WSJ: Numbers Guy

The Numbers Guy examines numbers in the news, business and politics. Some numbers are flat-out wrong or biased, while others are valid and help us make informed decisions. Carl Bialik tells the stories behind the stats, in daily updates on this blog and in his column published every other Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Carl, who holds a degree in mathematics and physics from Yale University, also cowrites The Daily Fix, a sports column on He welcomes your comments at .

WSJ: The Numbers
The Numbers
copyright © 2015 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
The Wall Street Journal examines the way numbers are used, and abused.

Number of the Day: 74.5 Million
Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the holiday quarter, up 46% from a year earlier. That's roughly 1 iPhone for every 4 people, give or take, living in the U.S.
Number of the Day: 123
The national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is a half-cent higher today than yesterday. That ends a record streak of 123 consecutive declines.
Number of the Day: 1,000
Duke University men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski scored his 1,000th career victory Sunday. That's no small feat.
Behind the Benchmarks: A Look at Some Crude History
Crude oil was once traded with no public point of reference. Now oil benchmarks such as West Texas Intermediate and Brent are readily available. And they're telling different stories.
Number of the Day: ’529′
The hubbub over whether to begin taxing '529' college-savings accounts raises a question of how to define the middle class
Reader Mailbag: Second-Guessing on Leap Seconds
Numbers readers took some issue with the notion that, if left unadjusted over a few centuries, the disparity between atomic clocks and time based on the rotation of the Earth would gradually increase after a few centuries to a full hour. The equation isn't straightforward. Doing their own back-of-the-envelope calculations, one of the readers estimated that 60 centuries, or 6,000 years, would elapse before the times diverged by one hour.
Number of the Day: $2
Only weeks after the $3 threshold was snagging headlines, $2 is now in the offing. There are upsides and downsides, but right now the math favors the upside.
’123456′ Again: The Most Popular Passwords Aren’t Changing
This is not a reprinted mistake: The most commonly used password in 2014 was "123456," a security company says.
Numbers of the Day: €50 Billion
The ECB is poised to end months of suggestion and speculation and commit to a bond-buying stimulus program, with roughly €50 billion of government bond purchases over the next 12 months.
Number of the Day: $105.3 Million
Among the records for the record opening of 'American Sniper' of $105.3 million: largest opening ever for a drama; largest opening for an R-rated film; and largest opening for Martin Luther King Day weekend.