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The Big One

Today, the United States produces less than two percent of the clothing purchased by Americans. In 1990, it produced nearly 50 percent. July/August 2014

The passenger pigeon accounts for zero percent of North America’s bird population today. In the early 1800s, it accounted for as much as 40 percent. July/August 2014

One country, the United States, accounts for 34 percent of global spending on medicine. July/August 2014

Four percent of the nation’s counties are home to 50 percent of all uninsured Americans. July/August 2014

The top one percent of professional musicians, ranked by concert earnings, more than doubled their share of concert revenues in America between 1982 and 2003, going from 26 to 56 percent. May/June 2014

One payer, the government (state and federal), contributes 45 percent of revenue for one of the largest health insurers in the country, WellPoint. Two years ago, the government contributed 10 percent. May/June 2014

One region accounts for nearly 20 percent of annual worldwide deaths attributable to alcohol, according to a 2009 survey: a contiguous swath of former Soviet republics that includes Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. Those countries are home to less than four percent of the world’s population. May/June 2014

One country accounts for nearly two-thirds of global cement production: China. The cement industry accounts for five percent of global carbon emissions. May/June 2014

The top one percent of the top 500 banks in the United States, ranked by assets, controlled 53 percent ($8.8 trillion) of all banking-industry assets in the nation ($16.7 trillion) as of last summer. May/June 2014

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014

One country—Canada—produced more than a quarter of the oil imported by the U.S. in 2012 (one billion out of 3.9 billion barrels). March/April 2014

One day in a U.S. hospital costs an average of $4,287—more than twice the cost in Australia, the country with the next-highest rate. March/April 2014

One market is responsible for half of global digital music sales: the United States, at $2.9 billion. March/April 2014

One crop—cotton—accounts for nearly 15 percent of the world’s insecticide usage. March/April 2014

One-fifth of all plastic surgery procedures worldwide each year are conducted in one country: the United States. January/February 2014

One snack item—French fries—is eaten every day by an estimated 18% of U.S. toddlers ages 15 months to two years. January/February 2014

1% of U.S. power plants produce 30% of the U.S. energy industry’s annual carbon emissions. Most of the plants are older coal facilities exempted from emissions regulations. January/February 2014

Two-thirds of the world’s lentil exports came from one Canadian province, Saskatchewan, in 2010. January/February 2014

One city—San Francisco—accounted for 20% of all new electric car registrations in the U.S. in the first half of 2013. January/February 2014

One company—Netflix—accounts for 32% of all Internet traffic into American homes. November/December 2013

One champion racehorse—Northern Dancer—sired 646 foals, 411 of which went on to win races. November/December 2013

One hour of flight on Air Force One, the presidential plane, costs taxpayers $180,000, equivalent to the combined average hourly wages of 4,493 federal workers. November/December 2013

One country—the United States—consumes nearly 25% of all the world’s newsprint. November/December 2013

One state—Texas—carried out almost half of all prisoner executions (11 out of 23) in the first eight months of the year. November/December 2013

One-third of America’s legally consumed alcohol is drunk by 2.5% of adults. September/October 2013

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The Big One

Today, the United States produces less than two percent of the clothing purchased by Americans. In 1990, it produced nearly 50 percent. July/August 2014

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