Hobson's Choice

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The population of Bangladesh (which was 40m in the 1950s):

123m

Average number of inhabitants per square mile in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the mountainous areas of Bangladesh bordering Burma and China, as opposed to 1,567 per square mile in the rest of the country:

147

Current ratio of Bengali settlers to native inhabitants - the Chakma, Maram, Tripura and other ethnographically diverse tribal peoples - in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, as opposed to 1:90 in 1951:

1:2

Number of times their annual earnings couples in Shanghai are fined if they have a second child:

3

Number of the 999 households in the Shanghai neighbourhood of Hongchu which have two children, all of which are twins:

6

Amount Steve Forbes spent on advertising in the 1996 US presidential primaries:

$24m

Under current budgets, number of times Britain's local authorities can afford to resurface roads every 106 years:

1

Amount local government paid last year in compensation for cars damaged by poor roads in Britain:

pounds 33m

Percentage salaries of university professors in Britain have fallen as against average earnings in the past two decades:

22

Percentage London house prices have risen in past two decades: 1,000

Year that Voyager 1 is estimated to leave the solar system and enter interstellar space:

2015

Amount the Russian Space Agency earned for inflating a man-sized Pepsi can inside Mir space station:

$1m

Percentage of men who don't wash their hands after urinating:

70

Months that pass between a Guatemalan Jumping Viper's defecations:

1

Minutes that pass between a rabbit's defecations:

3

SOURCES: THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY, INDEX ON CENSORSHIP, THES, THIRD WORLD QUARTERLY, GEORGE, CONSTRUCTION NEWS, SUNDAY TIMES, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, BBC, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT, METRO, EHO, MERDE/RALPH LEWIN-HC55

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