The Page That Counts :: Winter 2004

Number of Americans living below the official poverty line ($19,000 for a family of four) in 2002: 34.6 million (1)

Number of public middle school students in Broward County, Florida, who mistakenly failed the year due to a computer error: 6,559 (2)

Percent of the world's population that relies on herbs as its primary form of medicine: 80 (3)

Number of people worldwide who do not have access to clean water: 1.2 billion (4)

Number of glasses of tap water you can drink for the same price as a six-pack of soda: over 4,000 (5)

Percent drop in property and violent crimes in the U.S. over the last decade: 50 (6)

Number of commercials the average U.S. child sees a day: 5 (7)

The value of parents' purchases influenced by their children in the 1960s: $5 billion (7)

The value in 1997: $188 billion (7)

Percent of U.S. kids who say friends and family are much more important than the things money can buy: 90 (8)

Increase in number of Americans from 2000 to 2002 who are driving alone to work: 2.1 million (9)

Tons of vegetation that a large swarm of desert locusts can consume in one day: 20,000 (10)

Length of Target Corporation's annual meeting on May 21, 2003: 15 minutes (11)

Target CEO Robert Ulrich's estimated hourly wage: $9,134 (12)

Average Target employee's hourly wage: $8 (12)

Percent increase in Ulrich's bonus between 2001 and 2002: 24.3 (13)

Percent Target stock fell during 2002: 36 (13)

Percent of Democrats who have tattoos: 18 (14)

Republicans: 14 (14)

Percent of Americans who do not have tattoos who think people with tattoos are less intelligent: 31 (14)

Percent of Americans who say having a tattoo makes them feel sexier: 34 (14)

Net flow of money every year from the poorest to the richest countries: $48 billion (15)

Value of annual aid loans and grants to the poorest countries: $32 billion(15)

Estimated number of soccer balls the U.S. government sent Iraq this summer to help “bring life back to normal”: 60,000(16)

Percent of NPR/PBS listeners and viewers who hold at least one of three misperceptions about the war in Iraq, including the incorrect belief that world opinion favored the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq: 23 (17)

Percent of Fox News Channel viewers who hold at least one of these three misperceptions: 80(17)


1. 2002 Census, 2. News of the Weird, week of September 7, 2003, citing Miami Herald, June 30, 2003, 3. “Good Medicine,” Orion, July/August 2003, citing the World Health Organization 4. National Wild and Scenic River Systems, “River and Water Facts,” 5. Brita, “Water Facts,” 6. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 25, 2003, citing the U.S. Department of Justice 7. The Center For A New American Dream, 8. Enough! A Quarterly Report on Consumption, Quality of Life and the Environment, Spring 2003, citing Center for a New American Dream February 2003 study by Widmeyer Communications 9. 2002 Census, 10. High Tech Productions, “Fun Science Facts You Didn't Know,” 11. Business Ethics, Summer 2003, citing Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 22, 2003 12. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789, 13. The Business Journal, April 14, 2003, 14. Health News Digest, “A Third of Americans With Tattoos Say They Make Them Feel More Sexy,” 15. Common Dreams News Center, “Economic Forecast Gloomy for Poor, Says Alternative Outlook,” citing Real World Economic Outlook 2003, 16. Harper's, September 2003, citing Major League Soccer 17. Asia Times Online, “We Report, You Get it Wrong,”