What is an online auction site worth nowadays? What left Taylor Swift streaming in anger? How many Democratic senators are left in the US Deep South? And which has fallen further — the rouble or the oil price? The numbers that add up to 2014


$66bn Value of Botox-maker Allergan implied by Activis’s friendly takeover, the largest pharma deal of the year

£297m Fine paid by GlaxoSmithKline after it was found guilty by a Chinese court of bribing doctors

The year in numbers

$84,000 Price of a 12-week course of Sovaldi, which cures hepatitis C

$25bn Amount raised by Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce company, when it went public in September — the largest-ever US IPO

$19bn Price paid by Facebook for messaging app WhatsApp in February, setting the tone for a year of gravity-defying internet valuations

$8.9bn Fine paid by BNP Paribas, despite objections by the French government, for breaking US sanctions

$178bn Total fines paid by major global banks in the wake of the financial crisis

Science & technology

300m Active users of photo-based social network Instagram in December, compared with 284m active users on Twitter

26.02m British households with a television set at the end of 2014, the first ever fall in television ownership in the UK

39 mins Average time spent on Facebook each day by US adult users of the social network

$4.1m Price paid for James Watson’s Nobel Prize medal for discovering the double helix structure of DNA. Buyer Alisher Usmanov returned it to the scientist

$10.3bn Maximum estimated spend by Nasa up to 2021 on its Orion manned exploration spacecraft

10m iPhone6 and iPhone6 Plus phones purchased in Apple’s first weekend of sales of the handset in September

>20m Podcast downloads of Serial, an intimate telling of a true-life murder investigation


24.9% Vote for the rightwing Front National in France’s elections to the European Parliament in May, making it the largest French party in the EU chamber

>3,400 Migrants who died in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe in 2014, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR

€125m Value of the bail posted by Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash in March after being arrested in Austria for bribing Indian government official

0 Democratic senators and state governors in the Deep South after the US elections in November

68,631 Unaccompanied children who were apprehended by US Customs and Border Patrol Protection in fiscal-year 2014, a rise of 76 per cent

>3,000 Europeans estimated to have joined Islamist groups fighting in Syria and Iraq, according to EU counterterror co-ordinator Gilles de Kerchove

529 Supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi sentenced to death by an Egyptian judge at a mass trial in March, in a crackdown against the banned Muslim Brotherhood group


0.5% The European Central Bank’s latest estimate of 2014 inflation in the eurozone, well below its 2 per cent target

€3tn Target size of the ECB’s balance sheet

5% Annualised US growth in the third quarter

8 Number of times Argentina has defaulted on its debts, after its latest this summer

21.2% Yield on December 2 for Venezuela’s benchmark 2027 dollar bond, the highest in sovereign markets anywhere

$17.6tn Size of Chinese economy in 2014 according to the IMF, overtaking the US for the first time to become the world’s largest economy

89% Increase in Nigeria’s GDP according to new government calculations, making it sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy

Sport & culture

4 Months Uruguayan footballer Luis Suárez was banned from the game after biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup match

63 Philip Hughes’ cricket score for South Australia when he was hit in the neck by a bouncer. He died two days later at a Sydney hospital

22 New Zealand’s unbeaten run of rugby union matches before losing to South Africa 27-25 in October

$100m Sum paid by Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone in August to settle his bribery case in Munich over the sale of a F1 stake to CVC Partners

$51bn Cost of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — the most expensive Olympic games ever

75m People who have seen the 22 productions worldwide of The Lion King. The musical’s global gross earnings exceeds that of any film or entertainment title in box office history

6.9m Subscribers to Zoella’s YouTube channel. The internet star set a record for debut sales of a novel in the UK, selling 78,000 hardback copies in its first week

Additional reporting by Anjli Raval, Clive Cookson, Mure Dickie, Kathrin Hille and Murray Withers

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