Cumberland Times-News

Bob Doyle - Astronomy

July 14, 2012

Survey reveals a few surprises about people

There was a fascinating book published last year called “The Unofficial U.S. Census” compiled from surveys by the Pew, Gallup & Harris poling firms and organizations both governmental and business that are reputable.

This paperback book was written by Les Krantz and Chris Smith, published by Skyhorse Publishing with ISBN 978-1-61793-345-5.

I’ll avoid any topics that some readers may find objectionable. But some of below figures may either elate or depress you.

Americans are the most tattooed people in the world with 16 percent bearing figures, inscriptions, etc. One third of Americans between age 25 and 29 have tattoos. 70 percent of NBA players are “decorated.”

Removing a tattoo is both painful and expensive (at $40 per square inch), often requiring several visits to a doctor who specializes in tattoo removal.

Women read more than men. Adults 55 years and older spend twice as much time reading as younger Americans.

For households with children, adults read about 12 minutes a day, both on weekdays and on weekends. Those with high school diplomas, or have taken some college courses or have a college degree average less than an hour of reading per day, whether weekday or weekend.

The 2010 Kids and Family Reading Report states that those between 6 and 17 years of age spend more time on their computers and cell phones than on recreational reading.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average adult spends $120 on reading material(books, magazines) compared to $2,700 spent on entertainment (DVD’s, rentals, movies, Pay Per View, concerts, cable charges, etc.) each year.

Of course, one can use our free public libraries.

As regards incomes and jobs, women earn only 77 percent as men in comparable positions.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that from 2008 to 2018, 15 million more jobs will open. Half of these new jobs will be in professional and related fields or in service jobs.

The three areas that will show the most growth in jobs will be the field of management, technical and scientific consulting, computer system designs and employment services.

Specific jobs that will need an average of 500,000 additional workers each include registered nurses, home health aides and customer service representatives.

As regard plastic “money,” households that owe on their credit cards average $15,788 in debt. The number of credit cards held by U.S. consumers is about 610 million.

There is an average of 3.5 credit cards per cardholder. Our total U.S. consumer debt (not including mortgages) is $2.42 trillion!

As regards computer usage, Pew Research reports that 79 percent of American men and women use the Internet. The highest Internet usage is 95 percent by those between ages 25 and 29.

Sixty per cent of those Internet users have high speed internet access at home; 134 million Americans use Facebook, consuming 11.7 billion hours each month. (This is over 86 hours per person per month.)

As for texting, Americans send out or receive 1.5 trillion texts per year. (A trillion is a million x a million.) If 150 million Americans send/receive texts, that’s an average of 10,000 texts per person each year or 27 texts per day.

As far as education and income, 46 per cent of adult Americans (ages 25-64) have at least an associate degree. Those who don’t finish high school average less than $20,000 a year income.

High school graduates average about $28,000 a year in income. Bachelor degree holders average over $47,000 a year. Those with graduate or professional degrees average $63,000 a year.

When unemployment is at a 10 per cent level. The unemployment rate for college graduates is less than 5 per cent.

SKY EVENTS THIS WEEK: At dawn this morning, the crescent moon was above brilliant Venus and to the left of the bright planet Jupiter. The moon will be lost in the sunrise glare on Tuesday.

Possibly this Saturday, the moon may be seen as a slender crescent, setting in the southwest a little more than an hour after sunset.

The first sighting of this crescent moon in Mecca will mark the start of the Muslim month of Ramadan, when the devout abstain from food and fluids from sunrise to sunset.

Bob Doyle invites any readers comments and questions. E-mail him at rdoyle@frostburg.edu . He is available as a speaker on his column topics.

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Bob Doyle - Astronomy
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