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Some facts I've acquired by hook or by crook.. mainly UK, some US:

National Study of Youth & Religion, released in early 2007

Study by National Study of Youth & Religion, entitled 'Portraits of Protestant Teens' (http://www.youthandreligion.org). It made pretty startling reading about beliefs (and maybe even parenting / discipleship) among young people in the US..

- 59% of Protestant teens (13-17) report regular church attendance, (attend church 1-3 times per month), with 41% of all teenagers reporting regular church attendance.

- 47% of Protestant teens reported active involvement in their church's youth group compared to 38% of all teens. Many also reported that they attend Sunday School "a few times a month," participate in youth retreats, weekends away etc.

- 90% of Protestant teens say they believe in God, compared to 85% of all teens. Only 12% of all teens say they are "unsure about the existence of God."

- 55% of Protestant teens believe in life after death - a belief held by 50% of all teenagers, generally.

- 69 percent of Protestant teens say they have made "a personal commitment to live for God". However, only 32% read the Bible once a week or more. 19% say they have had sexual intercourse in the last year compared to 22% of those who are un-churched.

63% of Protestant teens report cheating in school compared to only 58% of all teens.

41% say that morals are relative - that "there are no definite rights or wrongs for everybody."

The website further quotes a Barna Research study (http://www.barna.org) which showed more than one-third of Protestant teens say that Church "does not make them think about important things," and 51% say that church "is not a good place to talk about serious issues." Only one-third of 8-to-12-year-olds said the church has made "a positive difference" in their life and "most of them would rather be popular than to do what is morally right."

But it's not just young people where accepted 'Christian' beliefs aren't always the norm. According to Barna Research, "Among those adults who attend Protestant churches, only twenty-three percent named their faith in God as their top priority in life."

TV Facts from UK

- Young people watch 18,000 adverts each year (who says adverts don't work..)
- Kids watch 3 hours of TV a day on average
- The average 6 year-old spends more time watching TV in their life than talking to their parents
- 50% of British 5-6 year-olds have a TV in their own room. 30% are able to watch the TV unsupervised after the 9pm watershed
- By their teens, young people will have watched over 8000 murders on TV and 100,000 random acts of violence
- The average child reaches the end of their school age having watched 5000 hours of TV
- By the time they leave school, the average young person has spent more time watching TV than in the classroom
- By age 70, the average person will have spent between 7-10 years watching TV.

LONDON UNDERGROUND

According to the Dept of Forensics at University College London who removed a seat from a London Tube Train:

- they found the remains of 6 mice and 2 rats
- it's estimated thst by holding the arm rest on the Underground, you transmit to your body the sweat and oils of 400 other people
- it's estimated that it is healthier to smoke 5 cigarettes a day than to travel on the Underground for 1 day
- it's estimated that it's more hygienic to wash your hands on the inside of a reently flushed toilet before eating than to have had your hands on an Underground seat
- it's estimated that more working days are lost to bugs and illnesses from the Underground than for any other reason including alcohol

OTHER GENERAL FACTS

Around 100,000 pupils are truant in order to earn money (MORI). 29% of young people who work are too tired for school work. Popular jobs are baby sitting (37%), paper rounds (35%), cleaning (19%), shop work (16%)

Each year in the UK there are some strange causes of accidents: 1207 involving chainsaws, 3421 injuries by clothes baskets, 146 were hurt using bread bins, 329 toilet roll holder related injuries, 5615 accidents involving wellies, 5945 involving trousers (victims included a 29-year-old woman who burned herself while ironing trousers she was still wearing) and 37 involving tea cosies

Hospital cases caused by socks and tights also rose by nearly 1000 to 10,773. Beanbag injuries climbed from 957 to 1317, making the seats four times as dangerous as meat cleavers and three times as dangerous as rat or mouse poison. However there was a drop in the number of injuries inflicted by armchairs, which fell from 18,690 to 16,662. (Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System)

RoSPA's Top Ten of dangerous garden equipment shows mowers in Number One spot, resulting in more than 7,100 UK accidents according to latest figures. The other rankings are: 2, Hedgetrimmers (5,000 accidents); 3, Secateurs (4,400); 4, Flower pots (4,300); 5, Spades 3,700; 6, Flower tubs (2,600); 7, Forks (2,400); 8, Shears (2,000); 9, Wheelbarrows (1,900); 10, Hoes (1,800)

The average adult laughs 15 times a day; the average child laughs 400 times a day.

On average, U.S. hospitals treat 120 toilet seat-related injuries every day.

There is 1 Christian worker in the USA for every 280 people. The ratio outside the US is 1 worker for every 400,000 people.

I was told that there is 1 youth worker in New York to every 35,000 young people.

The highest earning music artist raodshow tour in the USA in 2002 was Paul McCartney who made a massive £64 million gross. Ticket prices were up to £155. Next up was The Rolling Stones with £55 million. Ticket prices were up to £220. In the Top 10 were Cher, Elton John and Aerosmith. (Obviously any remotely modern or decent music was missing!!) Overall gig receipts were £1.3 billion!

According to 2002 research by the Sunday Telegraph, of 500 Church of England clergy surveyed, 27% expressed scepticism about the miraculous nature of Christ's birth. Many said the story resulted from poor Biblical translations.. I believe the Bible is 100% truth (as Jesus did) - man, some of these guys need an injection of the Holy Spirit.. needles and Bibles on standby!!

Continental Research - January 2002 Mobile Phone Report

- Average monthly spends (£18.91, for Jan 2002)
- Motivations for upgrading handsets (45 per cent want a 'smarter' looking handset)
- 400,000 mobiles have been dunked in drinks
- 600,000 were loosened into the loo
- 200,000 have taken a spin in washing machines
- 2.9m mobiles simply broke
- 1.6m were lost, never to be found.

- 1.3 million people had their mobile stolen in 2001 (around 4 per cent of mobile users)
- Londoners are more than twice as likely to be victims than anywhere else in the UK
- Teenagers/early 20s are the most likely victims, 11 per cent of 15-24s have suffered from this crime

Percentage of 5 basic food groups to have in your diet:

- 33% fruit and veg
- 33% bread, potatoes, rice, pasta
- 15% milk and dairy
- 12% meat and fish
- 7% fat and sugary foods

Biggest causes of stress in the UK

- Job (1 in 4)
- Family (1 in 5)
- Money (nearly 1 in 5)
- Queuing (over 1 in 20)
- Relationships/Friends (1 in 14)
- School, College, University (applies to 25% of 16-24s)
- Computers
- Environment
- Commuting

Smoking

- Kills around 122,000-125,000 people each year in the UK
- Tobacco smoke has over 4000 chemicals in it
- Smoking causes 11% of all female deaths

- 1 in 7 couples are infertile and smoking has a major impact. If a pregnant mother smokes it has been proven to affect the sperm count of a male child which remains through their adult life.

(Basic food groups, stress causes and smoking facts above from DrFosters.com)

In the last few years, cocaine use among young people has risen from 2% to 5% (according to government figures)

Stress - what we can and cannot control - as a a percentage

- Past events we can't influence (45%)
- Future events we can't influence (40%)
- Future events unlikely to influence (5%)
- Future events we can influence (5%)
- Past events we have influence over (eg in our mind) (5%)

- Total we can influence - only 10%

EASTER

$1.5bn spent on Easter candy each year in the US..
- 34% on chocolate bunnies
- 28% on jelly beans
- 14% on 'other'
- 9% on malted eggs
- 8% on cream filled eggs
- 5% on marshmallow animals
- 2% don't know (?!?)

FATHER'S DAY

Adults spent an average of $72 for Father's Day in the US in 1999
- 73% got cards
- 40% got clothes
- 35% got dinner
- 25% got sporting goods
- 23% got home improvement items
- 15% got gardening items
- 5% got electronics

(International Mass Retail Association, USA Today, June 17, 1999)

HALLOWEEN - click here for the session on this

- The average American will spend $81 on candy, costumes and pumpkins at Halloween
- 48% of adults feel Halloween is as much a holiday for them as for the kids
- 45% rank it equal to or above New Year's Eve (this is definitely not the case in the UK!!)

(American Express Retail Index, USA Today, Oct 28, 1998)

Who plans to dress up for Halloween (in the US):
- 18% are 18 plus
- 36% are under 18
(presumably the other 46% are in some other age group..!)

(International Mass Retail Association, USA Today, Oct 29, 1998)

CHRISTMAS

- Holiday shoppers in the US spent an average of $764 on gifts in 1996. (Must be over $1000 by Christmas 2001). Up 12% from 1995

(USA Today, Nov 21, 1996)

- between Thanksgiving (Dec 25) and New Year, trash haulers will pick up more than 1.1 million additional tons of waste per week

(USA Today, Nov 29-DEC 1, 1996)

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