The badges page shows each one with a 'x NN'. It's obvious that the number is higher for harder badges but what exactly does this number mean? Is it multiplying something specific or just decoration?
The number indicates the number of that specific badge that has been awarded to users on the site. Take the following snapshot as an example:
Benefactor: 138 people have awarded a bounty on their own question manually (this badge can only be awarded once). Clicking on the badge shows:
Civic duty: 174 people have voted more than 300 times. Clicking on the badge shows:
And so you can cycle through these and see who/which post has these been awarded to/for. Some are awarded once, while others can be awarded multiple times.