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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

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

40 percent

Univision, the Spanish-language news empire, reportedly will buy a 40 percent controlling stake in The Onion, which also owns The AV Club and Clickhole. All right, let me work this six-degrees-of-corporate-Bacon out real quick: ESPN owns FiveThirtyEight outright, and ESPN is 80 percent held by the Walt Disney Company. Fusion is — for now — a 50/50 split between Disney and Univision, which now owns 40 percent of The Onion. So if Fusion is 20 percent related to The Onion, and we’re 40 percent related to Fusion, this makes us, what, 8 percent related, twice removed? What I’m saying is that in several southern states FiveThirtyEight could legally marry the AV Club, probably. [NPR]

50.6 percent

Historical probability that hitting a turkey vulture with your airplane will cause damage to the plane (as well as the vulture, presumably), making it the most consistently destructive bird strike, based on FAA collisions data going back 25 years. There were 13,159 bird strikes in 2014 alone. [Vox]

58.6 percent

Percentage of Division I NCAA Women’s Basketball coaches who were women in 2015, down from a high of 66 percent in the 2009-10 school year. [FiveThirtyEight]

60 percent

Percentage of hotels surveyed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association in 2014 that allowed pets, up from about half in 2006. Pet owners are a massive part of the U.S. market, and punting on some cleaning supplies in exchange for the extra business appears to be worth it for hoteliers. [Reuters]

63 percent

Percentage of people globally who said they trust “search engines” as a news source, beating out traditional media and online media by about 5 points and 10 points, respectively. I’m probably biased here, but isn’t it difficult to consider “search engines” a news source? That’s like considering the wire connecting your television to the cable box a cable news network. To the 53 percent of people who said they trusted online media, you guys are cool. Feel free to insult the others in the comments. [Quartz]

65 percent

Delta said in its earnings report that costs for fuel were 65 percent lower in the fourth quarter of 2015 than in the fourth quarter of 2014. The crashing price of oil is fantastic news for airline companies seeing other operating costs steadily rise. [Bloomberg]


The most common password observed in data leaks in 2015. This seemingly random series of digits — I can’t find a pattern, but if you can, please let me know; I’ve already contacted codebreakers at the NSA to aid in deciphering this enigma — came out just ahead of “password,” “12345678,” and “qwerty.” [The Wall Street Journal]

5.59 million

Number of subscribers Netflix added last quarter. The majority — 4.04 million — were international customers. [The Wall Street Journal]

$40 million

How much ISIS was making from oil per month in 2015, enough to pay fighters high wages compared to competing groups. Now that the price of oil has crashed, ISIS is reportedly cutting paychecks in half for the rank and file. [CNN]

$7 billion

Estimate of the amount of money wasted by marketers buying online ads that customers don’t actually end up seeing, according to a new report from people who would really prefer you see more ads, the Association of National Advertisers. [The Wall Street Journal]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.