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Significant Digits For Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018

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


40 years

Netflix is on pace to add 27.4 million subscribers this year, according to the bank Barclays. That’s nearly as many as HBO added in 40 years. It’s frankly amazing that “A Christmas Prince” has proven to be such an irresistible draw. [CNBC]


60 to 80 percent

According to a lawsuit filed by advertisers, which includes a claim of fraud and was based on a review of 80,000 pages of internal Facebook documents, Facebook was aware of the problems with its measurement of viewership of video ads more than a year before it disclosed the problems. The company told some advertisers that it likely overestimated the average time by 60 to 80 percent. Facebook says the suit is without merit. My colleague Nate Silver suggests that “pivoted to video” should be used as a euphemism for death. [The Wall Street Journal]


45 percent decrease

Bugs are disappearing. Biologists estimate that the population of invertebrates such as beetles and bees has decreased 45 percent over the past 35 years. The number of flying insects in German nature preserves dropped 76 percent in a similar amount of time. And a new study found the same thing in a “pristine” Puerto Rican national forest. The animals that eat the insects are disappearing, too: The population of the Puerto Rican tody, a bird that eats bugs, dropped by 90 percent. “Holy crap,” an expert in invertebrate conservation said to the Post. [The Washington Post]


194 million people

The midterm elections are 19 (!) days away, and our governors forecast has arrived! Overall, 193 million people are forecast to be governed by Democrats and 135 million people by Republicans. However, that corresponds to 23.6 and 26.4 states, respectively. The closest races are in Georgia, Nevada and Ohio. [FiveThirtyEight]


More than 1,135 people

More than 1,135 people were still missing in Florida on Wednesday — a week after Hurricane Michael hit that state’s Panhandle. The storm killed at least 27 people. Many of the missing live alone or are elderly, disabled or impoverished, according to the founder of CrowdSource Rescue. [Reuters]


100s of electronic communications

A U.S. Treasury employee has been arrested and charged with leaking confidential reports about suspicious financial transactions to BuzzFeed News. These transactions involved Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chief, and former campaign official Richard Gates. The employee, Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, allegedly had “hundreds of electronic communications” with a BuzzFeed reporter. Here is a BuzzFeed article cited in the complaint. [CNBC]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

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

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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