Did you know …

From the Statistical Abstract of the United States:

  • In 2007, the average American spent 1,613 hours watching TV, the equivalent of 67 days.
  • About three-quarters of Americans (76.1 percent in 2007, to be exact) get to work by driving alone. Only 10.4 percent carpool, while 4.9 percent use public transportation and 2.8 percent walk.
  • On average, Americans spend 25.3 minutes commuting each way. The state with the longest average commuting time is New York, at 31.5 minutes.
  • In 2006, about 34 percent of U.S. adults were judged obese, triple France’s rate (10.5 percent) and four times Switzerland’s (7.7 percent).
  • From 1993 to 2007, murders dropped from 25,000 to 17,000 and robberies from 660,000 to 445,000.
  • In 2007, 18 percent of high school students reported carrying a weapon sometime in the previous year.
  • Smoking continues to decline, from 25.3 percent of adults in 1990 to 19.7 percent in 2007.
  • Garbage per person has stabilized; it was 4.5 pounds per day in 1990 and 4.6 pounds in 2007.
  • In 2007, nearly two-fifths of all U.S. births were to unmarried women, double the share in 1980.
  • The share of children under the federal poverty line in 2007 (17.6 percent) was virtually the same as in 1980 (17.9 percent).
  • Since 1970, the student-teacher ratio in schools has declined dramatically, from 22-1 to 15-1 in 2007 … with little effect on test results.
  • Almost one-quarter of elementary and high school students are immigrants or have immigrant parents.

Excerpted from RCP: American Life by the Numbers, January 11, 2010

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