Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 23, 2011

Rank of Texas on the list of magnet states in 2010, according to Allied Van Lines' 43rd Annual Magnet States Report, which tracks inbound and outbound moves to determine U.S. migration patterns: 1

In the last 6 years, number of times Texas has placed first on the list: 6

Ranks of Colorado, Florida, South Carolina and Arizona on the list: 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania on the list of the highest net relocation losses (more outbound than inbound shipments): 1, 2, 3

Source: Allied Van Lines.

Should they be lucky enough to win the lottery, percentage of people who say that paying off debt would be the first thing on their list, according to a Market Strategies study: 33

Percentage who said that buying a house would be first on their list: 25

Percentage who would either A) help family and friends, or B) save or invest (tie): 15

Source: Market Strategies International.

Total annual economic cost of overweight (body mass index between 25.0 and 29.9) and obesity (BMI of more than 30) in the U.S., according to a study released by the Society of Actuaries: $270 billion

Total cost of excess medical care caused by overweight and obesity: $127 billion

Economic loss of productivity caused by excess mortality: $49 billion

Source: Society of Actuaries.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the year that a widely accepted habit of many generations of Americans came under official attack when Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first government report that smoking may be dangerous to health: 1964

Estimated percentage of adult Americans who smoke: 20

Estimated percentage of the residents of Kentucky who smoke -- the state with the highest proportion of smokers: 28

Estimated percentage of the residents of Utah who smoke -- the state with the lowest proportion of smokers: 12

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of women who aspire to dress younger than their years, according to research carried out by Debenhams: 89

Percentage who cite 70 as the age they felt they would either be or had been happy to dress their age: 55

Percentage of women who said that their 70s would be no barrier to dressing and looking younger: 45

Source: Debenhams.

On the heels of the announcement that Time magazine had named Mark Zuckerberg 2010's "Person of the Year," percentage of teens who responded that they have a Facebook page, according to a poll of American teens conducted by Ipsos Reid: 75

Percentage of those who admit to accessing their Facebook page continuously throughout the day: 27

Percentage of teens who can access the Internet through their mobile device who are continuous Facebook users: 65

Source: Ipsos Reid.

Estimated increase in the number of gym memberships, from 29.5 million in 1998 to more than 40 million in 2010, according to a special report from IBISWorld: 10.5 million

Number of cigarette and tobacco manufacturing plants -- the number having dropped at an annualized rate of 9.5 percent since 2005: 77

Source: IBISWorld.

Percentage of mobile Internet time spent on e-mail, according to the State of the Media Fact Sheet compiled by the Nielsen company: 38.5

Percentage of time spent on social networking: 10.7

Percentage of time spent on news and current events: 7.2

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

Projected number of sales worldwide by 2015 of Internet-connectable TV devices (consisting of Internet-connectable HDTVs, Blu-Ray players, game consoles and digital video players), according to Parks Associates: 350 million

Source: Parks Associates.

Percentage of Americans who plan to spend at least some of the extra money they will receive through the one-year Social Security payroll-tax reduction that became effective Jan. 1, 2011, according to The RBC U.S. Consumer Outlook Index: 74

Percentage who plan to spend all or most of it: 42

Source: RBC.

Idle Thought

"You can't shame or humiliate modern celebrities. What used to be called shame and humiliation is now called publicity." -- P.J. O'Rourke, writer

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)