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Significant Digits For Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017

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

1.5 percent

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates to 1.5 percent, the third rate hike this year. This will have a downstream effect, raising rates on credit cards, mortgages and other loans. But it’s a sign the Fed is confident in the economy. [NPR]

20 percent

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) Why are some jeans comfortable, while others simply aren’t? Denim is denim, right? Wrong. Jeans made of fabric that offer higher “stretch factors” tend to be more comfortable. For a real comfortable pair of jeans, you want to be right around the 20 percent stretch factor mark, like these men’s jeans.

2.9 percent + $0.35

After a wave of cancelled subscriptions, Patreon (the crowdfunding platform) backed off proposed changes to its payment policies. Essentially, the company had planned to charge a one-time 2.9 percent fee for a recurring donation, plus $0.35 for each donation. And that money would have come from the consumer, not the creator. This would have disproportionately affected people giving and relying on small contributions. The company said it will rethink the strategy. [Vice]

7 percent

After three decades of their numbers declining, the number of 15- to 24-year-olds in Roanoke, Virginia, rose 7 percent between 2010 and 2015. The city is having a renaissance of late, and observers comparing it to the rest of Appalachia want to figure out how Roanoke did it. [CityLab]

About 90 percent

That’s how much, on average, Outreach Calling, a telemarketer that works with several veterans groups, kept of the money it raised for those groups. [The Center for Public Integrity]

$550 million

Target will buy the delivery startup Shipt for $550 million, with the company operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of the brick-and-mortar retailer. [Techcrunch]

505.5 billion rubles

Well, that’s peculiar: In just one month Russia’s budget deficit for 2017 nearly doubled. The Russian budget deficit was 261.4 billion rubles in the first 10 months of the year, and now — according to data released on Tuesday — has jumped to 505.5 billion rubles ($8.53 billion). Legislation caps annual budget deficits at 1.92 trillion rubles (or 2.1 percent of GDP). [Reuters]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.