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Significant Digits For Thursday, May 16, 2019

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


32 years

The number of babies born in the U.S. fell to its lowest level in 32 years last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2018 total — 3,788,235 births — was down 2 percent from the year before. There were 59.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. This could mean that “we’re getting further away from the possibility of having enough children to replace ourselves.” [NBC News]


69 percent

According to a report in The Washington Post, a consultant for the Trump Organization told a Miami-area official in 2018 that net operating income at President’s Trump’s “prized 643-room” Doral resort in Florida was down 69 percent over two years. In a statement to the Post, the company blamed hurricanes and fears of the Zika virus for dissuading tourists from visiting South Florida. [The Washington Post]


415 parts per million

At the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, carbon dioxide levels were recorded at 415 parts per million last week. That is the highest level recorded there since it began such analyses in 1958. It’s also 100 parts per million higher than any point in the roughly 800,000 years for which scientists have data on global CO2. In other words, “levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are now nearly 40 percent higher than ever in human history.” [Popular Science]


35,853 feet

A retired naval officer named Victor Vescovo descended nearly 35,853 feet in a submarine in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, the lowest such dive ever. What did he find down there, far deeper than Mount Everest is tall? Garbage, which appeared to be plastic. [The Guardian]


$4.3 million in fines

Google’s large New York City office building is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases among buildings in the city. The company could face a $4.3 million fine, the mayor’s office said, if it does not make appropriate updates … by 2030. The worst two greenhouse gas offender buildings are the Time Warner Center and Mount Sinai medical center. [Business Insider]


$200,000 in gifts

Elsewhere in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art became the latest museum to disavow money from some members of the Sackler family because of their connections to the opioid crisis. Gifts to the museum from Sacklers with close ties to Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, will be refused in the future. In recent years, donations from the family have exceeded $200,000. However, the decision is largely symbolic as the museum operates with a $320 million annual budget. [The New York Times]


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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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