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Significant Digits For Friday, March 11, 2016

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. We’re trying out a new approach, with fewer news items but more detail, so please bear with us.

1 in 3

According to the White House, the share of families who have a hard time affording diapers. A new program will give low-income Americans access to cheaper diapers. [CNN]

21 years old

California’s legislature has voted to raise the age limit on buying tobacco products to 21 from 18. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature. The legislation would also apply to vapers who use electronic cigarettes, a move that would surely devastate the guy who is somehow walking in front of me every day on the way to work blowing sick clouds. [Associated Press]

59 percent

Percentage of Florida Republicans who think Sen. Marco Rubio should suspend his campaign should he lose in the winner-take-all primary in the state next Tuesday. Sad! [Washington Post/Univision News Poll]


People are jazzed about this whole democracy thing America has going on right now: 29 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the states that held primary contests through March 6. That’s the highest level of turnout since 2008, but keep in mind that as we continue through the primary process and the contests potentially become less significant, that share may drop. [Pew Research Center]

1,700 names

A list of purported Islamic State members has been obtained by intelligence agencies, Sky News reports, but there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical of the list. It apparently includes tens of thousands of names, but only 1,700 identifiable ones. This is the kind of list where you really want to be sure it’s legit in case of a false positive, but it’s a potentially massive intelligence gain for the powers fighting the Islamic State. [The Washington Post]

11,000 amendments

Number of proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Only 27 of those stuck, and many of the rest were really, really dumb. To commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, the National Archives is apparently pulling everything it has from the “HORRIBLE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS, A-F” filing cabinet. [The Washington Post]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.