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Harper's Index

June 22, 1986

You may know telephones contributed to 11,000 deaths last year. But what are the chances your doctor is an impostor? And how many pink flamingos were sold in the United States last year? The answers are in June's Harper's Magazine Index.

Amount Mexico has borrowed abroad since 1974: $97 billion.

Value of investments and deposits made abroad by Mexicans since 1974: $90.3 billion.

Tons of hair Poland exports annually to West Germany in exchange for barber equipment: 100.

Percentage increase in trade between China and the Soviet Union in 1985: 45.

Shipments of hazardous materials made in the United States each day: 500,000.

Portion of all vehicles carrying hazardous materials that are incorrectly labeled: one-fourth.

Number of Americans who were tested for drug use by urinalysis in 1985: 4.5 million.

Percentage of the federal income taxes paid by individuals in 1981 that went to military programs: 45.5.

Percentage in 1986: 51.4.

Amount the Reagan Administration has budgeted for military bands in 1987: $154.2 million.

Amount it has budgeted for the National Endowment for the Arts: $144.9 million.

Number of pornographic videocassettes released each week: 100

Number of videocassettes rented in 1985: 1.2 billion.

Number of books checked out from public libraries in 1985: 1.19 billion. Percentage of total movie industry revenues derived from theatrical distribution in 1978: 80.

In 1985: 43.

Number of New York City police officers who are members of the Screen Actors Guild: 350.

Portion of the domestic TV market held by American manufacturers: three-fourths.

Percentage of 1984 corporate research and development funded by the government in Japan: 1.8.

In the United States: 32.3.

Percentage change in Chrysler's profit in 1985: minus 31.3.

In Lee Iacocca's salary and benefits: plus 35.

Number of schools that have invited Lee Iacocca to speak at their graduations: 150.

Number that have invited Mario Cuomo: 160.

Estimated percentage of diplomas printed on sheepskin: 3.

Estimated number of Americans who have counterfeit diplomas or credentials: 500,000.

Chances that a physician is an impostor: 1 in 50.

Chances that a resident of Washington, D.C., is a lawyer: 1 in 25.

Percentage of claims paid by insurance companies that are awarded by juries: 2.

Number of people who died in 1985 as a result of "telephone-related" injuries: 11,000.

Number of people who try unsuccessfully to get President Reagan on the telephone each year: 175,000.

Rank of France, Italy and England among destinations of congressional fact-finding trips: 1, 2, 3.

Percentage increase in Atlantic City's crime rate since gambling was legalized there in 1978: 275.

Number of weddings performed each day in 1985 at Las Vegas's Little Church of the West: 163.

Average duration of an American marriage (in years): 9.4.

Percentage of Americans who say that good sex is "very important" to a successful marriage: 75.

Percentage of West Germans who say this: 52.

Number of people who have barreled over Niagara Falls and survived: 7.

Plastic pink flamingos sold in the United States in 1985: 450,000.

Percentage of Americans who say they have never heard the word "yuppie": 39.

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