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Significant Digits For Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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

3 percent

That is the percentage of Nicolas Cage’s movies that were sequels, the lowest of anyone in the top-25 grossing lead actors at the domestic box office. Other actors at that end of the originality spectrum include Robert De Niro, Adam Sandler and Robin Williams. [FiveThirtyEight]

3 days

No coal was used to generate electricity in the whole of Britain for three consecutive days. That’s a new record, and one that comes just days after the the United Kingdom went 55 consecutive hours without needing to use any coal. Back in April 2017 the country — which is attempting to phase out coal-generated power by 2025 — notched its first full day without using coal since the 1800s. [BBC]


For the first time ever, the 2020 U.S. Census will ask about same-sex relationships. The responses for “husband or wife” and “unmarried partner” will be broken out into “opposite-sex” and “same-sex” options. [NBC News]

600,000 copies

Former FBI director James Comey is sitting on a bestseller. His book “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership” moved over 600,000 copies in its first week, which is about double the first-week sales of Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened” and about three times the sales of “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff’s book about the Trump White House. [The New York Times]

1 million

A Javelin Strategy & Research study found that over 1 million U.S. children had their identity stolen in 2017. This is most often a crime done by someone who knows the child: adults know the person who stole their identity around only 7 percent of the time, but about 60 percent of child identity thefts are done by a fraudster who knows the child. [Gizmodo]


A public servant who worked at a juvenile detention center in Texas pleaded guilty to stealing $1,251,578.72 worth of fajitas bought with county funds and later sold for his own benefit. The man was sentenced to 50 years in prison and was ordered to pay back the stolen amount. [NBC News]

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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.