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Significant Digits for Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

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


59th fatality

More than two years after hundreds of people were shot at a country music festival on the Las Vegas strip, another person has died from their injuries. Kimberly Gervais, who was paralyzed and suffered severe pain as a result of the attack, died on Friday, increasing the total number of victims who passed away to 59. Stephen Paddock was responsible for the shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, which was the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. [Los Angeles Times]


596 mentions in the U.S. press

If two people are both Rhodes Scholars, but only one gets the credit in the press, did they really achieve the same honor? A new report from HuffPost found that Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Cory Booker had their identical prestigious international fellowships treated very differently in U.S. publications this year. News outlets cited Buttigieg’s Rhodes scholarship 596 times but Booker had just 79 mentions. [HuffPost]


1-in-100 playoff odds

The Chicago Bears made the playoffs last year, but this year … not so much. Analysis from FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine shows how the Bears used to be a great success story in the NFL, with coach Matt Nagy winning Coach of the Year for the team’s breakout performance in 2019. But this season, the Bears have suffered “kicking disasters, coaching miscues, poor quarterbacking, defensive regression, etc.” reducing their playoff odds to 1-in-100. [FiveThirtyEight]


862 formerly homeless veterans

A voucher program in Minnesota is trying to help homeless veterans find housing and more stable lives, but it can be a struggle. The program has helped 862 veterans find homes, but more than 100 veterans are still looking for landlords to take the vouchers distributed by the program. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]


20,000 “quiet room” incidents

Imagine being separated away from your friends, locked inside a room, and not being told when you would be let out. A new investigative report from the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois digs into how often thousands of children across the state — some as young as five years old — have experienced punitive seclusion and isolation by teachers and school workers. There were at least 20,000 incidents from in a little over a year, starting in the 2017-18 school year. One autistic child, 9-year-old Jace Gill, was put in his school’s Quiet Room 28 times in one school year. [Chicago Tribune & ProPublica Illinois]


175 percent

A new report from the advocacy group Disability Rights North Carolina tracks deaths from suicide and overdoses inside state jails and shows dramatic increases over several years, including data showing overdose deaths increased by 175 percent between 2017 and 2018. “A resident incarcerated in a [North Carolina] jail is fifteen times more likely to die from suicide than a free resident,” according to the organization. A report from The Appeal puts these numbers in context, including how small jails holding 50 or fewer people have suicide rates that are nearly four times higher than larger correctional facilities. [The Appeal]


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