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Significant Digits For Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Welcome to Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.

1 person

The world’s oldest person, Susannah Mushatt Jones, died Thursday at 116. Now, Earth has only one known human inhabitant born in the 1800s, Emma Morano of Italy. Morano was “born about a month before 1900 began.” [USA Today]


Cost of a bottomless soda at the Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium when it opens next year, just one part of a new concessions menu that will be the cheapest of any major sports team. Atlanta has evidently been struggling to sell tickets to its new stadium, so a 12-ounce Bud Light for $5 may be one solution. [ESPN]

More than 650 counties

At least 650 U.S. counties will likely have only one insurer available on the Obamacare exchanges in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, up from 225 in 2016. About 70 percent of those counties are primarily rural. [The Wall Street Journal]

253,000 comics

Number of issues of Black Panther #1, newly relaunched with acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, sold so far this year, making it the best-selling comic book issue of 2016 so far. [Comichron]

More than $350 million

According to the Government Accountability Office, Department of Defense space launches from the United Launch Alliance (ULA) — a collaboration between Boeing and Lockheed Martin — cost more than $350 million each, compared with the less than $100 million per launch cost SpaceX has promised. Politico reported: “Even the Pentagon’s acquisition chief grants that the creation of ULA — a monopoly criticized by the Federal Trade Commission when it was formed at the government’s behest a decade ago — may have been a mistake.” [POLITICO]

$888 million

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invested big in Apple in the first quarter of this year, scooping up more than 9.8 million shares. That investment was worth roughly $1.1 billion, but it’s worth only about $888 million now because of declines in Apple’s share price. [CNN Money]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.