Percentage of Americans who are more likely to name China than the United States as the leading economic power in the world today, according to a Gallup Poll: 52
Percentage who named America as the leading economic power: 32
Percentage who named Japan: 7
Percentage of people who say they prefer to make a date via e-mail, text message or social networking instead of the old-fashioned phone call, according to Zagat's 2011 Dating & Dumping survey: 34
In contrast, in 2009, percentage of respondents who preferred to initiate a date in person: 53
Today, percentage of respondents who confessed to "Googling" a prospective date: 52
Estimated percentage of restaurants that are now owned by women, according to research from the National Restaurant Association: 50
Percentage increase in Hispanic ownership of restaurants in the past five years: 42
Source: National Restaurant Association.
Ranks of reducing debt (28 percent) and boosting savings (21 percent) on the list of Americans' financial priorities, according to a Country Financial survey: 1, 2
Percentage of Americans who currently do not utilize a household budget: 49
Percentage who say they rely on credit to pay their monthly bills: 13
Source: Country Financial.
Percentage of advertising and marketing executives who said hugging colleagues is at least somewhat common in the United States, according to a national survey developed by The Creative Group: 30
Percentage of executives who said embracing co-workers in a business setting is inappropriate: 70
Source: The Creative Group.
Percentage of high school students who think it's their responsibility to help fund their college education, according to a survey of 16- and 17-year-olds headed for higher education, according to a study by the College Savings Foundation: 72
Percentage who are planning to use their own funds to pay for college: 65
Percentage who will cover more than one-quarter of their college costs, compared to 52 percent last year: 58
Source: College Savings Foundation.
Estimated percentage of today's college students who hold jobs, according to a survey released by Cengage Learning: 50
Percentage of students who report being distracted by external responsibilities, such as raising families or by financial issues, including paying for school or debt: 30
Source: Cengage Learning.
Percentage of consumers who are looking for products that are healthy, according to the BrandSpark and Better Homes and Gardens American Shopper Study: 80
Percentage of consumers who are trying to reduce their consumption of processed foods: 70
Percentage who are looking for food products that can reduce the risk of major health issues: 60
Source: Better Homes and Gardens.
Percentage of American taxpayers who plan to spend their anticipated federal and state tax refunds on vacations -- up dramatically from 16 percent when a similar poll was first taken in 2006 -- according to a survey commissioned by Taxsoftware.com: 30
Percentage of Americans who expect to receive tax refunds: 59
When comparing large cities with red-light cameras to those without, percentage reduction in the fatal red-light-running crash rate, according to a 2011 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: 24
Percentage reduction in the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections attributed to these devices: 17.6
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
"Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known." -- Michel de Montaigne, essayist
(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)