9 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The USA
Let’s face it – America is kind of an odd duck. We refuse to use the metric system like everyone else on the planet, we don’t have an official language, and we’re the only country in the world that’s used nuclear weapons during a war. Not the hottest rap sheet – but these 7 facts are even more shocking.
#1: Football coaches make more money than anyone else
Who are the highest paid public employees in the United States? Teachers? Lawyers? Government officials? Of course not. In 39 American states, the highest paying jobs are reserved for college football coaches. Okay, okay, not every multi-million dollar salary goes to football coaches – a few go to basketball coaches too.
#2: Americans don’t like American coffee
While the United States consumes more coffee than France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, we only grow coffee in one state – Hawaii. Quick to turn up our noses at a freshly brewed Kona blend, we’d much rather import our coffee beans from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.
#3: No one wants to live in Alaska
Alaska is over 400 times bigger than the state of Rhode Island, yet has a significantly smaller population than the state of Rhode Island. So Rhode Islanders, listen up – if you’re in need of a little more elbowroom, I hear Fairbanks is really roomy (and cold) this time of year.
#4: The U.S. is filled with shopaholics
Less than half of all Americans save a portion of their paycheck – as in, not one red cent dropped into a savings account. Is that because we’re living check to check, or because there’s so much cool stuff to buy on Amazon? Either way, when retirement comes, a lot of us are screwed.
#5: American police shoot more people than Canadian police (..and Chinese police, and German police..)
In 2014, there were 16 people who died at the hands of Canadian and Chinese police officers, and zero people who died at the hands of German police officers. In the United States, 1100 people were killed by police in 2014.
#6: More women graduate from college than men
More than half of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in the U.S. in 2013 went to female students. Maybe that’s because women now outnumber men for college enrollment and are less likely to drop out.
But is all that education worth it? Confusingly, uber-educated American women still make just 78 cents for every dollar made by an American man.
#7: American millionaires like to live close to each other
In the United States, if you want to get rich quick, forget rubbing shoulders with starlets and tech bros in New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Instead, hightail it over to Maryland, home to the most millionaires per capita in the United States.
#8: The USA Ranks Among The Worlds Most Obese Societies
Although out fatted by the likes of Fiji, Samoa, Marshall Islands and Kuwait, the USA is by far at the top of the list when looking at countries with significant populations. The CDC states that more than one third of the adult population is categorized as obese (36.7%) with an estimate medical cost associated with obesity of $147 Billion in 2008.
#9: Student related debt could bail out 4 countries.
The combined debt owed for student loans in the USA is more than 3 times that owed by Greece as a country to the rest of the world or the combined debt of Greece, Mexico, Indonesia and Ireland. Approximately 43 million people in the US owe on average $30,000 in student related debt. This was 1.36 trillion dollars in 2015 which is over 3 times the US$360B owed by Greece.
Have you travelled to the United States?
What shocked you the most?
Let us know in the comments below!
Rebecca Anne Nguyen is a freelance writer and the Founder of TheHappyPassport.com, an inspiration site for solo female travellers.