Facebook Twitter

Crazy about numbers? Statistics tome for sale

SHARE Crazy about numbers? Statistics tome for sale

WASHINGTON — Americans ate 76 billion pounds of red meat and poultry in 2000, up 21 percent from 1990.

Nearly 110 million people in the United States used cellular phones in 2000, up from 5 million at the start of the decade.

Birth rates for women age 15 to 19 fell to an all-time low in 1999, at about 50 births per 1,000.

These fun facts come from the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States, which is light on words but heavy on statistics. The 121st edition, a 1,000-page tome, was released Thursday.

Call it the federal government's version of the World Almanac, said Glenn King, chief of the Census Bureau's Statistical Compendia branch.

"It's sort of like our official record-keeper," King said. Besides compiling government figures, the book takes data from trade associations and other groups on topics that the bureau does not track, such as religion.

The bureau sells about 40,000 copies a year, mostly to researchers, marketers and journalists. It is also available on CD-ROM and can be accessed through the Census Bureau's Web site.

Other highlights:

About 1 million people were involved in violent acts between intimate partners (current and former spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends) in 1998, down from more than 1.2 million five years earlier.

Per capita consumption of sweeteners like sugar, syrup and honey increased from 137 pounds in 1990 to 158 pounds in 1999.

Forty-two percent of U.S. households had Internet access in 2000, up from 26 percent just two years earlier.

The numbers themselves can only say so much about whether quality of life of Americans has improved, medical researcher Mike Hammett said as he took a break from work in downtown Washington.

The Sept. 11 attacks, the anthrax scare and the flailing economy weigh on people's minds, Hammett said. "I don't think the quality of life is as good as it was 10 years ago, considering all the problems we've had lately."

The 2001 Statistical Abstract is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office ($38 for the softbound edition, $48 hardbound) by calling 202-512-1800.

It is also available from the National Technical Information Service ($37 softbound, $45 hardbound) by calling 1-800-553-6847.

On the Net: Census Bureau: www.census.gov