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Significant Digits for Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019

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

69,550 migrant children

New government data shows 69,550 migrant children — more than enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to fill a football stadium — have been held in U.S. government custody over the past year. These children have been separated and detained away from their parents despite the U.S. government’s acknowledgement that the experience can be traumatic and increase the risk of long-term physical and emotional damage among detainees. The total represents a 42 percent increase in the 2019 fiscal year compared to 2018, and approximately 4,000 migrant children are still in government custody after thousands of others were deported or reunited with families in the U.S. [Associated Press]

88 percent occupancy for senior housing

Senior housing is often a compelling option for older people who have medical issues, need companionship or need assistance with eating, shopping and other daily activities. For years, real estate developers have bet on more people moving into senior housing facilities through increases in construction projects, adding 21,332 new units in 2018 — more than double the number added in 2014. But as more people are choosing to “age-in-place” and stay in their existing homes, the National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care says that occupancy rates in senior housing have fallen — to 88 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with 90.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. [Wall Street Journal]

1,200 Catholic officials

A new, nine-month-long national investigation from 38 reporters at the USA Today Network has found more than 1,200 former priests, Catholic brothers and Catholic school officials who were accused of sexual abuse but were able to find new jobs, and in most cases completely avoided criminal charges. In one example, former Roman Catholic brother John Dagwell plead guilty in 1988 to molesting a student when he taught at a parochial school, but he was transferred to Boston where he would also be accused of sexual abuse. Dagwell was never reported to police and didn’t have to register as a sex offender, so he went on to teach students at Keiser University for 15 years. [USA Today]

10 men exonerated

There are now 49 conviction review units in district attorneys across the the country, many of them started in the last five years. The Washington Post has a feature on how the life of Terrance Lewis was changed by one of these units, the Conviction Integrity Unit in Philadelphia’s district attorney’s office, which was designed to revisit cases that may have been tainted by police or prosecutorial misconduct or flawed science. Lewis was one of 10 men wrongly convicted of murder who had his case thrown out and was finally freed from jail last May after 21 years behind bars. [Washington Post]

51 percent of Americans

Today is the first day of public hearings as part of the House’s impeachment investigation into President Trump. FiveThirtyEight’s Laura Bronner and Nathaniel Rakich note that testimonies could shift public opinion, which has been pretty steady on different impeachment-related questions since early October. As of Tuesday morning, nearly 52.0 percent of Americans support the impeachment inquiry. Support for impeaching and removing Trump is a few percentage points lower, and there’s a big partisan split on all these questions. [FiveThirtyEight, impeachment polls tracker]

$2,700 for an aroid plant

I can barely trust myself to take care of a basil plant from the grocery store, but skyrocketing enthusiasm for rare plants has led to packed destination auctions, four-figure price tags and growers with devoted followings on Instagram. The New York Times has a wild report on the 42nd Annual International Aroid Society Show and Sale in Miami, where fans of a particular family of tropical plant with hyper-photogenic leaves have bloomed attendance from “around 500 people in a weekend to a few thousand.” One New York City couple was adding to their collection of 200 plants, and superstar seller Enid Offolter (40,000 followers on Instagram) had recently sold a specific variety named obliqua for $2,700. [New York Times]