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A column of current statistics selected especially for Christian communicators
Percentage of American women who would change something about their looks if they could: 99
Percentage of men who would: 94
Each minute, the number of Americans who turn 40: 6
Number of U.S. children who are homeless: 100,000
Percentage of Americans who watched religious TV in 1980: 42
Percentage of Americans who watched it in 1989: 49
Percentage of Japanese children who live in two-parent families: 96
Percentage of American children who do: 73
Percentage of job seekers in retail occupations in 1988 who tested positive for drug use: 24.4
Ratio of insects to humans: 200,000,000:1
Percentage of high school students who can't write a basic letter seeking employment or information: 70
The average amount teenaged girls spend per week: more than $55
Teenaged boys: almost $49
Total number of hours U.S. Sunday school teachers spend preparing lessons each week: 4.8 million
Percentage of school-age children who say they make moral judgments based on "what God or Scripture tells them is right": 16
Percentage who say they make judgments based on their "own personal experience": 45
Number of magazines begun in 1989 that are devoted to pornography: 72
According to The New Republic, "No member of the middle class needs statistics to be convinced of this: single-earner families are economic losers. The median real income of families in which both spouses were in the labor force rose 12 percent between 1970 and 1987. The median real income of husband-only earner families fell 2 percent. To put it another way, the difference in median income between one- and two-earner households increased, between 1970 and 1987, by 58 percent."
- 10/9/89 issue
Men and women don't necessarily find the same activities relaxing, The Roper Organization reports. Based on its study of 2,000 adults, here are the leading ways that women relax: Take a long bath (48 percent), shop for clothes (43 percent), and call a friend long distance (42 percent). None of these was at the top of the men's list. When men want to relax, they buy a book or magazine (32 percent), go out to an expensive restaurant (31 percent), or buy something for a hobby (31 percent).
- U.S. News & World Report, 1/29/90
According to a recent (March 1990) study by the Barna Research Group, Americans have favorable impressions of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, but unfavorable impressions of Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, and The New Age Movement. Here are the percentages of respondents who said they have a very or somewhat favorable impression of the following groups: Protestants, 72 percent; Catholics, 72; Jews, 63; Mormons, 42; Buddhists, 25; Jehovah's Witnesses, 20; Muslims, 20; The New Age Movement, 10; Hare Krishnas, 9.
What do Christian parents of teen-agers lose sleep over? According to a study cited in Parents & Teenagers magazine, parents' concerns include "teenager's academic success" (selected by 15 percent of the parents), "who teenager will eventually marry" (24 percent), "teenager's quality of friends" (32 percent), and "teenager's drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse" (41 percent). But the leading anxiety for Christian parents is whether their teenagers will stay true to the faith, a worry identified by 56 percent of respondents.
Sources - Changed looks: Inside America by Louis Harris, cited in 100% American by Daniel Weiss (Poseidon Press, 1988). Turning 40: Radio advertisement, LaSalIe Bank, WBBM, Chicago, 2/21/90. Homeless: Children's Defense Fund, reported in USAToday, 1/8/90. Religious TV and two-parent families: "Summing Up the Reagan Era" by Karl Zinsmeister, The Wilson Quarterly, winter 1990. Drug testing: U.S. Department of Labor, reported in U.S. News & World Report, 10/30/89. Insects: Reader's Digest Book of Facts. High school education woes: National Alliance of Business. Teenage spending: Teenage Research Unlimited, reported in American Demographics, 3/90. Sunday school preparation: David C. Cook Publishing Co.; there are 4.1 million Sunday school teachers in the U.S., so average preparation time per week is approximately 70 minutes. Moral judgments: Louis Harris poll, reported in New England Church Life. Sex magazines: Samir Husni's Guide to New Magazines, reported in Chicago Tribune.
SUMMER QUARTER 1990 69
Copyright © 1990 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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