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Significant Digits For Wednesday, May 2, 2018

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

6 states

A majority of residents support the right of same-sex couples to get married in 44 states. The exceptions are Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana and North Carolina. Only in Alabama do a majority of residents oppose same-sex marriage. That 44 states is up from 30 states in 2014. [Public Religion Research Institute]


15 points

Every month, Purdue University and CME Group ask 400 agricultural producers something to the nature of “hey how’s it going?” This produces the Ag Economy Barometer. In general, things have been in a decent position for farmers for the past several months, but since February sentiment has fallen 15 points – or just over 10 percent of its value — to 125. Anyway, the folks who make your food are getting skittish. That is generally something to make a note of. [Purdue University]


18 percent

Mark Zuckerberg yesterday said that Facebook would enter into the dating space. Besides presumably leading to inordinate excitement among both American single people as well as the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation, it also led to an 18 percent drop in the value of Match Group, which owns Match.com, OKCupid, and Tinder. [Quartz]


96,000 cases of 16 insect-borne illnesses

Summer is just around the corner, and with it the constant quaking anxiety of ambient insect-borne disease. From 2004 to 2016, there were 643,000 cases of 16 insect-borne illnesses reported to the Center for Disease Control. That’s terrifying, but it gets worse, as the 96,000 cases in 2016 is considerably higher than the 27,000 cases in 2004. [The New York Times]


1 million people

The United States of America is looking to recruit 1 million volunteers to share their DNA and the next 10 years of their health habits to an ambitious research program. The $1.45 billion, 10-year program needs that many people — who ideally have not read any recent information about the myriad security failures associated with giving your private information to strangers — because so many health studies are based on volunteers who are too often not as diverse as the populations they seek to treat. [ABC News]


$30 billion

Estimated value of the global pigment industry, which at first glance sounds extremely high. But just because you can print a color doesn’t mean you can, say, make a plastic that is that color that doesn’t fade and isn’t toxic or mainly lead. For that, you need chemicals, and those chemicals cost money, and that annual amount of money is about $30 billion. Titanium dioxide — which makes everything from those white traffic lines to powdered sugar — is valued at $13.2 billion. Ferrari red fetches $300 million. There’s a subset of these that are very colorful, stable, durable and not actual poison worth $4.76 billion, but the issue is that we still haven’t solved how to make a very colorful, stable, durable and non-poisonous red. The person who cracks that is sitting on a mint. [Bloomberg]


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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.

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