Skip to main content
Significant Digits For Friday, Feb. 26, 2016

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

Well over 1 tweet per minute

“I’m not even gon lie to you. I love me so much right now,” Kanye West tweeted Wednesday, in a typically glorious tweetstorm. Other Ye-storms have implored Mark Zuckerberg to give him $1 billion, and taken swipes at Wiz Khalifa. And when he gets going, West tweets quickly — well over a tweet per minute in a recent rant. How does he do it? They don’t appear to be scheduled. Is it a quick-fingered assistant? Autocomplete typing? Text-to-speech? Mind reading? The world may never know. #ff @KanyeWest. [GQ]

10 GOP debates

Last night was the tenth GOP debate, which came just a handful of days before Super Tuesday. It was bigly the fruit salad of my life. If you missed it and need weekend plans: Grab four friends, print this out and a perform a (very) dramatic reading. [FiveThirtyEight]

26 minutes

The average American commute is just under half an hour — 26 minutes to be precise — the longest since the Census Bureau began tracking commute times in 1980. That’s 1.8 trillion minutes we spend commuting for the year, or enough time to build nearly 300 Wikipedias, or 26 Great Pyramids of Giza, according to the Post’s Christopher Ingraham. [Washington Post]

49 selfie-related deaths

There have been 49 recorded selfie-related deaths since 2014, according to data from Priceonomics. Nineteen of those occurred in India, resulting in the creation of selfie-free zones across Mumbai. “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance,” Oscar Wilde wrote. [New York Post]

80 percent of hives

From the stuff-of-childhood-nightmares file, what scientists are calling “zombie bees” are spreading across the East and West Coasts. As many as 80 percent of the hives one entomologist inspected in San Francisco were infected. The zombie bees are actually hosts to parasitic infections which cause them to act erratically — staggering in circles, leaving their hives at night — before they die. [New York Times]

80 percent satisfied

Europeans are happier! Eighty percent of European Union citizens said they were satisfied with their lives, per the Eurobarometer survey. This is up from 76 percent in 2008. If you’re happy, Europe, well then I’m happy. You’ve been through a lot. [The Economist]

2,188 billionaires

There are over 2,000 billionaires on the planet, whose combined wealth is $7.3 trillion. There are 568 billionaires in China, 535 in the U.S. and 111 in India. And I, for one, am proud to report that there is a thousandaire living in my very apartment. [MarketWatch]

75 million adults

Body mass index, or BMI, is the batting average of health metrics — it’s a terrible gauge. Using BMI alone as a measure of health would misclassify nearly 75 million American adults. [FiveThirtyEight]

$265 billion in deals

During his tenure at AIG, Brian Schreiber did $265 billion in deals. Now, you see, that’s a lot of deals. He also helped negotiate AIG’s government bailout in 2008. He never held AIG’s top job, but he worked for six different CEOs and was reported to have known more about the company’s inner workings than anyone. But now Schreiber is out, “leaving to pursue new opportunities,” and declining to comment further. (Also, do read the URL on this story.) [Bloomberg Business]

If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey. He’ll be back here next week.

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.