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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. A Significant Digits daily newsletter is coming soon. If you want to be one of the first to receive it, sign up here.

1 gallon

In drought-stricken California, the amount of water needed to make one almond. [Mother Jones]


5 percent

According to a December CNN poll, the share of the vote U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan held in a hypothetical Republican primary. The former vice presidential candidate from Wisconsin removed himself from 2016 presidential contention Monday. [CNN, NBC]

$16 per hour

Aetna increased its minimum hourly wage to $16, raising the income of its lowest-paid workers by a third in an attempt to attract and maintain talent. [Wall Street Journal]


49 percent

Films that won the Golden Globe for best drama won the Academy Award for best picture 49 percent of the time. [FiveThirtyEight]


53 prisoners

Cuba, at the behest of the United States, has released 53 prisoners, including members of prominent protest groups. [Reuters]


65 counties

Based on four measured categories — jobs, home prices, economic output and unemployment rate — only 65 of 3,069 U.S. counties have met or exceeded pre-recession economic levels. None of the recovered counties has more than 500,000 residents. [Wall Street Journal]


238 days

A premiere date has been set for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The former Comedy Central host will have his first show on CBS on Sept. 8. David Letterman is set to sign off on May 20. There are 238 days from Tuesday to the preordained date of the return of the king. [Mashable]

998,000 players

Minecraft was played by almost a million people simultaneously on Friday, potentially making it the most played PC game over Dota 2. [PC Gamer]

500 million

Number of Cadbury creme eggs made every year, two-thirds of which are consumed in England. The company — owned by Mondelez International — has shifted to a new recipe, which as far as I can tell is the U.K. equivalent to the Coca-Cola company burning a flag. [CNN]


8,463,194,794 chickens

The USDA’s Census of Agriculture compiles a count of where America’s livestock lives. America’s many chickens — some 8.5 billion — are concentrated in the Southeast. [Business Insider]

As always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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