The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

A Decade of Change (or not?), in Numbers

Posted by demkid on December 29, 2009

This is a pretty neat list that was linked on Yahoo earlier this evening.  It simply shows how certain figures have changed over the past 10 years in a variety of different categories, like politics, the environment, technology, the economy, education, etc.  Lots of these numbers definitely reflect the current sad state of our economy.

In the first decade of the 21st century, numbers show that the U.S. has grown in population but that its per household earnings, adjusted for inflation, have declined. The trade deficit has increased with China , but declined with Europe . The number of Republican public officials has dropped and so has the average approval rating of the presidents. Exxon Mobil has replaced Microsoft as the most valuable U.S. company. The number of college students has dropped, and cell phone use has skyrocketed.

It’s a pretty comprehensive list, and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s into statistics, or who simply wonders how this country and the world have advanced or declined in the last decade.  The following are what I found most interesting:

Female Members of the U.S. Senate: 9 (1999); 17 (2009).  Millionaires in the Senate: 30 (1999); 67 (2009).  The Senate is truly a millionaires club, but at least the number of women has doubled in the past decade!  I wonder how many of those 17 are millionaires themselves?  I definitely know our senior Senator is!

Total Federal Debt: $5.606 trillion (1999); $12.9 trillion (2009, estimate).  Unemployment Rate: 4.2 percent (1999); 10 percent (November 2009).  Jobless Workers: 5.7 million (1999); 15.4 million (November 2009).  Pretty sad.  Who was President for 8 of those years?  I thought the GOP was the party of fiscal responsibility?  At least the Democrats were able to do something about the minimum wage (yet not enough): $5.15 (1999); $7.25 (2009).

U.S. Trade Deficit: $265.09 billion (1999); $695.94 billion (2008).  Trade Deficit with China: $68.7 billion (1999); $188.5 billion (through October 2009).  Yep, that’s almost a 3-fold increase in the last 10 years.  Anyone see the Saturday Night Live open that made fun of this complete dependence on China?  Something’s got to change here in the next 10 years.

U.S. Automakers’ Market Share: 69 percent (1999); 44.6 percent (through November 2009).  Auto Manufacturing Jobs in Michigan: 94,200 (1999); 31,100 (October 2009).  The end of Detroit?  Pretty soon we’ll all be driving Hondas and Toyotas. 

Average Annual Estimated CO2 Emissions Worldwide (Tons): 23.4 billion (1999); 29.9 billion (2007).  United States: 5.97 billion (1999); 6.01 billion (2007).  China: 2.91 billion (1999); 6.28 billion (2007).  Europe: 4.42 billion (1999); 4.69 billion (2007).  So, while pretty much everywhere else has stayed static, China’s emissions have gone wild and it’s surpassed the U.S. as the top carbon emitter.  This trend will surely continue into the next decade, along with the upward trend in China’s oil consumption. 

Average U.S. Vehicle Gasoline Consumption in Miles per Gallon: 27.5 (1999); 27.5 (2009).  This figure was probably the most shocking to me.  I thought we’d at least made some advances here in the past 10 years!  Simply pathetic, and this number needs to be far different by the time we hit 2020. 

States that Have Legalized Medical Marijuana: 5 (1999); 13 (2009).  Number of States that Permit Same-Sex Marriage: 0 (1999); 6 (2009).  Any guesses on where these two numbers will be in 2020? 

I’d also recommend looking at the military numbers.  Interesting to see how our troops have become less educated, how we’ve shifted troops out of Germany and Korea, and how China and Russia’s military spending has skyrocketed.  Finally, here’s to an increasingly safe next decade!  Number of Trojan Condoms Shipped in the United States: 340.992 million (1999); 552.672 million (2009).



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