Let’s be honest…chances are you’ve been down a YouTube spiral at least once during the last few weeks to study something like how to cut your own hair. Or how to create a sourdough starter for baking bread. One positive thing about this lockdown is a lot of us are learning new things.
So in that spirit, we present 6 mind-blowing facts about America you probably didn’t know, with thanks to CheatSheet for getting us started.
1. There is actually no official language in the U.S.
While English may be the official language of business around the world, it is not officially the official language in the U.S. During almost every session of Congress, a Constitutional amendment is proposed to adopt English as the official language of the United States. It has never been successful. As of 2018, English was spoken by 78.1 percent of the U.S. population, Spanish by 13.5 percent, other Indo-European languages by 3.7 percent, Asian and Pacific languages 3.6 percent, and other languages 1.2 percent.
Other interesting findings per the Center for Immigration Studies:
> In 2018, a record 67.3 million U.S. residents (native-born, legal immigrants, and illegal immigrants) spoke a language other than English at home. The number has more than doubled since 1990 and almost tripled since 1980.
> Since 1980, the number who speak a foreign language at home grew nearly seven times faster than the number who speak only English at home. Even since 2010, when the number speaking a foreign language at home was already very large, the number of foreign-language speakers increased more than twice as fast as that of English speakers.
> As a share of the population, 21.9 percent of U.S. residents speak a foreign language at home — more than double the 11 percent in 1980.
2. Most Americans stay at their jobs for 4.4. years
Job duration tends to be longer the older a worker is when starting their jobs, but baby boomers (born between 1957 to 1964) continue to have large numbers of short-duration jobs even as they approach middle age. Among jobs started by workers ages 38 to 42, 31 percent ended in less than a year, and 65 percent ended in fewer than 5 years. On the whole, Baby Boomers held an average of 10.8 jobs from ages 18 to 42.
Interestingly, it’s not that different between men and women. Men are only slightly more “job promiscuous” — if that’s even a thing. On average, men held 11.0 jobs from age 18 to 42 compared to 10.6 jobs for women.
3. More presidents were born in Virginia than any other state.
Eight Virginia natives has been elected president, including four of the first five presidents. The eight are: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson. To date, only 21 states have been the birthplace of a commander in chief. The state birthing the second highest number of presidents is…Ohio.
4. There are more people living in New York City than in 40 out of 50 states.
Ever wonder why what happens in New York City seems to be dictating to the rest of the country how we should behave during the COVID pandemic? That’s why.
But here’s something else you should know. Currently about 18.8 million people live in the New York metro area. A new antibody study suggests one out of every five New Yorkers may have already been exposed to the virus and never even known they had it. Even Governor Cuomo has said such wide infection might mean the death rate was far lower than believed.
As of April 28th, NYC health officially records just under 12,000 confirmed deaths from COVID and 157,713 cases, which yields a fatality rate of 7.6 percent. That’s horrific — although the inverse of that is 92.4 percent actually survive the illness.
But if the true infection rate of the virus is indeed one out of five, that would mean in actual fact as many as 3.5 million people have already been exposed to the virus in the NYC metro area. With the existing number of deaths, the fatality rate would come down to 0.3 percent.
5. If you have $10 and no debt, you are richer than 15 percent of all American households.
The Federal Reserve Bank estimates that 15.1 percent of the households in the U.S. population have net wealth less than or equal to zero, while 14.0 percent have strictly negative wealth.
Forgetting debt for a moment, 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Worse yet, 45 percent of Americans say they have zero dollars in savings. ZERO.
But can Americans be forgiven for thinking debt doesn’t matter? Apparently. After all it doesn’t matter to the U.S. government. Our current national debt stands at $24.7 trillion.
6. Kansas produces enough wheat in one year to feed everyone in the world for two weeks.
If there was an easy and cost-effective way to transport and distribute all the wheat in Kansas around the world, it would be enough to feed all 7.8 billion people for two weeks. That’s a lot of wheat.
But aside from wheat farmers in Kansas, farmers across the nation are having a really tough time because of the pandemic. While people go hungry because they have no paycheck and no savings to buy food (see above), American farmers are having to dump milk, throw out eggs and plow under healthy crops because they have no place to sell their perishable items. Most of the foodservice industry has been shut down.
Some of the country's largest meat processing plants have been forced to cease operations temporarily after their employees across the country have tested positive for the virus. But yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order under the Defense Production Act to compel meat processing plants to remain open.
So at least we’ll have hot dogs. And wheat for buns. If we can afford to buy it all. But hey! Put it on the credit card! Everyone ELSE does!...jk don't do that.