Anyone who knocks out an Indian government minister with an onion will be paid 1,000 rupees by the Indian farmer's union. [Far Eastern Economic Review, 10th July 1997]

The amount of text in the Guardian has decreased from 63 per cent in 1985 to 49 per cent today. [Proliferation of Non-Textual Elements in Two British Quality Newspapers 1965-1995, Ian Baird, Robert Gordon University]

At the 26th June election for the Ince ward of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council only 9.2 per cent of the electorate voted-of whom 92 per cent voted Labour. [Local government website]

In 1985, the number of murdered Russians was 12,160. By 1993 that figure had risen to 32,000. [Prospect August/September 1997, Douglas Hurd, page 12]

One in five children cannot name an activity they have done with their fathers in the past week. One third of all children never see their absent parent following family breakdown. [NSPCC, April 1997]

Of the 57m people who live in France, 5m are employed in the public sector, the same number as in the US, which has a population of 250m. [Regarder la France, Jean-Marie Domenach]

In 1960 the average age of French film directors was 28. In 1993, it was 55. [David Puttnam, Last Word lecture, 10th June 1997]

Only 59 per cent of English 13 year olds can correctly subtract 2369 from 6000, compared with 92 per cent across five other European countries. [NIESR, London]