The Numbers That Outlined 2022


What a yr 2022 has been. There was so … a lot … information. We noticed record-high inflation, warfare in Ukraine, a landmark Supreme Court docket session, persevering with results of the pandemic, the Winter Olympics, the dying of Queen Elizabeth II, the World Cup and, after all, the midterms. In typical FiveThirtyEight trend, we’ve been reflecting on 2022 the best way we do greatest: by means of numbers. Right here, seven of our reporters share among the most necessary stats of the yr, highlighting massive 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 price for the earlier yr. That’s the poverty price after accounting for the affect of key authorities applications 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 price for 2021 and lowest price on document. It was the primary concrete measure of how COVID-19 stimulus cash affected poverty in America.

US poverty price hit a document low — however don’t anticipate it to remain that means


In June, the Supreme Court docket launched its determination in Dobbs v. Jackson Girls’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 affect of the Dobbs determination | FiveThirtyEight

Perpetually chemical substances

Per- and polyfluorinated chemical substances, or PFAS, are utilized in all types of family merchandise, from nonstick pans to dental floss. These pervasive chemical substances are harmful to human well being, and the federal government and business 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 pointers for, and 4,700, the tough variety of totally different PFAS chemical substances on the market.

The EPA is lastly addressing 4 harmful ‘eternally 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 legal professional normal 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 concern was their high precedence: the economic system and inflation. For senior author Monica Potts, the 9.1 p.c inflation price in June topped her record of most necessary stats of the yr. Right here she explores the methods — massive 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 anticipate, provided that the president’s celebration often 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 among the most necessary 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, among the most necessary 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 dwelling in a state the place Democrats could 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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