Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For September 30, 2012

Percentage of women who believe homeownership is essential in defining the American Dream, according to a Home Buyer Poll released by TD Bank: 64

Percentage of men who feel owning a home is important: 52

Percentage of women who consider family and children to be essential parts of the American Dream: 60

Source: TD Bank.

Average number of minutes it takes an 18- to 24-year-old in the U.S. to have a shower, a full nine minutes longer than the optimum shower time recommended to conserve water, according to a survey conducted by AXE: 17-plus minutes

Average shower duration in America: 8.2 minutes

Source: Unilever.

Number of unmarried people (widowed, divorced and never married) in America age 18 and older in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau study America's Families and Living Arrangements -- 2011: 102 million

Percentage of all U.S. residents 18 and older this represents: 44.1

Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older in 2011 who had never been married: 62

Percentage who were divorced: 24

Percentage who were widowed: 14

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who say they are in the lower-middle or lower class, up from 25 percent in the past four years, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center: 33

Percentage of those in the lower class who say that hard work brings success, a view expressed by overwhelming majorities of those in the middle (67 percent) and upper classes (71 percent): 51

Source: Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends.

Amount of money that repairs, replacements and insurance deductibles for cracked, dropped, pummeled, kicked and water-damaged iPhones has cost Americans since their introduction in 2007, according to a study by SquareTrade: $5.9 billion

In the last 12 months alone, percentage of iPhone users who have damaged their device: 30

Number of times more common accidental damage is than loss or theft: 10

Source: SquareTrade.

Percentage of moms who report that they feel overwhelmed by financial burdens, according to findings of the Mom Money IQ Test released by CafeMom and Chase Blueprint: 70

Of moms who are actively managing their family's finances, percentage who report that they feel they are doing a good job month to month: 67

Percentage of respondents who tend to disagree with their partner on how they manage their finances: 59

Source: CafeMom.

Estimated number of Americans who remain unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: 12.5 million

According to The Associated Press, percentage of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 who are jobless or underemployed in the United States: 53.6

Source: Career Advisory Board.

When American voters were asked whether they currently fact-check claims made by political ads, percentage who said they frequently do, according to a survey by Politcal.com: 55

Percentage who said they sometimes or never do: 45

Source: Political.com.

Percentage of adults who say that if they were to upgrade their cellphone, it would be because their contract is over and they are eligible for an upgrade, according to a poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of RetailMeNot.com: 42

Percentage who say it would be because they want another type of phone; switching from an Android (7 percent), an iPhone (4 percent) or a BlackBerry (2 percent) to another type of phone: 13

Source: RetailMeNot.com.

Rank of "no longer need their car" on the list of reasons why of drivers across the country want out of a vehicle lease, according to a national leasing survey from Swapalease.com: 1

Ranks of financial concerns, want a new car and lifestyle changes on the list: 2, 3, 4

Source: Swapalease.com.

Idle Thought

"Ah, good taste, what a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness." -- Pablo Picasso

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