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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017

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

Welcome to 2017.

13 percent

Percentage of American private-sector workers who have a traditional pension, down from 38 percent in 1979. Now 401(k) plans are the common retirement strategy for Americans, and some of their early supporters regret it. [The Wall Street Journal]

35 percent

Probability that the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl, the highest of any team in the playoffs. They’re followed by Kansas City (16 percent); Atlanta and Dallas (14 percent); and Pittsburgh, Seattle and Green Bay (5 percent). [FiveThirtyEight]

240 green traffic lights

Heaven is a place on earth: An Uber driver says he made it through 240 consecutive green lights in 27 minutes while driving from Harlem to the Lower East Side in New York City. [The Associated Press]


Number of multifamily rental units completed between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016 across 54 U.S. metropolitan areas. Of those units, 84 percent were luxury, which seems pretty ridiculous. If everything is luxury, is anything luxury? [The Wall Street Journal]

91,404,322 miles

Earth will be at its perihelion on Wednesday, the point in our orbit where we’re closest to the sun. We’ll be a mere 91,404,322 miles away from that cascading nuclear torrent that feeds Earth energy, roughly 3 million miles closer than we are at our farthest point in July. [EarthSky]

$400 million

HGTV — the channel that made the “buy a home, fix it up and then either resell it or live in it and make babies” hero’s journey a viable business model — is killing it, now the third-most-watched cable channel. One potential reason for this is the sheer volume of programming the network puts out. HGTV makes 900 hours of television for $400 million annually, which is a great deal; Netflix spent $500 million on 600 hours in 2016. [Bloomberg]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.