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Harper's Index

January 19, 1986|-- From Harper's Magazine

You may already know that it costs $9,000 per second to buy a commercial on "The Cosby Show," but do you know the chances that an average American has appeared on television or the number of Cocaine Anonymous meetings held each week in Los Angeles? The answers are all in January's Harper's Index.

Number of South Africans whose race was legally reclassified in 1984: 795

Number of the 48 U.S. prisoners executed since 1977 whose victims were not white: 5

Average age at which an inmate in federal prison first fired a gun: 13.2; first had sex: 13.7

Percentage of female college students who say they have been raped: 16; percentage of those who say the rapist was someone they were dating: 57

Amount General Dynamics was fined by the Pentagon in 1985 for improper activities: $676,283.80

Estimated value of Pentagon contracts awarded to General Dynamics in 1985: $8 billion

Percentage of U.S. Steel's revenues derived from business other than steel in 1981: 31. In 1984: 70

Percentage of unemployed Americans who receive no unemployment benefits: 75

Percentage change in Britain's manufacturing output since 1979: minus 6

Number of U.S. companies acquired by British companies in 1984: 50; by Japanese companies: 12

Percentage of black industrial workers in Haiti employed by U.S. companies: 66; in South Africa: 4

Number of blacks among the five Americans most admired by teen-agers: 3

Cost per second of advertising time on "The Cosby Show": $9,000

Chances that an American has appeared on TV: 1 in 4

Percentage of liberals who say they have gone skinny-dipping: 28; percentage of conservatives, 15

Percentage of French women who say they have had sex in a movie theater: 2

Percentage of American men who say they enjoy sex more than money: 47; percentage of American women: 26

Number of Cocaine Anonymous meetings held weekly in Los Angeles: 75; number held there three years ago: 6

Number of states that have banned or regulated "happy hours" since 1981: 22

Percentage decrease in the number of drunk drivers killed in accidents from 1980 to 1984: 24

Number of stretch limousines sold in 1980: 2,000. In 1985: 6,500

Percentage of Jeeps sold in 1984 that were bought by people living in urban or suburban areas: 59

Cost of leasing one New York State sugar maple tree for one sap season: $29

Percentage of Americans who say they had a pizza delivered in the last three months: 40

Chances that an American has never eaten a bagel: 4 in 5

Percentage increase, since 1977, in the number of Americans who skip breakfast: 33

Rank of Alaska, among all states, in the percentage of people who walk to work: 1

Chances that a male North Dakotan is a member of the Elks Club: 1 in 10

Members of the North American Deer Farmers Assn.: 10

Number of Ant Farms sold since their invention 30 years ago: 7 million

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