Quirky, Eye-Popping Facts About YOU
We know what you did last year. We know you ate 16 pounds of ice cream and spent $600 on clothes. We know because the U.S. Census Bureau told us when it published the 1,000-plus-page "Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2003," a fascinating compendium of facts, figures, and foibles about the citizenry of this country.
These quirky facts--some eye-popping, some tedious--paint a portrait of American life at the dawn of a new century.
Home Sweet Home
- The median net worth of families reached $86,100 in 2001, up from $78,000 in 1998 (constant 2001 dollars used).
- Family net worth in 2001 was an average $395,500, up from $230,500 (in 2001 dollars) in 1992.
- U.S. families gave on average $1,623 to charity in 2000, which was about 3.2 percent of household income. This was up from 2.2 percent in 1991 and 1995.
- In 2001, 36 percent of all households owned a dog and 32 percent had a cat.
- 35 million people baked something in their own kitchen in 2002.
We Love Kids!
- More babies were born in Utah and Texas than in any other states. Vermont and Maine's birth wards were the quietest of all 50 states.
- The number of orphans admitted as immigrants to the United States more than doubled, from 9,384 in 1995 to 19,087 in 2001.
- Toy sales were down 11 percent from 2001 to 2002. But sales of video games grew by 10 percent.
- Nearly 64 percent of children ages 3 to 5 were in pre-school or kindergarten in 2001, well up from the 37 percent enrolled in 1970.
- Over 84 percent of Americans over age 25 finished high school by 2002.
- More than 25 percent of Americans have a bachelor's degree.
- The average cost of attending college as a full-time undergraduate for one academic year, including room and board, was $14,710 in 1999-2000.
- Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Colorado lead the nation in the number of college-educated residents, all with more than 35 percent.
- West Virginia, Arkansas, and Wyoming have the fewest college graduates, all under 20 percent.
- About 54 million Americans went swimming and 45 million went camping, while only 24 million did aerobics. Just over 5 million played badminton, although some 34 million went fishing.
- About 13.9 million people age 7 or older played soccer more than once in 2001, compared with 13.2 million softball players. There were 40 million bowlers and 27 million golfers.
- U.S. families spent some $660 during the year on TVs, stereos, and video games.
- Forty percent of adults said they read books for leisure during 2002, compared with 27 percent who surfed the Internet for fun.
- 32 million people did a crossword puzzle in 2002.
- 67 million Americans went to a barbecue in 2002, compared with 43.4 million who went to a bar.
Shop Until You Drop
- The nation's clothing stores sold nearly $600 in apparel for every man, woman, and child.
- America has 23,900 supermarkets, which is a decline of 600 from 1990. But the number of "superstores" grew to 8,900.
Do I Look Fat In This?
- Women may worry more about looking fat, but men are more likely to be fat: Half of U.S. women are overweight, compared with two-thirds of men.
- More than 71 million people say they walk for exercise. One-fourth of adults reported no physical activity at all.
- We spent $485 billion on food that we ate at home, and we spent $415 billion eating out.
- We consumed $59.2 billion in packaged beer, wine, and liquor and spent another $53.2 billion drinking in bars and restaurants.
- We each ate 16 pounds of ice cream last year.
The Underside of Life
- More than 1.4 million inmates filled federal and state prisons in 2001, an increase of 82 percent since 1990.