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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018

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

3.1 percent

Percentage of U.S. household spending that goes towards apparel, down from 6.2 percent in 1977. People dining out, technology spending and traveling have filled in that gap, but the reasons why are complicated. One cause is fast fashion taking over the country, sure, but don’t count out the fact that an increasing number of Americans can dress casual at the office, hence negating the need for a work wardrobe. [Bloomberg]

4.6 percent

The stock market is enjoying a bit of a correction, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 4.6 percent on Monday, with a 15 minute period of yesterday seeing the Dow selloff hit 1,597 points. [Bloomberg]

25 years

For the past 25 years, the population of the mutant marbled crayfish has exploded Tribble-like throughout Europe. It evolved from Procambarus fallax, a crayfish from Florida and Georgia. Here’s the issue: It’s eggs essentially becomes pre-fertilized, and the crayfish can induce its eggs to become embryos without the need of a male. [The New York Times]

28 years, two months and 27 days

That’s how long the Berlin Wall sliced the German city in half. Incidentally, that’s also the amount of time between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Monday, as the wall’s now been down longer than it was up. [DW]

240 class action lawsuits

It appears that a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigation into Equifax, that company that failed to protect the personal data of 143 million Americans they gathered data on, will not proceed. Meanwhile, there are 240 class action lawsuits against the company and it’s being investigated by “every state attorney general.” [Reuters]


The low point yesterday for the price of Bitcoin yesterday, a 15 percent drop to a three month low, down from the dizzying highs seen just weeks ago. This came on the heels of an announcement from several banks that customers would be banned from buying bitcoin on credit. [Reuters]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.