Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 03, 2020

In 2018, estimated worth of merchandise returns that were made throughout the year in the U.S., with 25% of those returns made at Christmastime, according to Splitit: $400 billion

Percentage of consumers who have returned an online purchase, with 38% having returned up to 10% of all online purchases they have made, according to research by Splitit: 60

Source: Splitit.

In the United States today, percentage of households that are single-person households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 28

In 1960, percentage of households that were single-person households: 13

Percentage of Americans age 15 and older who have never been married, up from 23% in 1950: 32

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who plan to travel this winter, according to research by WalletHub: 66

Percentage who say they will spend at least as much as they did last year: 79

Ranks of weather, cost, packing appropriately and spending time with in-laws/relatives on the list of leading concerns for winter travelers: 1, 2, 3 (tie)

Source: WalletHub.

Percentage of Americans who still prefer dining in restaurants over takeout or delivery, according to a nationwide survey by Vixxo: 62

Percentage of consumers who say the quality of food is the main factor in determining why they pick a particular restaurant when dining out: 46

While roughly half (51%) of Americans choose their favorite restaurant based on the menu options, percentage who say that it's the overall experience at an establishment -- including atmosphere, employees and convenience -- that makes it their favorite: 38

Source: Vixxo.

Percentage of Americans who named credit card debt as their biggest financial regret of the past decade, according to a survey from Policygenius: 24.1

Despite the red ink, percentage who say their finances are better now than they were in 2010: 47

Rank of "paying down debt" on the list of the leading financial goals for Americans over the next decade: 1

Source: Policygenius.

Percentage increase in the number of adults age 50-plus who play online or video games on a monthly basis, according to research from AARP: 14

Over the past three years, percentage growth in the 50-plus gamer population -- from 40.2 million gamers in 2016 to 50.6 million in 2019: 25.9

Percentage of women who are playing video games, compared with 40% of men age 50-plus: 49

Source: AARP.

Ranks of Nala, Luna, Bella, Daisy and Willow on the list of the favorite female cat names for 2019, according to Find Cat Names, a leading website for finding the perfect name for a new cat: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Simba, Milo, Alfie, Felix and Archie on the list of the favorite male cat names for 2019: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Find Cat Names.

Percentage of construction contractors who said there is a perception that construction jobs are all "dirty" jobs, according to the USG Corp. and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index: 61

Percentage who cited the perception that construction work requires only brute strength: 55

Percentage who cited the perception that construction is just a "job" rather than a career: 52

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Percentage of female business travelers who have experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while traveling, according to the results of a SAP Concur survey: 77

Percentage who said they are often asked if they are traveling with their husband: 42

Percentage who say they are ignored by service workers: 38

Percentage of respondents who have changed their travel arrangements because they felt unsafe: 58

Source: SAP.

Percentage of Americans who believe an arts education is as important to society today as it was 10 to 15 years ago, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of LifeWTR: 78

Percentage who support the continued value of an arts education and who believe the arts are a vital part of a well-rounded education for K-12 students: 91

Percentage who believe that arts and STEM subjects complement each other well: 84

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Idle Thought

"I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may -- light, shade and perspective will always make it beautiful." -- John Constable, painter

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at