If you text, you’re not alone and other trivia

The number of text messages sent on cell phones has more than doubled from 48 billion in 2007 to 110 billion in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010.

The Statistical Abstract, aka “Uncle Sam’s Almanac,” contains more than 1,400 tables of social, political and economic facts that  collectively describe the state of our nation and the world.  So says a press release that I found last week and toy with below.

Included are 53 (!) new tables, covering topics such as worldwide space launch events this decade, the use of complementary and alternative medicine, the type of work flexibility provided to employees, employment status of veterans and road fatalities by country.

If you value your life, don’t even think of driving in Russia.  If you or someone you know attends school, remember that forewarned is forearmed.  And if you’re a U.S. citizen seeking to live abroad, I wouldn’t suggest Zimbabwe for any number of reasons.

But wait! There’s more:

  • In 2007, 6 percent of all students reported carrying a weapon on school property at least once during the previous month: 10.2 percent of males and 2.6 percent of females.
  • In 2007, the nation’s 16,604 libraries collectively had an average of 12.5 public-use computers connected to the Internet per library. In Florida libraries, there was an average of 24.4 computers (though the number of bizarre crimes there suggests that few lawbreakers can read).
  • At the other extreme, Vermont and Maine libraries each had averages of 4.7 and 0.9 Internet-connected computers per public library.
  • In 2007, the average consumer spent $1,110 on telephone services. Residential telephone and pay phone services made up 43 percent of total expenditures, with cell phone service making up 55 percent and phone cards and pager services, the remaining 2 percent.
  • In 2008, there were more than 270 million cell phone subscribers; they paid an average monthly bill of $50 with the average call lasting 2.5 minutes. (Table 1112).
  • Violent crime per 100,000 population decreased from a rate of 597 in 1980 to 467 in 2007. Property crime per 100,000 population decreased from a rate of 5,353 in 1980 to 3,264 in 2007.
  • Lottery sales increased from $52.4 billion in 2007 to $53.4 billion in 2008, with $30.4 billion in sales for instant scratch-off tickets.
  • Revenues from food and drinking places rose from $438 billion in 2007 to $453 billion in 2008.
  • Of the 69 worldwide orbital space launches in 2008, 41 were noncommercial and 28, commercial. The U.S. conducted 15 total launches, Russia 26, China 11 and Europe six.
  • In 2007, the complementary and alternative medicine therapies most commonly used by U.S. adults in the past 12 months were nonvitamin, nonmineral and natural products (17.7 percent), deep breathing exercises (12.7 percent), meditation (9.4 percent), chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (8.6 percent), massage (8.3 percent) and yoga.
  • In 2007, Russia suffered 235 road fatalities per 1 million inhabitants, more than any other country. Poland was next (147), followed closely by Estonia (146) and Slovenia (145). The U.S., by comparison, experienced 136 road fatalities per million inhabitants.
  • Harare, Zimbabwe, has the highest cost of living for private U.S. employees living abroad of any city in the world: 143 percent higher than in Washington, D.C. Geneva, Switzerland, is a close second, with living costs 135 percent higher than in the nation’s capital. On the other end of the spectrum, La Paz, Bolivia, and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, have some of the lowest living costs (16 percent less than D.C.) and, in the latter case, one of the most illegal governments.

Will you be attending any cocktail parties this season? Memorize just one of the bullet points above, and you can thank me for being well prepared to make compelling conversation. (You’re welcome.)

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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