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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016

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


3 electoral votes

Several members of Washington State’s presidential electors defected from Hillary Clinton during the Electoral College vote and instead supported for candidates who didn’t win the state. Three people voted for Gen. Colin Powell and one voted for Yankton Sioux elder Faith Spotted Eagle. The faithless electors may each owe a $1,000 fine. [Los Angeles Times]


78 pardons

President Obama pardoned 78 people, the largest single-day pardon of any president. He also commuted the sentences of 153 other inmates. [The Star]


81 percent

Percentage of non-Christians who celebrate the holiday of Christmas in the United States. About a third of Americans in total celebrate it more as a cultural holiday. [The Pew Research Center]


962 cases

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported 99 “complicated” black lung cases in the past five years, but that’s only the number that the government thought had occurred. The reality is much worse: NPR contacted 11 black lung clinics across coal country and found a total 962 cases since 2010. [NPR]


17,000 points

Harry Dent, who less than two weeks ago said the Dow could fall 17,000 points as a result of Donald Trump’s election win, is suddenly bullish on the market. A stunning reversal! [Business Insider]


13 billion euros

Both Ireland and Apple are now challenging a European Union decision forcing Ireland to recover 13 billion euros in unpaid taxes from the company. The EU is arguing that there was a sweetheart deal between Ireland and Apple that allowed the company to significantly minimize its tax burden, while Apple is arguing the EU changed its policy retroactively. [Bloomberg]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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