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Health Care Costs, Biofuel Use Among Subjects in Census Bureau's 2009 Statistical Abstract

     The U.S. Census Bureau released today the new Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009. First published in 1878, "Uncle Sam's Almanac" is a summary of statistics on a wide range of important topics, from A (aquaculture) to Z (zinc production). Whether one seeks numbers on biofuel or banking, foreign trade or foreign aid, cars or bars, there is no better one-stop shop for statistics.

     For example, the average length of stay for patients at community hospitals declined from 7.2 days in 1990 to 5.5 days in 2006. Yet over the same period, the average cost per patient stay climbed 81 percent, from $4,947 to $8,970.

     Also, Americans are spending more on retail prescription drugs. Drug sales climbed from $72.2 billion in 1995 to $259.4 billion in 2007, with the majority of spending shifting from brand name to generic (60 percent brand name in 1995, less than 42 percent in 2007).

     The 128th edition contains more than 1,400 tables of social, political and economic facts about our nation and the world. Among topics covered in the 49 new tables in this edition are the religious composition of our nation's population, osteopathic physicians, online news consumption, expenditures for wildlife-related recreation and women in parliaments around the globe. Although the emphasis is on national-level statistics, some tables present state- and even city- and metropolitan-level data as well.

     The source of the data is not limited to the Census Bureau -- statistics are also derived from other social, political and economic organizations in the United States. Data in this edition are generally for the most recent year or period available by the summer of 2008.

     Other highlights include:

Reach the beach

  • In July 2007, 10.6 million people lived in Florida's Atlantic coastal counties, a 13 percent increase from 2000. Another 7.2 million reside in the state's Gulf coastal counties, a 16 percent increase from 2000. Texas coastal counties also showed a substantial population increase (15 percent) between 2000 and 2007, reaching 7.9 million. (Table 25)

It's cosmetic

  • Almost 11.7 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States in 2007, with women accounting for almost 91 percent. (Table 171).


  • In 2006, 42.8 percent of public schools used security cameras to monitor the premises, compared with 19.4 percent in 2000. Twenty-three percent used random dog sniffs to check for drugs, 13.1 percent utilized random sweeps for drugs and weapons, and 6.4 percent required clear book bags or banned book bags on school grounds altogether. Additionally, almost 5 percent performed random metal detector checks on students, while 1.1 percent required students to pass through metal detectors daily. (Table 240)
  • Violent crime per 100,000 people decreased from a rate of 597 in 1980 to 474 in 2006. The property crime rate in 1990, 5,353 per 100,000, decreased to 3,335 in 2006. (Table 295)

Women holding public office

  • As of Jan. 3, 2007, 17 percent of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 16 percent of U.S. senators were women. (Table 390). Below the federal level, as of January 2007, there were 1,808 women holding state public offices. The states with the most women in office were New Hampshire (151), Minnesota (73), Vermont (69), Maryland (60) and Maine (58). (Table 397)

You gotta play to win

  • Lottery sales increased from $51.6 billion in 2006 to $52.4 billion in 2007, with $29.7 billion in sales for instant scratch-off tickets. (Table 432)
  • Tribal gaming revenue as reported by the National Indian Gaming Commission rose from $14.5 billion in 2002 to $26 billion in 2007. (Table 1218)

A giving nation

  • In 2005, 41.4 million U.S. tax returns showed charitable contributions, totaling $181.6 billion. (Table 565)

Something fishy (new this year)

  • Sales of aquaculture products totaled $4.3 billion in 2005. The most lucrative catch was soft-shell crab at $16.54 per dozen, followed by prawns (large shrimp) at $5.56 per pound and northern pike at $4.07 per pound. The highest sales, however, came from catfish ($429 million), trout ($65 million) and hard clams ($56 million). (Tables 855 and 856)

Evolving energy sources

  • With recent fluctuations in oil prices, many Americans have switched from heating oil to natural gas to heat their homes. The states with the largest natural gas reserves in 2006 were Texas (61,836 billion cubic feet), Wyoming (23,549 billion cubic feet), New Mexico (17,934 billion cubic feet), Oklahoma (17,464 billion cubic feet) and Colorado (17,149 billion cubic feet). (Table 872)
  • Of the 71.7 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) produced in the United States in 2007, only 9.5 percent came from renewable energy sources. Biofuel comprised the largest percentage of renewable energy produced (52.6 percent), followed by hydroelectric power (36.2 percent) and solar energy (1.2 percent). (Table 883)

Home entertainment

  • U.S. consumer electronic sales climbed from $107.4 billion in 2003 to $161.7 billion in 2007. In-home technologies accounted for almost 47.2 percent of total sales in 2007. (Table 995)

Frustrated fliers and international gateways

  • There were 10,960 consumer complaints against U.S airlines in 2007, up from 6,452 in 2006. The main reasons for the complaints were flight cancellations and delays. (Table 1040)
  • Passengers arriving at and departing from U.S. airports on nonstop commercial international flights increased 2.8 percent from 2005 to 2006. JFK International in New York was the leading gateway airport in 2006 with 19.4 million passengers. Los Angeles International Airport followed with 16.5 million. (Table 1230)

High school athletics

  • During the 2006-2007 year, 7.3 million students participated in high school sports, an increase of almost 2.1 million from 1979-1980. Boys accounted for almost 59 percent of the total in 2006-2007. The top three sports for boys were football, basketball and track and field. For girls, the top three sports were basketball, track and field and volleyball. (Table 1208)

Advertising expenditures

  • From 2000 to 2007, expenditures on advertising increased almost 13 percent. The highest increases came from cable TV (70 percent); the Internet (62 percent); out-of-home ads, such as billboards, transportation vehicles, bus shelters and telephone kiosks (39 percent); direct mail (35 percent); and magazines (11 percent). (Table 1239)

      The 2009 Statistical Abstract may be obtained by calling the U.S. Government Printing Office at 202-512-1800 (ISBN No. 003-024-09075-9, $37 for the soft cover edition; and No. 003-024-09074-1, $41 for the hard cover edition <>).

      Copies are also available by calling the National Technical Information Service at 800-363-2068 or 703-605-6060 (PB2009-965301, $39 for the hard cover edition <>).

     A CD-ROM version of the book will be available later.

     Every edition of the Statistical Abstract, dating from 1878, is available in PDF or zip files on the Census Bureau's Web site at <>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: July 15, 2014