I’m really not a numbers person, but I love a good statistic, especially one that confirms what I had known all along or what common sense might dictate.
With that combination—Insight/observation > Common sense > Evidence (quantitative)—you can be relatively certain you possess an authentic truth. Any comfort this certainty may bring, though, is often short-lived; the numbers can reveal harsh truths, and confirm what you had hoped was not as bad as it seemed.
Statistic of the Week is intended to highlight good stats—figures that reveal significant social/cultural/economic changes or trends . . . A good stat is one that synopsizes a big issue or idea, and is obviously credible.
Please send me good statistics (including the source) and I will try to include them here.
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In 1950, less than 10 percent of American households contained only one person. By 2010, nearly 27 percent of households had just one person. [Source: Atlantic Magazine, “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?”; May 2012]
In 1950, 4 million people in this country lived alone. These days, there are almost 8 times as many, 31 million. [Source: New Yorker, “The Disconnected”; 4/16/12]
The number of American workers in unions has dwindled to 1 out of 14, from 1 in 3 in the 1950s.[Source: New York Times, Film Review: “Who Stole the American Dream?”; 3/1/12]
In 1890, 90% of bread in the U.S. was baked in homes; by 1930, 90% of bread was purchased [Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, “What Would Great-Grandma Eat?”; 2/26/12]
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