Good day, my spooky little ghosts and goblins. Today, I have nothing of real value to report other than to wish you the scariest Halloween that you’ve ever had – literally, I hope the snot gets scared right out of you. Helps with congestion, after all.
But, since I burned a post by hoping that you forcibly get the snot extracted from your otherwise healthy nasal passages, I might as well bring you something that fits right along with the topic of the day – scary statistics in the United States.
Seriously, some of these are downright bat-shit insane.
Let’s start with health and fitness.
- Americans spent $3 billion on fast food in 1972. Anyone want to venture a guess what Americans today spend on processed food product? $110 billion annually (source).
- More than two-thirds of Americans are considered to be obese, though some of those stats are bullshit because weight also includes muscle and water (source).
- More than 80 percent of American adults do not get recommended exercise – around 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week (source).
- In 2009, the United States spent a whopping $2.47 trillion on health care, which is expected to rise to $4.5 trillion in four years (source).
- Nearly half of all Americans are taking some kind of prescription drug, including one in five children (source).
Now, let’s talk spending.
- 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck with little to no emergency savings (source).
- Less than 25% of Americans have enough money in their bank accounts to cover six months of expenses (source).
- Americans will spend around $7 billion on Halloween alone (source) this year.
- Moreover, we also spent $72 billion on back-to-school items, nearly $20 billion for Mother’s Day (source) and $45 billion on Black Friday (source).
- The average American will drop $700 on holiday gifts this year, totally slightly over $465 billion, total (source).
Stats that make you go “what the hell?” or “wow, that’s interesting!”
- One in three employees under the age of 30 prioritize social media freedom and device flexibility over salary at work (source).
- The average American teenager sends 3,339 texts each month (source); girls text three times more than boys (source).
- 90% of the pumpkins grown in the U.S. are raised within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois (source).
- The average commute in the United States is 25.4 minutes (source).
- Google has indexed over 100 billion searchable links, and more than half of searches originate from mobile devices (source).
Numbers that might make you wanna laugh or cry!
- It costs more for the U.S. mint to manufacturer pennies and nickels than what they are worth – over $105 million in losses (source).
- An earthquake that rocked Japan in 2011 actually shortened our 24-hour day by 1.8n microseconds (source).
- Fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States (source).
Also, did you know that Halloween was originally celebrated by the Celtic people more than 2,000 years ago, and that the common “trick-or-treat” ritual first began in the United Kingdom? Though, they didn’t ask for candy. Instead, they asked for small pieces of bread in exchange for prayers.
Oh, how the years have changed us as a people.
Have fun, stay safe, and I’ll see ya on the flip side!
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.