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


2 in 1,000

A new analysis finds that tort lawsuits — the ones over civil wrongs that cause someone loss or harm, such as suits over medical malpractice and car accidents — are on the decline, with less than two out of every 1,000 Americans filing one in 2015, down from 10 in 1,000 Americans in 1993. [The Wall Street Journal]


70 percent

Back sleeper? Stomach sleeper? As it turns out, it’s usually something in between. 70 percent of people wind up sleeping on their side at some point during the night, regardless of the sleeping position they think they have. Whichever side you end up sleeping on, the right mattress is key for quality sleep. Something like this is what you want to be looking for. Sponsored by Casper


9 defections

A procedural vote that was a de facto vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act — the Senate GOP plan to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act — failed in the Senate when nine Republicans (Senators Susan Collins, Rand Paul, Lisa Murkowski, Dean Heller, Mike Lee, Jerry Moran, Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker and Tom Cotton) voted no. The motion, which needed 60 votes to pass, fell 43-57. [FiveThirtyEight]


31.9 percent

Share of state revenues that came from federal funds in fiscal year 2015. Looking at the 50 states together, that number has fluctuated between 26 and 36 percent since the turn of the century, with some years heavily affected by the 2008-09 recession. Still, some states come out very much ahead; Louisiana and Mississippi each get a little more than 42 percent of state revenue from the federal government, while states like North Dakota (18.4 percent), Virginia (21.5 percent) and Hawaii (22.8 percent) get far less. [Pew Charitable Trusts]


$6,000 per year

Every summer, lots of New York City rich people go to the Hamptons on Long Island. They are obviously the target demographic for all sorts of ridiculous luxury products, and one way to get such products out there is through the seemingly endless free magazines that target the area’s summer residents. This has presented a legitimate issue for the cities: The sheer mass of magazines being disposed of has led to at least one sanitation worker injury. The basic cost of disposing of the magazines is approximately $6,000 per year for Southampton Village. [27 East]


1.7 million pounds of dirt

Two new vacuums operating in the New York City subway system have hauled out 1.7 million pounds of dirt and detritus from the E, F and A lines since the beginning of the year. Since the trash clean-up effort began, the number of trash fires dropped from 75 in January to 53 in June. [The New York Times]


$78.5 billion

Estimated cost of prescription opioid abuse in 2013, according to a federal study. That doesn’t incorporate costs of lost productivity experienced by employers who are having trouble staffing up, with some reporting that as many as a quarter of applicants can’t pass a drug test. [The New York Times]


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


Source: FiveThirtyEight

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