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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015

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

3rd revision

A new policy out of the Vatican will make it easier for Catholics to obtain marriage annulments by reducing costs and complications in the process. According to the monsignor overseeing the changes, this is only the third time in Catholic Church history that the process has been reformed. [The Guardian]

18 percent

Percentage of people with student debt exceeding $100,000 who default on that debt, which is the lowest default rate of any debt bracket: Students who owe $1,000 to $5,000 in debt, for example, default on those loans 34 percent of the time. One cause of this disparity is that people with more college debt are likelier to have higher-paying jobs. [Fusion]

20 percent

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrote about his tax plan in The Wall Street Journal, highlighting intentions to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent if he’s elected president. He also would assess a one-time 8.75 percent tax on the $2 trillion in corporate assets held overseas by U.S. companies. Boilerplate language about simplifying the tax code is also a prominent element of the plan. [The Wall Street Journal]

64 people

Sixty-four men and women have been charged with Islamic State-related activities in the U.S.; the average age of those charged is 25. Since January 2014, 12 have been convicted. [The Washington Post]


Nicolò Falcone, an Italian, has won the 2015 Monopoly World Championship. He takes home $20,580 as the grand prize, which is the total amount of money in the Monopoly bank before your brother starts stealing $500 from it every turn when he thinks you’re not looking. [Business Wire]

500,000 asylum seekers

Germany is stepping up to accept refugees seeking asylum in the European Union, most of whom are escaping the civil war in Syria. Although Germany expects 800,000 migrants this year alone, the vice chancellor said the nation could accommodate a half-million people annually for several years. [BBC]

$6.4 million

The city of Baltimore has reached a settlement with the estate of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who died in April after his spine was injured while he was in police custody. The settlement amount is larger than the combined total of 120 other legal actions brought against the Baltimore Police Department since 2011. [The Baltimore Sun]

$28.5 million

Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (“The Big Bang Theory”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”) tied as the highest-paid television actresses of the year. Fifteen TV actresses made more than $5 million in the period analyzed. [Forbes]

22.8 billion pounds

The British monarchy is wealthier than ever, with the combined worth of the family’s assets estimated at 22.8 billion pounds, or $34.8 billion. The genetic lottery winners are among the top 20 wealthiest people worldwide. [Reuters]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.