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Significant Digits For Friday, June 3, 2016

Welcome to Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.


9.4 points

Average simple error — that is, the difference between how a poll said the top two candidates in a primary performed and how they actually did — in the 2016 presidential primaries so far. The polls were a little worse than their average — 8.1 points — over the past five presidential cycles. Typically, though, primaries are a lot more difficult to nail than general elections. [FiveThirtyEight]


33 cities

The Guardian called up 81 cities east of the Mississippi to ask about their water supply. As it turns out, 33 of them have lead testing procedures that don’t conform to the EPA’s guidance, including pre-flushing water from pipes before testing it, running the water slowly, and removing aerators from faucets, all of which can make the lead reading lower. [The Guardian]


45.5 percent

Percentage of U.S. adults who worked for an employer at least 30 hours per week in May, the best rate for a month of May since the metric was developed by Gallup in 2010. [Gallup]


3,617 patents

Number of U.S. patents awarded to IBM though June 2, making it the largest awardee of patents in the technology space so far. It’s followed by Samsung, with 3,032, and Google, with 1,530. IBM averages 23.6 per day. [Quartz]


150 million

Reported number of daily users of Snapchat, the ephemeral photo-sharing and messaging app. This means that the newcomer has eclipsed Twitter in daily users, which analysts peg as having less than 140 million daily users. [Bloomberg]


$38.5 billion

Size of the payday loan market in the United States. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking to step in to regulate that high-interest sector of the lending industry. The requirements will include forcing lenders to look into a borrower’s capacity to pay the loan back, which you’d figure was standard, but nope, it is definitely part of the issue here. [The Wall Street Journal]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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