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Friday, December 28, 2012

Behind The Numbers That Made News In 2012

10. 1 in 5

U.S. adults who reported having no religious affiliation (“nones”), the highest percentage in the history of Pew Research Center polling, according to a survey published on Oct. 9 by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. For the first time, the percentage of Protestant Americans is below 50% — the figure was 48% in 2012, down from 53% in 2007. About a third (32%) of Americans under 30 are “nones” and less likely than ever to view society from a religious perspective, marking a significant generational shift.

9. 150 million

Tweets about the London Olympics from July 27 to Aug. 12. Jamaica dominated the Twitter universe, with Usain Bolt being the most discussed Olympic athlete on Twitter — especially after he won gold for the 200-m and 100-m sprints (more than 80,000 tweets per minute and more than 74,000 tweets per minute, respectively). And when Jamaica set the world record for the men’s 4×100 relay, there were more than 52,000 tweets per minute.

8. 1 in 4

Dollars in outside spending during the 2012 election that was considered “dark money,” or funds contributed by unknown donors. Outside groups spent more than $800 million on election ads through mid-October, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

7. 47

Percent of “entitled” Obama supporters who don’t pay federal income taxes, according to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Video of the comment, captured by hidden camera at a fundraiser, was made public by Mother Jones on Sept. 17

6. 32.5

Height, in feet, of a wave measured by a buoy in New York Harbor during Superstorm Sandy, according to the National Weather Service. The original record of 26 feet was set during Hurricane Irene in August 2011.

5. 833.9

The maximum speed, in miles per hour, that Felix Baumgartner reached during his supersonic dive on Oct. 14

4. 352 million

Number of miles in NASA’s Curiosity Rover journey to Mars. Built by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and carried by Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, the rover launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Nov. 26, 2011, and landed in Mars’ Gale Crater on Aug. 5, 2012, at 10:32 p.m. P.T.

3. 16

Civilians killed in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province when a lone U.S. soldier went on a shooting spree on March 11.

2. 70

Casualties from the July 20 shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, making the incident the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Twelve died and 58 were injured.

1. 1

Average number of suicides among U.S. troops per day, according to Pentagon statistics. In a July 23 TIME cover story, Nancy Gibbs and Mark Thompson reported that, since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, more U.S. military members have committed suicide than have been killed while fighting in that war. While the rate of suicides leveled off in 2010 and 2011, it increased by 18% this year, making suicide the “leading noncombat cause of death among U.S. troops."
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