We can learn a lot about the world through statistics. From the number of people who live in poverty, to more uplifting statistics like how long it would take to drive a car into space, stats can give us a new appreciation of the world around us.
For example, did you know that the U.S. Supreme Court has its own basketball court on the top floor of the Supreme Court building? Or that there’s a name for a fear of long words. It’s hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.
Or, how about the fact that you’re statistically more likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark? Or that Marry Manilow didn’t actually write the song “I Write The Songs”? Or that this town had a 3-year-old mayor?
If that doesn’t spark your interest, perhaps these seven stats will.
These 7 statistics might scare you
1: Apple has more money than the world’s richest 11 people combined
There is no doubt that Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man. Forbes magazine pegged his net worth at $148 billion as of Aug. 2, 2018. These 11 people include big guns like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega, and Mark Zuckerberg. However, the combined wealth of the top 11 estimated at $831.1 billion still falls short of Apple’s value by a whopping $169 billion.
2: The average American consumes about 45 gallons of soda every year
What’s incredible is that the average American is drinking about 45 gallons of pop every year. In total that is 375 pounds of pop that pass through your system in 365 days. Even crazier is the sugar. 45 gallons of pop totals roughly 470 cans in one calendar year. Also, our bodies consume 20 pounds of sugar in one year.
3: Americans watch a little over five hours of television each day
According to a Nielsen report, United States adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day on average (35.5 h/week, slightly more than 77 days per year). Older people watch more (less than 50 h/week), younger people less (more than 20 h/week), both with a seasonal pattern that peaks in the winter months. While overall media consumption continues to rise, live TV consumption was on the decline in 2016.
4: The average cost of raising a child from birth is $233,610
If that made your heart skip a beat, take a deep breath before you read on. Incorporating inflation costs, it will be more like $284,570. Since that’s based on 2015 numbers, we can expect the cost will be even higher babies born since then.
How could such small people cost so much? This average includes everything from housing, food, and transportation to healthcare, education and childcare to clothing, personal care items and entertainment. Housing makes up the biggest expense, accounting for about a third of the total cost of raising a child. Food and child care take up the next biggest part of the budget. The USDA estimates that childcare costs an average of $37,378 per child. Parents spend between 9% and 22% of their total income on childcare.
5: Almost half of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day
More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day. And, 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water.
6: Fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs
An explosion in a West Virginia mine that reportedly killed at least six people and left several unaccounted for is a reminder of how dangerous the work is.
But according to U.S. statistics, fishing, logging, and flying are the three most dangerous occupations.
“In 2008, the occupations with the highest fatal injury rates were fishers and related fishing works at 128.9, logging works at 115.7 and aircraft pilots and flight engineers at 72.4,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics economist Steve Pegula told Life’s Little Mysteries.
7: It would take about an hour to drive to space
Astronomer Fred Hoyle was the first to point out that if you could drive a car upwards at 95km/h (60mph), it would only take about an hour to get into space.
To get to the Moon would take a little longer though since it’s 400,000km (250,000 miles) away – around 10 times the circumference of the Earth. So it would take as long as driving around the world 10 times – just under six months.
Thomas Archer writes about news and current events for The Public Slate.