By The Numbers

Men are from Mars, scorching temperatures are from Venus

Tobin Low Dec 22, 2014

The average family premium for healthcare was $16,000 last year. Compare that to 1996, when the average ran just shy of $5,000. Adjust that $5,000 for inflation, and today it’s about $7,500. We take a look at why the cost of healthcare has blown inflation out of the water, in the latest installment of the Marketplace Inflation Calculator.

3 days

It took eight years for fathers in Hong Kong to win the right to three days of paternity leave (at 80 percent pay). But on Dec. 18, the government passed a law granting the leave. As Quartz reports, Hong Kong has been attempting to fight a declining birth rate, which up until now has been blamed on single women — or, as the government called it, “spinsterhood.”

7,370 people

That’s how many lives have been claimed by the Ebola virus outbreak. Research published Monday shows that International Monetary Fund policies left Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone  the three countries most affected by the virus short of money and doctors. As reported by The Telegraph, reforms promoted by the fund caused an inability to cope with disease outbreaks.

18.4 cents

The national gas tax remains at 18.4 cents a gallon, despite the fact that gas prices have been plummeting. It’s why states like Michigan are adding hikes in the gas tax to the ballot for next year. The lower gas prices might allow states to slip in a higher gas tax that could fund infrastructure spending.

30 miles

There’s been a lot of attention on Mars lately, but what about our other neighbor, Venus? With a surface temperature of 850 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s not ideal for manned exploration. But head 30 miles above the planet, and it’s a slightly more manageable 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Even more intriguing: At that distance above Venus’ surface, the pressure is the same as Earth’s at sea level. It’s why NASA is saying it might one day send astronauts to explore Venus in blimps

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