talking statistics (not that i really know anything about statistics other than i find some of them interesting in a trivia sort of way)

Sometimes I enjoy looking at statistics, not the “high-brow you gotta know stuff to understand” type of statistics but rather the “average person ‘this is interesting trivia'” type of statistics.

Today I was noticing some stats listed at These stats were about women (and men):
Average life expectancy for women is 81 years versus 73 years for men (Social Security Administration, 2006).
But then it says,
The average age of widowhood for women is 55 years old (US Census, 2006).

If men live, on average, until the age of 73; how are women (on average) becoming widows at age of 55? How does that work out? What is this statistic saying? Does it mean that there are that many single older people running around? Is this a statistic that also gives an indication to the ammount of divorces in our society?

Women 65 years or older today have a 44% chance of entering a nursing home at some point in their lives (Genworth Financial, 2006).

That is almost half of the older women in our society.

But then in just 3 short years:
By 2010, women are expected to own half of wealth in the United States (Women in Higher Education, 2007).

And if the Genworth Financial stat is true, nursing homes will just take that wealth.

Interesting stuff to talk and ponder about over coffee.


3 Responses to “talking statistics (not that i really know anything about statistics other than i find some of them interesting in a trivia sort of way)”

  1. Matthew Says:


  2. Elizabeth Says:

    That’s a weird one. Maybe they are either marrying way older men, or men who are married live a lot fewer years? Or a combination? Hmm.

    On my way home from church camp today I turned on NPR in time to hear this statistic: in Zimbabwe, the average life expectancy of a woman is 38. *I’m* 38. My daughter said “don’t move to Zimbabwe!” I said that even if I did and lived there the rest of my life, I’d bring with me my upbringing and my social status and that stat wouldn’t be applicable.

  3. Belladonna Says:

    The thing to remember about statistics is that they are a lot like a woman’s bikini. What they reveal can be quite interesting, but what they may cover up can be crucial. Numbers can be manipulated all sorts of ways.

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