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Significant Digits For Friday, Jan. 29, 2016

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

16 states

Number of states that require students to take a standardized test on basic economics, down from 25 in 1998. Only 17 states require students to take a course in personal finance. [CNBC]

32 percent

Alibaba, China’s, saw sales jump 32 percent in the last quarter of 2015, in part because of investments in rural China that aided with package delivery. [Bloomberg]

35 plays

The New England Patriots are not in the Super Bowl for many reasons. That their kicker missed an extra point in the first quarter of the AFC championship game is one of the least-important ones. There were 35 plays in that game that affected the Patriots’ chances more than that missed kick. [FiveThirtyEight]

38 phones

A man was found with 38 phones stuffed down his pants at a Libertines concert in the U.K. Authorities are trying to find victims of phone theft, but perhaps for just one second we should consider the possibility this man has 37 jobs? [The Guardian]

80 percent

Paul Allen, a Microsoft co-founder, destroyed 80 percent of a protected reef in the Cayman Islands with his yacht’s anchor, 14,000 square feet of protected coral in all. If you want to help stop horrible and irreversible disasters like that, donate to Allen’s charity, which focuses on marine conservation and tackling overfishing when his pleasure yacht isn’t annihilating priceless and irreplaceable reefs. [The Guardian]

1,000 times as much poison

The nightmare scenario has arrived: Researchers found that killing U.S. bedbugs required doses of neonicotinoids — a fancy word for bug poison — 1,000 times as concentrated as bedbugs not found in the wild. [BBC]


A jury awarded two panhandlers $1,500 after the Chicago sheriff’s department stopped them from asking for money on Daley Plaza. [The Associated Press]

10.2 million

Number of people aged 16 to 29 in the U.S. in 2015 who were neither employed nor in training for employment in 2015. Basically, these were folks who don’t have jobs and aren’t learning a skill to eventually get one. In good news, that number is down from more than 11 million in 2013, according to Pew. [The Pew Research Center]

$40.1 million

How much Nancy Pelosi has raised for Democrats this cycle, according to House Democrats. [Los Angeles Times]

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If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to me: @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.