Saturday, December 16, 2006

Numbers Don't Lie (Usually)

Some excerpts from the 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, as reported in the New York Times:

"More people are injured by wheelchairs than by lawnmowers, the abstract reports. Bicycles are involved in more accidents than any other consumer product, but beds rank a close second."

"Americans drank more than 23 gallons of bottled water per person in 2004 — about 10 times as much as in 1980. We consumed more than twice as much high fructose corn syrup per person as in 1980 and remained the fattest inhabitants of the planet, although Mexicans, Australians, Greeks, New Zealanders and Britons are not too far behind."

"Americans are getting fatter, but now drink more bottled water per person than beer."

"At the same time, Americans spent more of their lives than ever — about eight-and-a-half hours a day — watching television, using computers, listening to the radio, going to the movies or reading." [Where's the law student statistic?]

"Among adults . . . 16 million used a social or professional networking site and 13 million created a blog."

"For the first time, the abstract quantifies same-sex sexual contacts (6 percent of men and 11.2 percent of women say they have had them) . . . ."

"Meanwhile, the national divorce rate, 3.7 divorces per 1,000 people, was the lowest since 1970. Among the states, Nevada still claims the highest divorce rate, which slipped to 6.4 per 1,000 in 2004 from 11.4 per 1,000 in 1990, just ahead of Arkansas's rate."

"One thing Americans produce more of is solid waste — 4.4 pounds per day, up from 3.7 pounds in 1980." [It's probably all that bottled water.]

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