Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Monday, Jan. 12, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. A Significant Digits daily newsletter is coming soon. If you want to be one of the first to receive it, sign up here.

1/100th of a millimeter

Seattle Seahawks fans are a notoriously loud bunch. Their stomping and jumping at CenturyLink Field lit up a nearby seismometer in 2011, shaking the sensor about 1/100th of a millimeter. Geologists this year outfitted the stadium with monitoring sensors to directly measure the effect, hoping to test new technology for monitoring earthquakes. I personally hope they’re finally able to find the geological impact of thousands of people simultaneously jumping on a bandwagon. [Wired]

10.5 percent

Fast-casual restaurants — the Shake Shacks and Chipotles of America — are coming off a banner year, with combined sales rising 10.5 percent last year. Fast-food chains saw only a 6.1 percent rise. One reason fast casual outpaces fast food: The former restaurants typically get 40 percent more out of each diner’s wallet than the latter. [The Economist]

20 percent

Percent of India’s 40 million construction workers who are women. They’re paid less than their male coworkers and are exposed to safety hazards and sexual harassment. [Reuters]

87 people

The number of individuals who participate in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association vote on who wins the Golden Globes. The voters are sometimes neither foreign nor press. [Vocativ]

316 minutes

A Boeing 777-200 jet made the flight from New York to London in a mere 5 hours, 16 minutes, an hour and a half ahead of schedule. The flight benefited from a surging jet stream between the cities, and while hardly a record — the Concorde could make the journey in 2 hours, 53 minutes — the time is a vast boost over a typical crossing. [The Telegraph]

2,287 tickets

Summonses in the City of New York were down 92 percent in the week ending Jan. 4 compared to a year ago. There were 29,434 summonses and 5,370 arrests in the same week last year and only 2,287 summonses and 1,820 arrests this year. While the evidence points to a police enforcement slowdown, my alternative theory is that New Yorkers are just really good at keeping their new year’s resolutions to stop doing crimes. [New York Times]


For $5,000 above the sticker price, buyers of the Corvette Z06 can enjoy the “Energy Build Experience” in which Chevy lets drivers personally construct the engine of their new car. It’s basically space camp for dads. [Car and Driver]

14,000 tanning salons

Indoor tanning is alive and well in America, despite evidence that links the practice to skin cancer. There are roughly 14,000 tanning salons nationwide, with more in Florida than McDonald’s restaurants. [New York Times]

3.7 million

Estimate from the French Interior Ministry of the number of participants across France in a rally to repudiate terrorism. [Associated Press]

16.5 million

The number of new autos that hit the street in 2014, the highest since 2006. December 2014 sales were up 10.8 percent over December 2013. Reasons cited include an economy bouncing back, cheaper gas, higher consumer confidence and cheap leases. [New York Times]

CORRECTION (Jan. 12, 9:18 a.m.): The headline on a previous version of this article misstated a pretty significant digit. It’s 2015, not 2014.

As always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey.


Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.