Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Statistics Make Me Happy

Whoo hoo! The Census Bureau has released the 2011 Statistical Abstract of the U.S.!  Ok, ok, that may not be a major cause for excitement for some you, but I love this kind of stuff.

Dig down deep enough and you can see how many pounds of asparagus we're consuming per person (1.2, if you must know), how many gallons of coffee we drink (24.2!), and how much cheddar we're scarfing (9.9lbs).  I could keep that up forever.  All of those numbers are for 2008, but it's also interesting to see how things change over a period of years.

I spent some time yesterday pulling out what I thought to be interesting tidbits, but you should have a go of it yourself, too, when you get a moment.

Since 2000:
  • Red meat consumption is down 5.4 lbs to 108.3 lbs per capita.
  • Veggie consumption is down 30 lbs to 392.7 lbs per capita.
  • Fruit consumption is down 35 lbs to 250.9 lbs per capita.
  • Yogurt consumption is up 9.9 lbs to 21.9 lbs.
  • Wine consumption is up half a gallon to 2.5 gallons per capita.
  • Coffee consumption is down 2.1 gallons to 24.2 gallons per capita.
  • High fructose corn syrup is down 9.5 lbs to 53.1 lbs per year (but isn't it shocking to see what it was in 1980: 19 lbs per capita).
  • Sadly the soda and carbonated beverage numbers are "N/A" -- not sure why.
There's also some great agriculture statistics.  For example:
  • Overall, the number of farms in the U.S. has increased (2,167,000 to 2,200,000). Yea!
  • But the number of farms in Virginia has decreased (49,000 to 47,000). Boo.
  • Average farm size has decreased from 436 acres to 418.
  • Organic farmland covers 4.8 million acres, a 170% increase!
  • Honeybee colonies are down 23 percent to 2,462,000 since 2000.
  • And last but not least, there are now five states—Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, and South Dakota—that have more pigs than people.
You can pick out your own favorite factoids by looking at the health and nutrition and the agriculture statistical tables.  Let us know what you find!

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