intelligence briefings to golfing during his presidency’s first month : 1:4

Percentage by which liberal academics are seen as more attractive than conservative academics : 8

By which conservative politicians are seen as more attractive than liberal politicians : 14

Number of posts one of Trump’s senior national security advisers has written on Styleforum, a men’s fashion website : 41,561

Percentage change since 1997 in the number of times married Americans have sex each year : –19

Portion of married Japanese men under age 49 who say that work makes them too tired for intercourse : 1/3

Length, in minutes, of a weekly break during which employees of a Swedish town are encouraged to have sex : 60


May Index Sources

1 Harper’s research
2,3 National Survey of Student Engagement (Bloomington, Ind.)
4 Loudoun County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney (Leesburg, Va.)
5 Southern Poverty Law Center (Montgomery, Ala.)
6,7 Public Religion Research Institute (Washington)
8 Embassy of Bangladesh (Washington)
9 Noakhali Coastal Forest Division (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
10 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Ottawa)
11 Immigration Bureau of Japan (Tokyo)
12,13 Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida (Gainesville)
14 Federal Bureau of Investigation (Alexandria, Va.)
15 Mayor’s Office (Boston)
16 Australian Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications
17 Australia Post (Melbourne)
18 Hedge Clippers (Baltimore)
19 The World Bank (Washington)
20 Freedom House (N.Y.C.)
21 National Center for Transgender Equality (Washington)
22 Julia Raifman, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore)
23 United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Kabul)
24 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Solna, Sweden)
25,26 Pew Research Center (Washington)
27,28 YouGov (N.Y.C.)
29 Harper’s research
30 Morning Consult (Washington)
31,32 mediaQuant, Inc. (Portland, Ore.)
33 Washington Post (N.Y.C.)
34 Jan-Erik LÖnnqvist, University of Helsinki
35 Henrik Jordahl, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (Stockholm)
36 Harper’s research
37 Jean Twenge, San Diego State University
38 Japan Family Planning Association (Tokyo)
39 Municipality of Övertorneå (Sweden)

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