Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018

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

50 percent of new guitarists

According to a study from Fender, the guitar company, 50 percent of all “beginner and aspirational” guitar players are women. When the company found similar results a few years ago, it thought the ratio might a transient result of the “Taylor Swift factor,” the company’s CEO explained, but it seems to have turned into a lasting trend. [Rolling Stone]

0 shootings

New York City, home to more than 8 million people, had exactly zero shootings this past weekend. It was the first time that had happened since at least 1993. [New York Daily News]

$120 billion IPO

Per the proposals of some Wall Street banks, Uber’s IPO could be worth as much as $120 billion, roughly the nominal GDP of Hungary — or more than General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler combined. The IPO could happen next year. [The Wall Street Journal]

1.7 million coffee workers

Thanks to the fungus Hemileia vastatrix, aka “coffee rust,” which drastically reduces coffee bean harvests, some 1.7 million coffee workers in Central America have lost their jobs. Coffee rust has affected 70 percent of the farms there and has, combined with low coffee prices overall, devastated the industry in the region. [NPR]

2.5 billion years’ worth of evolutionary history

According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we humans have hastened the extinction of more than 300 species of mammals, thus depriving them of “2.5 billion years’ worth of unique evolutionary history.” Yikes. Sorry about that. The study’s lead author believes we are living in the middle of a sixth mass extinction. For reference, the fifth mass extinction was the one that killed all the dinosaurs. [Huffington Post]

$100 million raised

President Trump has now raised over $100 million for his re-election campaign and has $47 million in the bank. Former President Barack Obama, at this point in his first term, had $2.3 million cash on hand. Trump’s funds have come in large part from large donors, including the venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who kicked in $250,000. [NBC News]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.