Averages involving 37
I've got this book that I bought at a garage sale some years
ago, called American Averages: Amazing Facts of Everyday
Life. (Authors Mike Feinsilber and William B. Mead; ISBN
0-385-15176-4.) It was 1980 by Dolphin Books, a division of
The book is just loaded with numbers about all kinds
of things. Working men talk about work during 25% of their
conversation. Among households that own US savings bonds, the average
amount owned is $3500. 54% of public high school kids who take
foreign languages take Spanish. Between the ages of 30 and 50, the
average American eats about 10 tons of food.
There are around 1-2 dozen numbers on every page -- more on pages
with tables -- and there are 395 pages.
I thought it might be interesting to see how many 37s there were
in the book, so I scanned through the whole thing over Christmas
vacation. As it turns out, it was kind of interesting to see how
few 37s there are in the book. In fact, for a long time I
thought the only factoid I would get was going to be "There
is nothing average about the number 37." I didn't find my
first 37 factoid until page 63. (By my estimate of how many numbers
there were, that's 756-1512 numbers into the book.)
But I did end up with a fair amount in the end. Here they are.
As you read these, remember the publication date of the book and the
ephemeral nature of averages.
- p 63: Of every 99 men in America, 37 smoke.
- p 67: According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, alcohol plays a role in 37 of every 100 suicides.
- p 71: "Statistically", reports Maidenform, Inc., "our figures
indicate that approximately 37 percent of women wear B cups..."
- p 75: Morton Hunt, author of Sexual Behavior in the
1970s, found that 37 percent of single women sometimes used
rear-entry vaginal intercourse.
- p 79: The average woman between 18 and 24 who masturbates
does it 37 times a year.
- p 82: When Kinsey asked 5,300 white males about homosexuality,
he discovered that 37 percent had at least one overt homosexual
experience between the onset of adolescence and old age.
- p 95: Thirty-seven percent of sexually experienced teenagers
say they used no birth-control method the last time they had
- p 102: 37 percent of college students applied for admission to
only one college.
- p 104: In some survey, 37% of Americans rated their lives on the
"Full" end of a 7-point scale (as opposed to 1% on the "Empty" end).
- p 104: On the same survey, 37% rated their lives "Hopeful" (as
opposed to "Discouraging").
- p 142: The average family with a colleg-bound teenager can
afford to pay only 37 percent of the costs of sending the kid to a
- p 149: Supermarkets sell 37% of all comic books.
- p 163: Even among college freshmen from the wealthiest
backgrounds, 37 percent get some sort of financial assistance.
- p 184: 37 percent of women stay in the tub for about half an
- p 245: 37 percent of people claim to enjoy heavy, seasonal
housecare tasks, such as washing windows, defrosting the refrigerator,
repairing, and redecorating.
- p 275: The typical hospital has 163 beds and assets of $37,000
- p 296: 37% of customers order soft drinks with their lunch.
[There were other categories for tea and coffee, so I suppose this
refers specifically to soda.]
- p 348: 37 percent of joggers run one mile.
- p 361: 37 percent of Americans aged 45-54 swim in pools.
- p 377: 37 percent of Presidents had been Republicans.