Hobson's Choice

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The Independent Culture
Number of people trafficked into servitude or prostitution each year:

4m

Cost of a slave in the American South in 1850, expressed as its current equivalent:

$60,000

Average price paid to her parents for a 14-year-old Thai girl, who will then be sold to a brothel for double the amount:

$2,000

Amount that men will pay each year in the brothel for the 14-year-old girl:

$75,000

Percentage profit that owners will make from the girl during her time at the brothel, which, due to illness, is rarely more than five years:

800

Number of illegal immigrants caught on the Czech-German border in 1998:

28,000

Of the 1.5 million foreigners registered in Japan, number fingerprinted for identification purposes last year:

600,000

Number of rural settlements in England with a population of less than 500 and a parish church:

9,000

Number of Americans without medical insurance:

43m

Percentage of Hong Kong schoolchildren who have attempted suicide:

7.5

Percentage of German households in 1900 consisting of five or more people:

44

Percentage of German households presently consisting of one person:

36

Number of people, on average, whom married couples in Germany know and consider as close friends:

6.9

Number of Christians beatified by Pope John Paul II:

819

Number of saints canonised by Pope John Paul II:

283

Number of saints canonised since records began under Pope Clement VIII, 407 years ago:

302

SOURCES: UNITED NATIONS, TIMES HIGHER EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT, THE ECONOMIST, OVERSEAS JOBS EXPRESS, NEW REPUBLIC, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT, DEUTSCHLAND, CHURCH TIMES, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

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