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Harper's Index

You may know that one in every 15 working Americans has been employed bya McDonald's outlet. But do you know that Mississippi produces more NFL football players per capita than any other state? Or that TV's Wheel of Fortune is 8 feet, 6 inches across? These and other facts can be found in the November Harper's Index.

November 02, 1986

Average annual percentage change, since 1978, in the productivity of American blue-collar workers: plus 3.4.

In the productivity of American white-collar workers: minus 0.3.

Percentage of goods imported by Japan that are finished products: 31.

Percentage of goods imported by the United States that are: 68.

Percentage of U.S. foreign aid in 1980 that consisted of military assistance: 25.

In 1986: 40.

Attacks made on the United States in speeches at the 1980 conference of non-aligned nations, in Havana: 14.

Number made at the 1986 conference, in Harare, Zimbabwe: 66.

Number of college courses on the Vietnam War offered in 1980: 58.

Today: 157.

Number of students who dropped out of public high schools in Boston in 1985: 3,498.

Number of students who graduated: 2,978.

Percentage of Chicago public schoolteachers who send their children to private or parochial schools: 38.

Percentage of Americans who don't know how long a meter is: 66.

Percentage who don't know who William Rehnquist is: 71.

Percentage of the $2.1 billion federal anti-drug budget that goes to law enforcement: 69.

That goes to educational programs: 1

Gallons of urine analyzed in the United States last year for evidence of illegal drug use: 1,190.

Percentage of Iowans whose drinking water contains traces of one or more pesticides: 27.

Percentage of nursing mothers in the United States whose milk contains traces of PCBs: 78.

Amount "The Triumph of Beauty," a portrait of Imelda Marcos, brought at auction in August: $27,500.

Percentage increase, since 1975, in the number of prime-time TV characters who are women over 50: 500.

Chances that a working American has worked at a McDonald's: 1 in 15.

Number of free-range turkeys sold last November by Lobel's butcher shop in Manhattan: 700.

Rank of tofu, liver and yogurt among the foods Americans say they hate most: 1,2,3.

Portion of ice cream sold in 1976 that was vanilla: one-half.

Today: one-third.

Number of Americans who have not been to a dentist in more than a year: 122 million.

Percentage of doctors who smoke: 17.

Number of health professionals in Chile who specialize in treating victims of torture: 50.

Average number of South Africans detained every hour since the government declared a state of emergency: 8.

Number of Roman Catholic churches under construction in Poland: 1,000.

Rank of Mass, bingo and religious education among the most popular activities at U.S. Catholic churches: 1,2,3.

Average amount wagered, per capita, in state lotteries in 1985: $92.61.

Rank of Mississippi, among all states, in the number of professional football players produced per capita: 1.

Height of basketball player Manute Bol: 7 feet, 6 3/4 inches.

Diameter of the television's Wheel of Fortune: 8 feet, 6 inches.

Percentage of Americans who say the wheel is the greatest invention of all time: 11

Percentage who say the automobile is: 10

Figures cited are the latest available as of September, 1986.

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