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Significant Digits For Friday, Aug. 25, 2017

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


Number of U.S. counties with zero insurers offering coverage in 2018 on the insurance marketplaces set up under the Affordable Care Act. CareSource decided to cover the sole remaining county in Ohio without an insurance plan available through the marketplace. [Kaiser Family Foundation, The Wall Street Journal]

5 turbines

New Orleans, to some notoriety, is low-lying, which leaves it particularly susceptible to flooding. To prevent that, the city relies on five turbines that power 120 pumps. As Hurricane Harvey threatens New Orleans from the Gulf of Mexico, however, 15 of those pumps are offline. Also, three of those five turbines are not working. The city has mobilized 26 backup generators. [NBC News]

50 jobs

The state of Iowa will give Apple $208 million in tax breaks in exchange for promising to create at least 50 jobs as part of a $1.4 billion datacenter project near Des Moines. Iowa, I will gladly hire a personal assistant in the Des Moines area if you give me $4 million dollars in tax incentives. [Yahoo]

118 decibels

London’s Big Ben this week went silent for four years as part of a $37 million restoration. The 118 decibel chimes could seriously damage the hearing of people working on the clock. [The New York Times]

9,500 respondents

Number of participants in a survey intended to determine how Canada talks. It turns out Canada has a staggering array of regional distinctions in language, and we’re not just talking about the whole “occasional French” thing. (The survey only covered English speakers.) For instance, the East calls them sneakers, the West calls them runners, but Ontario and Quebec call them running shoes. As a U.S. resident, I was surprised to learn that only Nova Scotia and Quebec call them “coloured pencils”; apparently the drawing implements are referred to as “pencil crayons” in most of the rest of the country. [The 10 and 3]

$15.3 billion

Size of the U.S. youth sports market, which has grown 55 percent since 2010. Cheap little leagues are out, pricey private coaching and travel leagues are in. [TIME]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.