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19 Funny Statistics That Are Hard to Believe

How do you compare to this data gathered on American adults?

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How do you compare?

These funny statistics will give you insight into the people we share this earth with. From the giggle-worthy to the hilarious, these stats are so ridiculous that they’re almost hard to believe. Just don’t confuse these stats with the 51 facts everyone believes that are actually false.

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The average American…

The average American believes they are smarter than the average American, according to a study by the National Journal. Fifty-five percent of people polled said they thought they were smarter than the average American, while about 35 percent thought they were only just as smart as everyone else.

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Some pretty ghostly findings

Believe it or not, 45 percent of Americans think that ghosts and demons are real, according to Newsweek. If you’re one of them, you’ll likely enjoy these true ghost stories from the most haunted places in the world.

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America is a TV addicted nation

More people would have difficulty giving up watching TV and streaming shows for 40 days than the number of people who would struggle giving up chocolate, alcohol, soda, and fast-food for the same amount of time combined, according to a YouGov poll.

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That’s a lot of trash

Speaking of the average American, each one produces about 5.91 pounds of waste every day. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 4.4 pounds per person goes into the trash each day, while only 1.51 pounds are recycled.

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How self-centered is this planet?

One in four Americans surveyed thought that the sun goes around the earth, NPR reports. Elementary school science teachers everywhere are shaking their heads so let’s set the record straight: the earth goes around the sun. That basic fact might still hold up after all this time, but here are some of the facts you learned in school that are no longer true.

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Yes, you are getting more robocalls

Nearly half of all phone calls Americans received last year were some form of robocall, the Washington Post reports. How annoying! Hopefully, this statistic will decrease drastically going forward. Here’s what this telemarketer says you can do to get rid of them.

Time to step into a new world
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Harvard may be our “safety” plan

Getting into Harvard may be difficult, but getting a job at Walmart might just be harder, according to Business Insider. The acceptance rate at Harvard is 5.2 percent but when Washington, D.C., got its very first Walmart, over 23,000 applicants applied for just 600 jobs. The 2.6 percent acceptance rate for the Walmart jobs is nearly twice as selective as Harvard!

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Americans love French fries

A recent YouGov survey of 20,000 Americans found that Americans preferred French fries to every other way to eat a potato. Baked potatoes and mashed potatoes tied for second place.

The White House in Washington, DC
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Can you name every president?

Think you know your presidential history? Well, 71 percent of Americans name Alexander Hamilton as a U.S. president… except he wasn’t, according to a survey. How’s that for funny statistics?

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We bet you’re reading this on your phone…

Why? Because nearly all Americans—96 percent—own a cellphone of some kind, and 81 percent own a smartphone. And despite the fact that your cell phone is way dirtier than you thought, a survey found that 27 percent of Americans clean their phones less often than once a month, or never.

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Americans like to invest

As of 2019, 55 percent of Americans had money invested in the stock market. This includes individual stock, mutual funds, a 401K, and IRAs. Oddly enough, according to a 2020 YouGov poll, only 28 percent of the 10,592 Americans said that what happens in the stock market matters to them “a great deal.”

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We’re enjoying our jobs

Well, this is heartening. Thirty-four percent of Americans say they are “engaged” (read: “not bored to tears”) at work. If these funny statistics are news to you, check out these other weird facts most people don’t know.

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You definitely need more sleep

Yikes! More than a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep—which is a recommended seven hours a night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Painted Ladies of San Francisco, USA

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Well, here’s some funny statistics. A solid chunk of Americans, 31 percent to be exact, don’t know their neighbors at all. Guess it’s time to host a block party—impress your neighbors with these random trivia facts you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Some of us haven’t traveled much

This statistic is actually pretty shocking—according to a small survey reported on by Forbes, 11 percent of survey respondents have never left their home state. And over half of those survey takers said they’ve visited ten states or fewer.


You’re reading this online but…

It might be time to give the Internet a break, folks. Over a quarter of Americans, 26 percent, report that they are online “almost constantly.” For some more funny statistics, check out all of the fascinating things that will happen in the next 60 seconds.

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We’re a multi-lingual society

When they’re home 21 percent of Americans speak a language other than English.

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You might not believe it but 20 percent of Valentine’s Day gifts are purchased for none other than our favorite furry pets.

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Bogus stats

Of course, if you’re like three-quarters of Americans, you probably don’t believe most of these statistics for this reason: 75 percent of Americans, polled by Kantar, didn’t trust survey results to be unbiased. Can’t get enough of these funny statistics? Then get a load of these fun, interesting facts about practically everything.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest