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Significant Digits For Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017

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

176 school districts

There are still 176 U.S. school districts (of about 13,500 total) that are under federal oversight to ensure that they continue to uphold desegregation. One of them is in Jefferson County, Alabama, and, wouldn’t you know, it appears a bunch of white families are trying to break off from the Jefferson County district to form a new district. [The Nation]

52,172 feet

Altitude attained by an engineless, experimental glider Sunday, a new record. The Perlan Project — sponsored by flight heavyweights like Airbus, Weather Extreme Ltd., United Technologies and BRS Aerospace — seeks to get an unpowered glider to heights of 90,000 feet. [USA Today]


Amount spent by a pro-Kremlin “troll farm” on divisive Facebook advertising in advance of the 2016 presidential election, according to a blog post by Facebook spurred by the inquiry into Russian tampering in the election. [The Washington Post]

144,352 tons of tomatoes per square mile

The Netherlands has been investing in new and improved ways to maximize the efficiency of humane farming. Acre for acre, the Dutch are the best on earth: using greenhouses they get 144,352 tons of tomatoes out of every square mile, with the closest runner up — Spain — getting a fraction of that. Essentially, the Dutch decided to be a food R&D lab for everyone else — the secret seems to be greenhouses — and the outcome is they export more food, judging by dollar value, than every country except the U.S. [National Geographic]

200,000 students

New York City Schools will offer lunch to an additional 200,000 students, making free breakfast and lunch available to all students in the 2017-18 school year. [ABC 7 New York]

10 million

Square feet of office space managed by the startup WeWork, which offers co-working spaces and — increasingly — the service of running offices they themselves do not own. The company is valued at close to $20 billion on paper, which (again, on paper) is higher than Boston Properties, the largest publicly-traded commercial real estate company out there. [Wired]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.