By The Numbers

‘Blurred Lines’ and its blurred profits

Tony Wagner Mar 4, 2015
$16,675,690

That’s how much “Blurred Lines,” the biggest hit of 2013, made in profit. More than $5.6 million went in Robin Thicke’s pocket, and Pharrell got more than $5.1 million. Poor T.I. got just $704,774 for his guest verse. Usually these details are top secret, the Hollywood Reporter notes, but they’ve come out in the ongoing legal battle over the song’s alleged similarity to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”

270 percent

It’s tough to be a Ukrainian right now. Ukraine’s central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate to 30 percent, up from just over 19 percent. But with the country’s currency collapsing, and with many Ukranians moving to more stable currencies, some estimate the country’s real annual inflation rate is more like 270 percent.

3,370

The number of political scientists living in the District of Columbia, 120.5 more than one would expect based on the average across all 50 states. The Pew Charitable Trusts used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to calculate the jobs that are most disproportionally represented in each state.

$521 million

The estimated value of Florida-based Keiser University, a former for-profit college that was sold to a nonprofit in 2011 amid an investigation from the state’s attorney general. But the nonprofit is also owned by the school’s founders, the Keiser family, and the University uses several big-ticket services, facilities and vendors family members own a stake in, the New York Times reported. Keiser is far from the only school to go non-profit following a nationwide crackdown on for-profit institutions.

2 companies

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, partners with private prison companies to house undocumented immigrants in prison-like facilities around the country. These days, just two companiesGeo Group and Corrections Corp. of America, control around three-quarters of the private prison industry.

24 hours

If you’re from the Southeast, chances are you’re familiar with the Waffle House franchise. You may have also come to depend on the fact that the chain prides itself on being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Well, now the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) depends on that fact, tooUsing Waflle House restaurants as a kind of community thermometer, the current head of FEMA, administrator Craig Fugate, was said to have coined what’s called the Waffle House Index. There are three measures in the index: green, yellow and red. Green means the restaurant is open as usual, yellow means it’s on a limited menu, and red means the restaurant’s closed.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.