Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 15, 2015

Rank of manufacturers in the United States on the list of the most productive in the world, far surpassing the worker productivity of any other major manufacturing economy, according to NAM calculations based on data from the United Nations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the International Labour Organization: 1

Percentage of all private-sector research and development in the nation that is performed by manufacturers, driving more innovation than any other sector, according to the National Science Foundation: 66

Source: National Association of Manufacturers.

Ratio of single men in their 20s to single women in their 20s, according to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association: 1.2 to 1

Ratio of single men 65 or older to single women 65 or older: 0.33 to 1

Number of dating service establishments nationwide: 904

Average number of marriages annually: 2.16 million

Source: NRF.

Year that the U.S. population is expected to reach 400 million (from 319 million today), according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 2051

Year in which more than half of the nation's children will be part of a minority race or ethnic group: 2020

Year in which the minority population is expected to reach 56 percent of the total population: 2060

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Ranks of Vienna (global rank -- 1), Zurich (2), Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6) and Frankfurt (7) on the list of European cities with the best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2015 Quality of Living rankings: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Vancouver (5), Toronto (15), Ottawa (16), Montreal (24) and San Francisco (27) on the list of the highest-ranking North American cities: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Mercer.

Percentage of companies that say they have not always kept commitments to employees, according to findings of a global survey of more than 1,300 organizations by American Management Association: 57

Percentage that say they have not always kept promises to consumers: 33

Source: American Management Association.

Value of the online grocery market in 2014, according to Packaged Facts: $23 billion

Projected value of the market by 2019, capturing 12 percent of total grocery spending: $100 billion

Source: Packaged Facts.

Percentage of the current U.S. population that is represented by minorities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 37

Percentage of positions in the financial services industry held by minorities: 8

Percentage of Hispanic and African-American respondents who believe it is in the best interest of financial services firms to focus on hiring more multicultural financial advisers, according to a survey conducted for Edward Jones: 79

Source: Edward Jones.

Amount the average consumer spends a year on beer, according to a Survey Analytics survey: $1,270

Percentage of respondents who had brewed their own beer at home: 14

Percentage who are interested in taking craft brewing lessons from their favorite craft brands: 68

Source: Survey Analytics.

Percentage of consumers who say that price is the most important factor in determining where they buy gas, according to a survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS): 66

Percentage of consumers who say that they would drive five minutes out of their way to save 5 cents per gallon: 66

Percentage who would drive 10 minutes out of their way to save 5 cents per gallon: 39

Source: National Association of Convenience Stores.

Percentage of Americans who said the U.S. had mostly failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan, according to a Pew Research Center/USA TODAY survey: 52

Despite the negative view of the outcome, percentage of Americans who said using military force in Afghanistan was the right decision: 51

Source: PEW Internet and American Life Project.

Idle Thought

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer." -- Zora Neale Hurston

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