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The City Café

For those interested in sharing ideas and perspectives regarding local government.

The Census Bureau just released their 2007 Statistical Abstract. The abstract contains over 1,300 tables creating a fascinating portrait of what Americans look like (fascinating to those who love data and tables). Here are some interesting results from the Census Bureau data:

  • Americans are the most overweight people on the planet
  • Average American consumes 52 gallons of soda a year and 23 gallons of bottled water
  • Average American spends 4 ½ hours a day watching TV; 50 minutes a day reading the newspaper.
  • 68% of American households have cable TV, up from 19% in 1980
  • 207 million have cell phones, only 5 million in 1990
  • In 2005, 75% or college freshman said their primary objective was to be financially very well off
  • In 1970, 79% said their goal was developing a meaningful philosophy of life
  • In 1980 only 12% of doctors were women, today 27% are.
  • 25% of households under the age of 25 own homes up from 8.5% from 1985
  • Of those Americans with Internet access:
    • 97 million get their news online
    • 91 million buy or make travel reservations
    • 39 million read someone else’s blog
    • 13 million created their own blog

Check here to read a recent New York Times article quoting Robert Putnam regarding this data. You might remember Putnam, the author of Bowling Alone, who spoke at our 2004 Annual Conference. Oh and I must note (due to my Idaho heritage) that potatoes still remain the most consumed vegetable by Americans.


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