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Friday, December 15, 2006

Nearly Half of Our Lives Spent With TV, Radio, Internet, Newspapers, According to Census

Adults and teens will spend nearly five months (3,518 hours) next year watching television, surfing the Internet, reading daily newspapers and listening to personal music devices. That's only one of thousands of nuggets of information on Americana and the world in the U.S. Census Bureau's "Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007," released today.

"The statistical abstract is a collaborative effort that showcases our government statistics and the work of the international community, private industry and nonprofit agency researchers," says Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon.

According to projections from a communications industry forecast, people will spend 65 days in front of the TV, 41 days listening to radio and a little over a week on the Internet in 2007. Adults will spend about a week reading a daily newspaper and teens and adults will spend another week listening to recorded music. Consumer spending for media is forecasted to be $936.75 per person.

Other facts from the Census Bureau:

-- Nearly half (47 percent) of college freshmen enrolled in 2005 had earned an average grade of "A" in high school, compared to two in 10 (20 percent) in 1970. The majority (79 percent) of freshmen in 1970 had an important personal objective of "developing a meaningful philosophy of life." By 2005, the majority of freshmen (75 percent) said their primary objective was "being very well off financially."
-- There were 3.5 million U.S. millionaires in 2001, more than a half million of them (572,000) in California and about 3,000 in Vermont.
-- More than half (50.3 percent) of U.S. households -- nearly 57 million -- owned stocks and mutual funds in 2005, representing 91 million individual investors. Equity owners had a median age of 51, a median household income of $65,000 and $125,000 in median household financial assets. (Tables 1194, 1195)
-- There were 278 million debit cards in U.S. hands in 2004, with 22.2 billion transactions amounting to more than $1 trillion. (Table 1168)
-- More than half of families with credit cards (56 percent) "almost always" pay off the balance, 20 percent "sometimes" pay off the balance and another 24 percent "hardly ever" pay off the balance.
-- The average tax refund in 2003 was $2,154, up from $1,802 in 2000. Average taxes due at the time of filing were $3,499 in 2003, down from $4,406 in 2000. (Table 473)
-- The greater Cincinnati airport led major U.S. airports in on-time arrivals in the last three months of 2005 with an 84.3 percent on-time rate. Salt Lake City International had the best on-time departure rate at 86.3 percent.

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