Harper's Index

Percentage of the current U.S. debt that was accumulated during Republican presidential terms : 71

Portion of debt-ceiling elevations since 1960 that have been signed into law by Republican presidents : 2/3

Percentage of profits American corporations paid in taxes in 1961 : 40.6

Today : 10.5

Portion of the increase in U.S. corporate profit margins since 2001 that has come from depressed wages : 3/4

Percentage of Americans who say they did not have money to buy food at all times last year : 18.2

Percentage change in the median household wealth of white families since 2005 : –16

Of Hispanic families : –66

Number of minors sent back to Mexico by U.S. immigration authorities in 2010 : 20,438

Percentage who were sent unaccompanied by an adult : 57

Percentage of the world’s population that could fit in Texas by living with the population density of New York City : 100

Estimated value of government subsidies that will go to the oil and gas industries between now and 2015 : $78,155,000,000

Average amount the tooth fairy left for a tooth in 2010, according to a survey by Visa : $3

Average so far in 2011 : $2.60

Price for an iPad case made out of Bernie Madoff’s Polo Ralph Lauren blue chinos : $350

Percentage of millionaires who said in a July survey that they are concerned about global unrest : 94

Percentage of Egyptians who say they want the new government to amend or abandon the Camp David accords : 70

Estimated number of Syrians killed during pro-democracy protests since March : 1,700

Number of people killed in Ecuador since July by bootleg liquor : 35

Portion of the Indian Ocean that is underexplored by scientists because of pirates : 1/4

Amount an unemployed Utah man is charging for the opportunity to hunt and kill him : $10,000

Portion of non-interest federal spending that is dedicated to programs for the elderly : 1/3

Chance that a person will remember something if he thinks he can look it up later : 1 in 5

If he thinks he cannot : 1 in 3

Percentage of U.S. college grades that are A’s : 43

Portion of America’s college students who attend for-profit schools : 1/10 (see page 51)

Portion of federal financial aid that goes to such schools : 1/4

Portion of college students who believe alcohol improves their ability to tell jokes : 3/4

Who believe it improves their sexual encounters : 1/3

Percent increase in armed robberies at pharmacies since 2006 : 81

Chance that an American fast-food customer uses posted calorie information to make food-buying decisions : 1 in 6

Number of states in which less than 20 percent of adults are obese : 0

Percentage of private-sector workers who believe that public-sector workers receive better benefits : 60

Percentage of public-sector workers who believe this : 44

Percentage of Americans who believe China has passed or will pass the United States as the world’s leading superpower : 46

Percentage of Chinese who do : 63
Of French : 72

Percentage of Americans who say they would vote for a well-qualified homosexual candidate for president : 67

For a well-qualified atheist : 49

Percentage of Americans in a July poll who said they approve of God’s job performance : 52

Figures cited are the latest available as of August 2011. Sources are listed on page 68.

October 2011