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Significant Digits For Thursday, March 7, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. For even more facts, figures and discussion, check out our live FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast in New York City on March 20.


3 women

On March 29, NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch and Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol are scheduled to take part in the first all-women spacewalk. There have been 213 spacewalks at the International Space Station since 1998. [USA Today]


76,000 migrants

Unauthorized entries to the U.S. across the southwestern border nearly doubled in the last year, rising to more than 76,000 migrants in February, the most in over a decade. The monthly average of apprehensions at the border during the Trump administration is around 32,000, compared with 35,000 under Barack Obama and 82,000 under George W. Bush. [The New York Times]


27 universities

At least 27 universities — including MIT, the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii, according to cybersecurity intelligence group — have been targeted by Chinese hackers on the hunt for research “about maritime technology being developed for military use.” The hacking group may be the same one that hacked Navy contractors last year, stealing submarine missile plans and other data. [The Wall Street Journal]


10-year high

The U.S. trade deficit hit a 10-year high, rising 19 percent in December. The deficit for 2018 was $621 billion. The deficit with China — $419 billion — set an all-time record. Economic growth, writes the AP, can help drive a jump in imports, but a higher trade gap can also be a drag on economic growth. [Associated Press]


57 percent drop in production

Horror of horrors, Italy may be forced to import olive oil. Production of the essential elixir fell 57 percent in 2018, and climate scientists warn that extreme weather and frost could continue to imperil the olive industry there. [CNN]


64 percent of respondents

Sixty-four percent of respondents to a new Quinnipiac poll believe President Trump committed a crime — though the type of “crime” is not specified — before taking office. That represents 89 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of Republicans. Only 45 percent of the respondents, however, believe Trump has committed a crime while in office. [Vox]



From ABC News:


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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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