Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Friday, March 16, 2018

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

$12.5 billion

The U.S. trade surplus with Canada in 2016 — as in, we export $320.1 billion worth of goods and services up north and they send $307.6 billion worth of goods and services down south, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. It’s not like anyone is winning or losing here anyway; both nations are better off for having the traded items. It’s called trade, and we’re partners, but despite all that, President Trump in a call apparently attempted to hassle Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over a trade deficit that did not in fact exist. [ABC News]

5 million

An analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine projected that 5 million adult smokers out of the nation’s estimated 37.8 million could quit within a year after introducing nicotine limits to cigarettes. The FDA is moving forward on implementing the policy. [CNBC]

$20 billion

Global sales of blood plasma in 2015, up from $5 billion in 2000. There is no way to manufacture plasma artificially so it must be obtained from compensated donors, who tend to be lower-income individuals. The number of annual plasma donations in the U.S. rose from around 10 million in 2005 to 38 million in 2016. [The Atlantic]

628,000 concurrent viewers

The record for the highest number of concurrent viewers of a stream on Twitch was smashed when a professional gamer was joined by NFL rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster, rapper Travis Scott and pop star Drake to play Fortnite. At one point, the stream hit 628,000 concurrent viewers, well above the previous record of 388,000 viewers. [The Verge]

$331.7 billion

That’s the total cryptocurrency market cap as of 4 p.m. ET Thursday. The figure was $372.9 billion on Wednesday, but on Thursday morning crashed to around $310.4 billion before slightly recovering by the end of day. The bitcoin market has managed to be even more of a wild ride than usual after a decision by Google to cull ads for cryptocurrency. [CNBC]

Check out Besides the Points, my new sports newsletter.

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.