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The Numbers That Outlined 2022

What a yr 2022 has been. There was so … a lot … information. We noticed record-high inflation, conflict in Ukraine, a landmark Supreme Court docket session, persevering with results of the pandemic, the Winter Olympics, the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, the World Cup and, in fact, the midterms. In typical FiveThirtyEight trend, we’ve been reflecting on 2022 the way in which we do greatest: by numbers. Right here, seven of our reporters share a number of the most vital stats of the yr, highlighting large political selections, emotions of the voters and hints at what’s to come back in 2023.


In September, the U.S. Census Bureau launched its annual supplemental poverty fee for the earlier yr. That’s the poverty fee after accounting for the impression of key authorities packages focused at low-income households, amongst different issues. For reporter and editor Santul Nerkar, the defining variety of the yr was 7.8 p.c, the supplemental poverty fee for 2021 and lowest fee on document. It was the primary concrete measure of how COVID-19 stimulus cash affected poverty in America.

US poverty fee hit a document low — however don’t count on it to remain that approach


In June, the Supreme Court docket launched its resolution in Dobbs v. Jackson Ladies’s Well being Group, overturning Roe v. Wade because the legislation of the land. Briefly order, many states enacted abortion bans, together with complete bans with out exceptions for rape or incest. For senior author Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, the defining variety of the yr was 10,000 — that’s what number of fewer authorized abortions there have been in simply the primary two months after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

The quantity that captures the impression of the Dobbs resolution | FiveThirtyEight

Eternally chemical substances

Per- and polyfluorinated chemical substances, or PFAS, are utilized in all kinds of family merchandise, from nonstick pans to dental floss. These pervasive chemical substances are harmful to human well being, and the federal government and trade are lastly beginning to crack down on them. That brings us to senior science reporter Maggie Koerth’s numbers of the yr: 4, the variety of PFAS the Environmental Safety Company launched new tips for, and 4,700, the tough variety of totally different PFAS chemical substances on the market.

The EPA is lastly addressing 4 harmful ‘endlessly chemical substances’ — out of over 4,000

Election deniers

Denying the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election was the cornerstone of many Republican campaigns this election cycle. Election denial is hardly a brand new factor, however it reached unprecedented ranges within the 2022 midterms. That’s why 47 is the defining variety of the yr for politics and tech reporter Kaleigh Rogers. It’s the proportion of Republican candidates who ran for Home, Senate, governor, secretary of state and lawyer common this yr and didn’t settle for the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Variety of election-denying Republicans outlined the 2022 midterms | FiveThirtyEight


Heading into the midterm elections, People informed pollsters that one problem was their high precedence: the economic system and inflation. For senior author Monica Potts, the 9.1 p.c inflation fee in June topped her listing of most vital stats of the yr. Right here she explores the methods — large and small — that historic ranges of inflation affected American lives in 2022.

How inflation’s 41-year excessive impacted American life | FiveThirtyEight

The Republican margin within the Home

The outcomes of the 2022 election had been worse for Republicans than one would possibly count on, provided that the president’s occasion normally loses floor within the midterms. Within the U.S. Home, Republicans gained a majority however solely a slim one. They gained by solely 9 seats, which for editor Maya Sweedler is likely one of the most vital numbers of the yr. What Republicans will — and gained’t — be capable of do with that majority will outline American politics for no less than the following two years.

The quantity that may form Republicans’ politics in 2023 | FiveThirtyEight

Democratic trifectas

With Congress divided between Democrats and Republicans after the 2022 midterms, a number of the most vital political shifts of the following few years may very well be coming on the state degree. These new insurance policies would possibly lean liberal as a result of, for the primary time in 12 years, extra People will reside in states completely managed by Democrats than by Republicans. That’s why senior elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich picked 140 million as his defining stat of the yr. It’s the variety of People who will quickly be residing in a state the place Democrats can have complete management over state authorities.

140 million People will reside in states managed by Democrats | FiveThirtyEight

Thanks for watching, studying and listening to FiveThirtyEight this yr. We’ll see you in 2023!



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