interesting statistics

Total annual spending controlled by functionally illiterate U.S. consumers: $414,000,000,000
- Harpers Magazine

Amount the U.S.A. spent in 2004 on mosquito nets to fight malaria in Africa: $4,000,000
Amount the U.S.A. spent to conduct "social marketing" of mosquito nets in Africa: $7,600,000
- Harpers Magazine

Percentage markup that Abbot Laboratories charged in 2001 on "solutions on sodium chloride" (the fancy term for "salt water" if you didn't do so well in chemistry): 20,735%
- Harpers Magazine

Number of chickens trained by European scientists to choose between photos of human faces by pecking: 6
Chance that college students select the same face as being "more desirable": 98%
- Harpers Magazine

Approximate number of American deaths in the entire Vietnam war: 58,226 (reference)
Total number of deaths due to firearms in the USA for the year 2002: 30,242 (reference)

Number of merit badges in Safety awarded to Boy Scouts since 2001: 15,417
Number in Shotgun Shooting: 65,249
- Harpers Magazine, June 2005

Years after Bob Marley's death that the BBC, in April, requested an interview with him: 24
- Harpers Magazine, June 2005

Percentage of songs on Billboard’s Top 20 list during 2004 whose lyrics mention at least one brand name: 40
Percentage that mention weaponry: 50
- Harpers Magazine, March 2005

Ratio of the number of computer viruses targeting Microsoft Windows-based computers to those that target Macs: 1,000:1
- Harpers Magazine, March 2005

Percentage change since March 2002 in total U.S. corporate profits, as valued in dollars: +39
Percentage change as valued in euros: -8
- Harpers Magazine, February 2005

Year by which the median full-time wage of a U.S. woman will equal that of a U.S. man, based on current trends: 2050
- Harpers Magazine, February 2005

Average total cost for a U.S. eighty-year-old to live out the rest of his or her days on a luxury cruise ship: $230,497
Average cost to live them out in an assisted-living facility: $228,075
- Harpers Magazine, February 2005

Number of states, provinces, or territories of the United States, Canada, and Mexico that lack a McDonald's : 1
- Harpers Magazine, January 2005

Ratio of the projected U.S. ad revenue of Google and Yahoo! this year to that of NBC, CBS, and ABC in primetime : 1:1
- Harpers Magazine, August 2005

Average amount of sugar consumed each year by a U.S. preschooler, expressed as a percentage of body weight : 149%
- Harpers Magazine, August 2005

Amount that Northwest Airlines expects to save each year by eliminating free magazines on flights : $565,000
Amount by eliminating free pretzels : $2,000,000
- Harpers Magazine, August 2005

Number of Americans who spend more than a quarter of their income on health care: 14,300,000
- Harpers Magazine, July 2005

Tons of CO2 emissions that would be replaced each year by a proposed windmill project on Long Island: 235,000
Tons produced each year by a single jumbo jet making a round-trip trans-Atlantic flight daily: 210,000
- Harpers Magazine, July 2005

Percentage of U.S. auto travel that occurs on two-lane roads: 28
Percentage of traffic fatalities that do: 52
- Harpers Magazine, July 2005

Number of America’s nine "Founding Fathers" who denied the divinity of Jesus: 7
Minimum number of illegitimate children had by the nine: 9
- Harpers Magazine, July 2005

Chance that a four-to-six-year-old U.S. boy plays video games every day: 1 in 4
- Harpers Magazine, July 2005

Ratio of the net worth of the richest 1 percent of U.S. households to the size of the national debt: 2:1
- Harpers Magazine, April 1998

Amount that U.S. health-care professionals owe in defaulted student loans: $107,000,000
Rank of chiropractors among those most likely to default: 1
- Harpers Magazine, April 1998

Factor by which the average suicide rate in a city where gambling is legal exceeds that in a city where it is not: 2
- Harpers Magazine, May 1998

Number of the 535 free subscriptions Hustler offered members of the US Congress last year that were rejected: 16
- Harpers Magazine, July 1998

Ratio of pollution generated by a leaf blower in one hour to that generated by driving a car one hundred miles: 1:1
- Harpers Magazine, July 1998

Number of days last March that a Georgia teen was suspended after wearing a Pepsi shirt on his school's "Coke Day": 1
- Harpers Magazine, July 1998

Chance that an American fell asleep at the wheel last year: 1 in 4
- Harpers Magazine, July 1998

Total number of marriages experienced by the co-authors of Staying Married and Loving It : 5
Number of months one co-author spent married to the original Bozo the Clown: 18
- Harpers Magazine, August 1998

Year in which the Tennessee legislature approved the Fifteenth Amendment, granting blacks the right to vote: 1997
- Harpers Magazine, August 1998

Percentage change since 1991 in total Microsoft contributions to the Democratic and Republican parties[Democracy]: +460
Percentage change since then in Microsoft contributions to the Republican Party alone: +1,863
- Harpers Magazine, September 1998

Percentage of U.S. universities that use student evaluations as a factor in granting tenure: 88
Percentage that did this in 1973: 23
- Harpers Magazine, September 1998

Ratio of miles of logging and other roads in U.S. national forests to the total length of the interstate highway system: 8:1
- Harpers Magazine, September 1998

Amount Microsoft offers any computer-science professor who mentions its programs in an academic presentation: $200
- Harpers Magazine, September 1998

Ratio of the number of “cigar” references in Kenneth Starr's report to the number of “Whitewater” references: 9:1
Fine that the report's Internet posting might have brought if 1996's Communications Decency Act had become law: $250,000
Percentage of current members of Congress who voted for both the Communications Decency Act and the report's release: 72
- Harpers Magazine, November 1998

Amount the family of Osama bin Laden was paid by Saudi Arabia to construct U.S. barracks there this year: $150,000,000
- Harpers Magazine, February 1999

Percentage by which Iraq's oil sales last year fell short of the maximum allowed under U.N. sanctions: 22
Rank of the U.S. among countries that bought the most oil from Iraq last year: 1
Percentage change in Iraq's oil sales since 1997: +45
Percentage change in total oil sales of other OPEC countries since then: -35
- Harpers Magazine, March 1999

Estimated chances that a U.S. child diagnosed with leukemia will be in remission five years later: 4 in 5
Estimated chance that an Iraqi child diagnosed with leukemia will live that long: 0
- Harpers Magazine, March 1999

Ratio of Cuba's infant mortality rate to that of the U.S.: 1:1
Ratio of the number of doctors per capita in the U.S. to the number of doctors per capita in Cuba: 1:2
- Harpers Magazine, March 1999

Number by which emigrants from the U.S. to Ireland between 1995 and 1998 exceeded those from Ireland to the U.S.: 4,300
- Harpers Magazine, March 1999

Number of people who died in police custody in South Africa last year: 758
Maximum number reported to have died in custody during any year under apartheid: 200
- Harpers Magazine, April 1999

Number of times a Florida Fox-TV station asked 2 reporters to rewrite a news story on Monsanto in 1997: 83
Amount the station offered the reporters to quit their jobs and keep silent after the news story was killed: $151,250
Ratio of Americans who say they trust TV news magazines to those who say they trust print news magazines: 2:1
Ratio of those who say they trust local TV news to those who say they trust C-Span: 2:1
- Harpers Magazine, April 1999

Number of times that a white man has been executed for killing a black man in Texas since 1860: 0
- Harpers Magazine, May 1999

Average number of murders a U.S. child sees on television by the end of elementary school: 8,000
- Harpers Magazine, July 1999

Amount that an average U.S. consumer spends on clothes each year: $1,508
Amount that an average inner-city African American spends: $2,440
- Harpers Magazine, July 1999

Chances that a U.S. Catholic hospital does not provide emergency contraception to rape victims: 4 in 5
- Harpers Magazine, July 1999

Percentage of the people living in France during the French Revolution who spoke French: 50
Percentage of the people living in Italy who spoke Italian when the country was unified in 1861: 2.5
- Harpers Magazine, July 1999

Average number of Zimbabweans killed each week by AIDS: 2,500
Average number of Americans killed each week by prescription drugs: 1,900
- Harpers Magazine, July 1999

Number of live contraband Chinese chipmunks that the Dutch government ordered KLM to shred last April: 440
- Harpers Magazine, August 1999

Number of CIA laptops containing top-secret information sold inadvertently at a government-surplus auction in 1995: 25
- Harpers Magazine, August 1999

Number of channels offered when TV came to Fiji's Nadroga province in 1995: 1
Percentage change since then in the incidence of self-induced vomiting among girls there since TV came to the island in 1995: +300
- Harpers Magazine, September 1999

Percentage of the proceeds of an AIDS fund-raising bike ride across Texas last fall used to cover "production costs": 85
- Harpers Magazine, September 1999

Amount that Florida governor Jeb Bush's wife spent on a 5-day shopping trip to Paris last June: $19,000
Amount she declared to U.S. Customs: $500
- Harpers Magazine, September 1999

Number of the 10 billion plastic Coke bottles distributed in the U.S. each year that are made from recycled material: 0
- Harpers Magazine, October 1999

Number of the ten largest multinational corporations that produce automobiles or gasoline: 9
- Harpers Magazine, January 2000

Estimated percentage increase since 1000 in the number of Christians, Muslims, and Hindus, respectively: 2,450, 2,300, 1,025
Estimated percentage increase since then in the number of Buddhists: 4,275
- Harpers Magazine, January 2000

Number of the 65 international trade disputes settled through the WTO that led to a change in national policy or law: 59
Number of the 10 disputes involving environmental or public heath issues that led to a weakening of national laws: 10
Days after China announced it would begin acquiring offensive weapons that it was accepted into the WTO last fall: 7
- Harpers Magazine, February 2000

Ratio of the number of Americans killed in traffic accidents in 1998 to the number killed by medical errors: 1:1
- Harpers Magazine, March 2000

Number of Africans used to test a U.S. polio vaccine made with primate kidney cells in the 1950s: 1,000,000
Number of the 46 Africans found to be HIV-positive before 1981 who lived within 90 miles of the vaccine trials: 45
Projected age to which the AIDS epidemic will lower the life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa by next year: 45
- Harpers Magazine, March 2000

Factor by which the pregnancy-related death rate among African-American women exceeds that of white women: 3
- Harpers Magazine, March 2000

Average percentage change in East Coast air pollution between Mondays and Thursdays: +24
Average percentage by which the amount of East Coast rainfall on a Saturday exceeds the amount on a Monday: 22
- Harpers Magazine, March 2000

Ratio of the number of hotel rooms planned for Las Vegas's Venetian Hotel to all the hotel rooms in Venice: 1:1
- Harpers Magazine, May 2000