100 facts about America

100 Facts About America in 2018

These 100 Facts about America are absolutely true. 

There’s a story/joke I’ve heard on several occasions. It goes something like this:

The owner of a large corporation wants to know what 1+1 is. He brings in his accountant and asks him. The accountant replies:

“Well, sir. In matters of accounting, 1+1 always equals 2.”

Unsatisfied, the owner calls in his engineer. He asks him the same question. The engineer replies:

“Well, sir. In matters of engineering, 1+1 always equals 2.”

Still not satisfied, the owner calls in his statistician. He asks him what 1+1 is.

The statistician locks the door, draws the blinds on the windows closed, leans in real close across the bosses desk and says:

“What do you want it to be?”

Statistics can say whatever you’d like them to say. For example, let’s examine two politicians.

Politician A: Was able to lower taxes for most Americans. Supported a tough stance on immigration that polarized some. During his term, several scandals emerged which led members of the media to declare the White House “in crisis” on more than one occasion; especially in the first year. This led to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate claims of misconduct. Several accusations of sexual misconduct have been levied against him but as of yet, no formal charges have been brought.

Politician B: Was instrumental in transforming his country from an underdeveloped nation into a major player in the world economy. Was a firm believer in both healthcare and education, even declaring education to be a “right” of all citizens. His education policies allowed students to attend school, free of charge, up to at least the 7th grade. These actions helped increase his country’s literacy rate and were instrumental in bringing about the economic changes which bolstered the economy and made the country a major nation in the world.

Politician A: Is Bill Clinton.

Politician B: Is Joseph Stalin.

It’s All True

None of the above is untrue. Bill Clinton did lower taxes, have a myriad of scandals, and talked tough on immigration. The first year of the Clinton White House was marked by disarray and staff shakeups. The media declared the White House in crisis mode on more than one occasion.

Joseph Stalin did in fact transform Russia from an underdeveloped nation into a major world power. He was a firm believer in education, but only to a point. Scholars were often executed or sent to the Gulag in “The Great Purge.” Of course, Stalin did a few other things outside of what’s included in that paragraph above.

And that’s the point. Statistics, and even facts can be used to tell only the part of the story you want to tell. This is a problem in our society, specifically these days with our media. Consider, if you will, a recent story that was widely reported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True or False?

Three news organizations, three stories, same basic headline. And none of these headlines are wrong. However, they all leave out two details which tell a more complete story.

  1. They were traveling to the hospital for a planned C-section. This was not a movie-style “OMG! My water broke! Let’s go!” situation. (Source: New York Times)
  2. The man was wanted for murder. This was not a random ICE stop. (Source: New York Times)

The above information may change your viewpoint or it may not, depending on your thoughts regarding illegal immigration. However, none of the media headlines mention a planned C-section appointment or the fact that the arrest was in conjunction with a murder warrant.

Facts can also only tell half the story.  And with that in mind, let’s dive into 100 facts about America.

100 Facts About America

These are 100 facts about America. As of today, 8-19-2018 they are 100% true. Pundits, journalists, and politicians will have their opinions on these 100 facts about America. You will too. What caused them? What do they mean? How did we get there? They will gravitate towards one side of them or another. They will offer other facts to substantiate their own interpretation of these facts.

We all do. We all look for the facts that support our worldview. Finding them, we tend to disregard others.

These 100 facts about America tell a story. Keep in mind that it may only be part of that story. These 100 facts about America cannot be disputed. The next 100 items are 100% true. Some of them will no doubt confirm your worldview. Others, I hope to make you feel uncomfortable or at least challenge your preconceived notions.

Enough build-up, here are 100 facts about America that are absolutely true.

Stock Exchange Board

The Economy

1. The US Economy surged to a 4.1% GDP growth rate in the 2nd Quarter of 2018. (Source: Time Magazine)

2. That’s the fastest pace since 2014 (Source: Time Magazine)

3. Unemployment stands at 3.8% (Source: NPR)

4. That’s the lowest rate since December 2000 (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

5. The unemployment rate for young Americans between the ages of 16-24 is 9.2% (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

6. That’s the lowest midsummer joblessness rate for youth since 1966 (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

7. The employment cost index increased in Q2 by 0.6% (Source: CNBC)

8. This brings the 12-month rate to 2.8% (Source: CNBC)

9. That’s the highest rate since Q3 of 2008 (Source: CNBC)

10. Wages and salaries rose 0.5 percent for the quarter and 2.8 percent for the 12-month period. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

11. Worker benefits cost increased 0.9 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

12. Private industry compensation was up 2.9 percent (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

13. It was 2.4% as of June 2017.  (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Person Holding Black Pen

Taxes

14. The Tax Cuts and Job Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017. (Source: Congress.Gov)

15. Federal, State, and Local tax revenue increased by 5.8% in Q1 2018 over Q1 2017 (Source: Reuters)

16. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson reduced taxes. Cutting the top marginal tax rate from 91% to 70%, Corporate taxes from 52% to 48% (Source: Tax Policy Center)

17. Tax revenue increased from $112 billion to $153 billion by 1968 (Source: WhiteHouse.gov, Office of Management and Budget)

18. President Ronald Reagan reduced taxes in 1981 and 1986 (Source: Congress.gov – 1981, Congress.Gov– 1986)

19. In 1980, federal tax revenue totaled $517 billion (Source: WhiteHouse.gov, Office of Management and Budget)

20. By 1990, federal tax revenue was $1.03 trillion (Source: WhiteHouse.gov, Office of Management and Budget)

21. President Bill Clinton reduced taxes in 1998. Cutting the capital gains tax from 28% to 20%, introducing the childcare tax credit, and lowering the 15% bracket to 10% (Source: Congress.Gov)

22. Federal tax revenue was $1.45 trillion in 1996 (Source: WhiteHouse.gov, Office of Management and Budget)

23. Federal tax revenue increased to $2 trillion by 2,000 (Source: WhiteHouse.gov, Office of Management and Budget)

24. President George W. Bush reduced taxes in 2001 and 2003 (Source: Congress.gov – 2001, Congress.gov – 2003

25. Federal tax revenue in the year 2000 was $2.025 trillion

26. Federal tax revenue by 2007 was $2.56 trillion

27. The US recorded the largest-ever monthly budget surplus ($214 billion) in April, 2018 (Source: Market Watch)

Person Holding Pink Piggy Coin Bank

Wages

28. Median household income in 1990 was $30,056 (Source: 1990 Census)

29. Median household income in 2000 was $43,400 (Source: 2000 Census)

30. Median household income in 2010 was $49,445 (Source: 2010 Census)

31. Median household income in 2016 was $59,039 (Source: US Census Report)

auto, automobile, blur

Crime

32. In 1995 there were 21,597 murders in the USA (Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, FBI.gov)

33. In 2000 there were 15,517 murders in the USA ( Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, FBI.gov)

34. In 2005 there were 16,692  murders in the USA (Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, FBI.gov)

35. In 2017 there were 17,250 murders in the USA: (Source: FBI.gov)

36. The US population in 1995 was 262 million (Source: US Census Bureau)

37. The US population in 2017 was 325.7 million (Source: US Census Bureau)

38. In 1993, 42% of households owned at least one gun (Source: University of Chicago)

39. In 1993, 45.4% of adults owned at least one gun (Source: University of Chicago)

40. In 2000, 32.4% of households owned at least one gun (Source: University of Chicago)

41. In 2000, 34.2% of adults owned at least one gun (Source: University of Chicago)

38. Between 1993 and 2000, the gun homicide rate dropped by nearly half, from 7.0 homicides to 3.8 homicides per 100,000 people (Source: Pew Research)

39. The gun suicide has risen, from 6.3 per 100,000 people in 2010 to 6.7 in 2014. (Source: Pew Research)

40. In 2014, 31.0% of households and 32.4% of adults owned at least one gun (Source: University of Chicago)

41. In 2010, a total of 13,122,110 arrests were made (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, FBI.gov)

42. Of those arrested in 2010, 9,122,010 were white (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, FBI.gov)

43. Of those arrested in 2010, 3,655,620 were black (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, FBI.gov)

44. In 2016, a total of 8,421,481 arrests were made (Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, FBI.gov)

45. Of those arrested in 2016, 5,861,350.78 (69.6%) were white (Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, FBI.gov)

46. Of those arrested in 2016, 2,265,378 (26.9%) were black (Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, FBI.gov)

47. In 2016, white Americans accounted for 72.6% of the total US population (Source: US Census Bureau)

48. In 2016, black Americans accounted for 12.7% of the total US population (Source: US Census Bureau)

Rear View of a Silhouette Man in Window

Incarceration

49. The United States currently has 2,172,800 persons incarcerated as of 2016 (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)

50. The United States prison population in 1995 was  1,585,400 (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)

51. As a percentage of the total population, inmates constituted 0.60% of the US population in 1995

52. As a percentage of the total population, inmates constitute 0.66% of the current US population

53. President Bill Clinton Signed The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act into law in 1994 (Source: Congress.gov)

54. The prison population increased from 1,585,400 in 1995 to 1,945,400 in the year 2000. An increase of 22.7%

Shallow Focus Photography of Cannabis Plant

Marijuana

55. 47.5% of federal inmates and 15.2% of state inmates are incarcerated on drug-related offenses (Source: The Sentencing Project)

56. 21 States (and Washington, D.C) have decriminalized or legalized Marijuana (Source: NORML.org)

57. They are Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont

58. In 2016, more people were arrested for marijuana possession than for murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. Combined. (Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, FBI.gov)

59. There are 40,000 inmates in state and federal prison serving sentences related to Marijuana (Source: Rolling Stone)

60. Less than 1% are incarcerated on possession alone (Source: Rolling Stone)

armed, automatic weapon, bullet

War

61. The US is currently involved in conflicts in 7 countries (Source: New York Times)

62.  They are: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger. (Source: New York Times)

63. The US “War on Terror” is currently ongoing in 76 countries (Source: Brown University, Cost of War Project)

64. That’s 38.97% of the countries on the planet (Source: US News and World Report)

65. The US federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is about $5.6 trillion dollars (Source: US News and World Report)

66. The number of “terrorism-related incidents” in the world was 1,907 in 2001 (University of Maryland, Global Terrorism Database)

67. The number of “terrorism-related incidents” in the world was 13,488 in 2017 (University of Maryland, Global Terrorism Database)

Debt

68. The US National debt is $21 trillion (Source: U.S. National Debt Clock)

69. That’s $175,792 per US taxpayer (Source: U.S. National Debt Clock)

70. In the year 2000, the US National Debt was $5.6 trillion (Source: TreasuryDirect.gov)

71. In the year 2005, the US National Debt was $7.9 trillion (Source: TreasuryDirect.gov)

72. In 2008, the US National Debt was $10 trillion (Source: TreasuryDirect.gov)

73. The largest budget item is Medicare/Medicaid at $1.08 trillion (Source: U.S. National Debt Clock)

74. The second largest budget item is Social Security at $978 billion (Source: U.S. National Debt Clock)

73. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world with a reported net worth of $150 billion (Source: Business Insider)

74. If 100% of Jeff Bezos’ $150 billion net worth could be put towards the national debt, it would pay 0.71% of the current debt

75. If 100% of Jeff Bezos’ $150 billion net worth could be put towards the national debt, it would pay 48% of the current $310 billion interest owed on the national debt (Source: U.S. National Debt Clock)

 

Politics

76. The average age of a member of Congress is 57.8 for The House and 61.8 years for The Senate (Source: FAS.org)

77. There are 49 Democrats in the Senate and 51 Republicans (Source: FAS.org)

78. There are 2 Independents in the Senate (Source: FAS.org)

79. Both Independents caucus with the Democrats (Source: FAS.org)

80. There are 197 Democrats in the House of Representatives (Source: FAS.org)

81. There are 238 Republicans in the House of Representatives (Source: FAS.org)

83. As of July 2018, 41% of the US identifies as Independent (Source: Gallup)

84. Independents represent 0.36% of the US Congress

85. The median net worth of a member of Congress is $1.1 million (Source: Quartz.com)

86. The median net worth of a senator is $3.2 million (Source: Quartz.com)

87. The median net worth of a member of the House of Representatives is $900,000 (Source: Quartz.com)

88. The median net worth of a US household is $80,000 (Source: Quartz.com)

administration, adult, anchor

The Media

89. In 1983, 50 corporations owned the majority of US Media outlets (Source: PBS.org)

90. In 2018, 6 corporations own the majority of US Media outlets (Source: PBS.org)

91. They are Comcast, Walt Disney, AT&T, 21st Century Fox, CBS, and Viacom (Globalissues.org)

92. 84% of Americans view the media as having a critical roll in Democracy (Source: Gallup Poll)

93. 51% of Americans do not have a “great deal” or “fair amount of trust” in the media (Source: Gallup Poll)

94. 59.7% of Americans perceive journalism as going “in the wrong direction” (Source: Indiana State University)

95. 50.2% of journalists identify as “Independent” in their political affiliation (Source: Indiana State University)

96. 7.1% identify as Republican (Source: Indiana State University)

97. 28.1% identify as Democrat (Source: Indiana State University)

98. Sean Hannity averages 3.37 million viewers, the highest of all cable news programs (Source: Adweek)

99. Joe Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast averages over 15 million downloads per month. (Source: Rolling Stone)

100. His most recent show, streamed on YouTub last week, has received over 1 million views. (Source: YouTube)

100 Facts About America

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You now know 100 facts about America. All of the above facts are 100% true and noted with at least one source for the information.

Does it tell the whole story?

Not by a long shot.

Remember that the next time someone tells you “these are the facts and they cannot be disputed.” Remember our story from way up above. After all, what is 1+1?

“What do you want it to be?”

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1 Response

  • As a retired Statistical Data Analyst I get what you’re saying. Still it does sting a little. (I guess now I understand what a lawyer feels when they hear a lawyer joke :^\ ) It is true though… using (or more accurately, misusing) statistics is as old as print media. What’s the old saying? There are lies, damn lies, and statistics? When I see statistics being used to mislead people it really torques me off… and I see the MSM doing it all the time.

    Statistics serve specific functions that are highly dependent on the accuracy and depth of the source data, providing the proper context of the data set and its model, but most importantly on the ethical use of the logic used to compile the model. Here’s an example:

    I used to do statistical analysis as a subcontractor for a major telecommunications company. One time a manager tried to get me fired because I refused to “tweak the data” to make our site look better on the quarterly reports. “Don’t lie,” she said. “Just don’t include data on employees with less than 6 months tenure. It’s hurting our stats and we need to look more competitive. Besides it hurts moral when we show up at the bottom of the site comparison.” Doing as instructed would exclude nearly 30% of our data in an industry with high turnover and would be an unethical abuse of the statistical model, so I refused and she tried to get me fired because I wasn’t “flexible” and was “insubordinate” for refusing to cook the books. Later I retired and within two years that branch I worked out of was closing its doors because management ran it into the ground. How? They were cooking the reports and making themselves look better than they were, but then kept missing several vital metrics which resulted in corporate cutting back expenses for that site. Rather than using the statistics to find areas to improve upon (which was their entire purpose) they were more interested in the optics of “looking bad in the quarterlies” and “making employees feel better” about their poor work skills. Now those same employees are out of a job… so really management didn’t do them any favors by saving them from embarrassment.

    So I place the blame for unethical statistics both on the heads of those that use them AND the unethical analysts that are willing to diminish their entire industry for a few short term dollars.

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