11 statistics that will change your perception of consumerism


This weekend, consumers will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy flat-screen TVs, early Christmas gifts, portable electronics and other items on sale for Black Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving tradition has become something of a drinking feast, with some shoppers leaving their turkey dinners in line the night before for a chance to save a few hundred dollars on a product they might even already own.

On the biggest shopping day of the year, we decided to take a look at some of the numbers to show just how powerful the American obsession with consumerism is.

The amount Americans spend in a single weekend is more than half of the total they donate to churches in an entire year.

In 2014, Americans spent $ 57.4 billion Black Friday weekend only. They donated $ 103 billion to churches during the The whole year.

Enough K-Cups were thrown away in 2014 to circle the Earth 12 times.

According to their creator, K-Cups are almost impossible to recycle.

Almost 40 percent of the food in America is lost.

Americans allow $ 165 billion worth of food to waste every year. Globally, stunted growth due to malnutrition and lack of food affects 161 million children around the world every year.

In America, more money is spent on fashion accessories as tuition.

The amount spent on shoes, watches and jewelry alone totals $ 100 billion.

Rich nations almost waste so much food is produced throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Food wasted in developed countries each year: 222 million tonnes; Annual net food production in sub-Saharan Africa: 230 million tonnes.

Almost half of the world‘s toys are found in America.

Despite makeup just over 3 percent of the world’s child population, Americans children consume 40 percent toys of the world.

The average American household has over $ 7,500 in consumer debt.

The annual average household income for the world’s population is only $ 9,700.

America creates more electronic waste than any other nation on earth.

See also

Despite being less than a quarter the size of China, Americans use over a million tonnes more electronics than the country. Relatively little of it is recycled.

Houses in the United States contain more televisions than them people.

On average, homes in the United States have three working televisions.

12 percent of the population spends more than half of the expenses.

Although it represents only 12 percent of the world’s population population, the United States and Western Europe represent 60 percent of private consumption expenses.

Plastic kills 1 million seabirds every year.

Americans use 100 billion plastic bags annually.

Editor’s Note: A version of this story was published in 2015.

Jesse Carey is a mainstay of the weekly RELEVANT podcast and a member of the RELEVANT Board of Directors. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two children.


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