Perfect numbers, like perfect men, are very rare. – Rene Descartes
Yesterday’s “Frequently Told Lies” inspired me to look back at “Handy Figures“, a compilation of numbers and figures which previously appeared in other columns; I had originally intended to keep updating it, but it somehow seemed wrong to make major alterations to an old column so I lapsed. Since then, I came up with the idea of duplicating these retrospective-type columns into static pages, and that’s worked out so well I figured it was time to do the same with this useful reference tool. Much of it is the same as the old column, but there are additional figures and better links, and I’ve rounded my estimates off in response to the justified criticism that very specific numbers don’t look like estimates, but rather exact counts.
$32 billion: Current claim of the total annual income of the “sex trafficking” industry; this was actually the ILO’s 2005 estimate of the value of all forced labor, not forced prostitution.
42 million: Fondation Scelles’ estimate of the total world whore population; it’s not really bad, but see 19 below.
27 million: According to a December 2010 “estimate” by “Free the Slaves”, the total number of people “trapped in modern-day slavery” (see also 2.4 million and 800,000 below).
$22.6 million: Total estimated annual amount the State of Texas spends on imprisoning prostitutes.
2.4 million: UNODC estimate of the number of “trafficking” victims worldwide (see also 27 million above; 800,000 and 40,000 below).
800,000: According to the U.S. State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons” report for 2004, the total number of “human trafficking victims” worldwide (see also 27 million and 2.4 million above; 80,000, 14,500 and >10% below).
450,000: Estimated number of active, professional prostitutes in the US.
$300,000: Prohibitionist claim of a typical hooker’s annual income.
100,000-300,000: According to trafficking fanatics, the number of “trafficked child prostitutes” in the US (see also 16,000, 14,500 and 2500 below).
100,000: According to one “estimate”, the number of “trafficked” Vietnamese manicurist/whores hidden in nail salons in the UK.
80,000: The number of Filipino women who lost good jobs in Japan due to U.S. State Department meddling (see also 800,000 above and >10% below).
70,000: Estimated number of street prostitutes in the US (see also 450,000 above).
30,000-45,000: Total number of whores supposedly “trafficked” into Israel from 1991-2006, who magically vanished after a law was passed.
40,000: The number of “trafficking victims” for which UNODC claims to have actual evidence (see also 2.4 million above and 1362 below).
10,000-40,000: Typical “estimates” of the number of whores claimed to flock to mega sport events such as the Super Bowl or Olympics (see also 1 below).
14,500-17,500: 2008 federal estimate of all “trafficked persons” of all ages and employment types (sex, agriculture, etc) in the US.
16,000: Estimated number of all American prostitutes under 18.
2500: Estimated number of coerced prostitutes under 18 in the US.
1362: The total number of “human trafficking victims” (all types, not just sex) identified as such in the US from 2000-2007 (see also 14,500 above).
600: Estimated number of “pimped” underage prostitutes in the entire US who advertise online.
160x: High-end estimate of the factor by which the rate of sexually transmitted infections in the promiscuous segment of the general public exceeds that in the escort population (see also 3-5%, 2x and 0.4% below).
133: The total number of arrests made in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area during the 2.5 weeks before the 2011 Super Bowl, which is now represented by “trafficking” fetishists as the number of “trafficking” arrests (see also 1 below).
97%: Percentage of escorts who report an increase in self-esteem after they entered the trade (see also 72% and 60% below).
97%: Fraction of Turkish harlots who prefer to work illegally rather than be registered and subjugated in brothels.
95%: Fraction of underage New York City street prostitutes who say they sell sex because it is the most dependable way to support themselves.
90%: Fraction of sex workers in Queensland who prefer to work illegally (see also 97% above).
85%: Fraction of sexually-active Bahamian teens who are involved in some kind of transactional sex.
84%: Fraction of underage prostitutes in New York City who have never even met a pimp.
81%: Fraction of Swedes who report being “angry” about client criminalization (contrast with the Swedish government claim that 76% support the law).
80%: According to the UNDOC, the fraction of “human trafficking” cases involving forced prostitution (see also 20% below).
78%: Fraction of Dutch citizens who feel prostitution is a job like any other.
77%: Fraction of escorts who feel their clients respect them.
77%: Fraction of Canadians who support decriminalization.
75%: Fraction of escorts who feel the job improved their lives.
72%: Fraction of all prostitutes who report that their work has increased their self-esteem (see also 97% above).
70%: Fraction of Australian whores who said they would choose the same trade if they had their lives to live over again.
70%: Fraction of Dutch sex workers who aren’t Dutch by birth.
60%: Fraction of American prostitutes who are escorts (either independent or agency).
54%: Fraction of escorts who consider the transaction as equal.
>50%: Of streetwalkers with pimps (see below), the fraction who control their pimps rather than vice-versa.
<50%: Fraction of streetwalkers who work with pimps at least part of the time.
50: As of June 2012, the high-water mark in ridiculous claims of the number of clients per night hookers supposedly see.
48%: The amount by which sexual coercion has decreased in Germany since prostitution laws were liberalized in 2002.
45%: Fraction of underage New York City street prostitutes who are male.
34: Though often presented as the average life expectancy of sex workers, this is actually the average age of murdered streetwalkers from one study.
33%: Sweden’s official estimate of the fraction of all Swedish prostitutes who are streetwalkers; note that it is more than twice as high as the standard estimate for Western countries (see 15% below).
28%: The factor by which the number of prostitutes rose in Norway after client criminalization.
26%: Fraction of escorts who feel they have power over their clients.
25%: Estimated decrease in the American rape rate if prostitution were legal.
25%: Fraction of Queensland prostitutes with a university degree.
25: The average age at which American prostitutes enter the trade.
20%: Fraction of men who see prostitutes at least occasionally.
20%: More realistic estimate (heard at Albany Law Symposium) of fraction of all “human trafficking” which is for sexual purposes (see also 80% above).
19: Prohibitionist group Fondation Scelles’ claim of the average age of all whores worldwide (see 25 above).
16: The average age at which underage prostitutes enter the trade (see also 13-14 below).
15%: Estimated fraction of all Western prostitutes who worked on the street prior to the advent of the internet.
13: According to prohibitionist propaganda, the average age at which prostitutes enter the trade; this is derived from a purposeful distortion by Melissa Farley of the age at which underage streetwalkers in one study reported they had their first noncommercial sexual contact of any kind.
12.5%: According to a 2005 “estimate” by Atlanta police, the fraction of the city’s Asian population who are “sex slaves” (see also 3% below).
11%: In a 1910 study, the fraction of New York prostitutes who reported that they were coerced into the trade (from Renegade History of the United States; see also 8% below).
11: The number of US states which allow prostitutes to be sentenced to prison.
10.5%: Fraction of Chicagoans charged with buying sex who are actually transgender prostitutes.
>10%: According to the U.S. State Department’s TIP report for 2004, the fraction of all “human trafficking victims” in the entire world who were “enslaved” in Japanese hostess clubs (see also 800,000 and 80,000 above).
10%: Fraction of Dutch prostitutes who are genetically male; half are male prostitutes (many of them cross-dressers) and the other half transgender.
10%: Fraction of Swedish girls who admit to having accepted money for sex.
10%: Estimated fraction of streetwalkers in Western countries who are controlled or dominated by pimps (see also 1.5% below). It is also the fraction of underage streetwalkers who have pimps at all.
<10%: Fraction of all women accused of being underage hookers who are actually under 18.
5-10%: Historically, the fraction of women who prostituted themselves at least part-time, varying by time and place (from Whores in History).
8%: High-end estimate for the fraction of female inhabitants of 1840s London who worked as prostitutes (from Whores in History).
8%: Fraction of underage New York prostitutes who say they were forced into prostitution.
7%: Approximate fraction of sex workers arrested in FBI “Innocence Lost” operations who are actually under 18.
6%: Fraction of men who see prostitutes frequently.
5.5%: Typical fraction of women in a 19th-century European or American city employed as prostitutes at any given time (from Whores in History).
3-5%: Fraction of STD cases in the United States which are either suffered or transmitted by prostitutes; 93% of these are associated with streetwalkers (see also 160x above and 2x and 0.4% below).
4%: Approximate fraction of school-age girls in the US who would now be “sex slaves” if the “estimates” of hysterics were true.
4%: Approximate conviction rate for “trafficking” arrests made in the FBI’s “Operation Innocence Lost”.
3.5%: Estimated fraction of Western prostitutes who are under 18.
3%: According to “trafficking” hysterics, the fraction of all underage hookers in the entire US who work in Atlanta (see also 12.5% and 16,000 above).
2.3%: Fraction of women in the general population who report their husbands or boyfriends are “extremely controlling”.
2 hours: Typical average cost of the least expensive hookers’ services in comparison with the average working man’s pay in most cultures.
2x: Factor by which the rate of sexually transmitted infections in the promiscuous segment of the general public exceeds that in streetwalkers (see also 160x and 3-5% above, and 0.4% below).
<2%: Fraction of Cambodian prostitutes who say they were coerced into the trade (see also 1.5% below).
1.5%: Overall estimated fraction of adult prostitutes in Western nations who are controlled by abusive pimps.
1.2%: Fraction of women in the general population who report their husbands or boyfriends are “extremely violent”.
1: The number of arrests for “human trafficking” during Super Bowl week in both Miami (2010) and Dallas (2011) (see also 40,000 and 133 above).
0.4%: The estimated fraction of all STD cases in the United States which are either suffered or transmitted by escorts or brothel workers (see also 160x, 3-5% and 2x above).
0.3%: Fraction of women in modern Western cultures who work as prostitutes at any given time.
0.014%: Fraction of missing “children” (most of whom are actually adolescents) who are abducted by strangers for any reason.