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Trends and Implications in our Society Wakulla Times February 2012

TRENDS AND IMPLICATIONS IN OUR SOCIETY

By Donnie W. Crum
Sheriff, Wakulla County

At the Florida Sheriff’s Association’s mid-winter conference in Nassau County’s Amelia island in 2011, Dr. Lewis Bender, professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, presented some interesting Trends and Implications that Florida Sheriffs at the association meeting found to be both intriguing and in some cases surprising.

Some of the statistics presented by Dr. Bender the sheriffs were well aware of while others were a little surprising.
The U.S. Census Bureau tells us that in 2002 China ranked as the largest country by population with 1.3 billion people. India ranked second with 1 billion and the United States was third with 288 million. Indonesia was fourth with 231 million people and Brazil was fifth with 180 million.

But by 2050, India is projected to be first with 1.6 billion people and China will be second with 1.4 billion. The U.S. will still rank third with 420 million with Indonesia fourth with 336 million. Nigeria is projected to be fifth with 307 million people.

The National Center for Health Statistics reported that 35.8 percent of U.S. births in 2004 were to unmarried women. The number increased to 40.6 percent in 2008.
On the crime front, suicide rates are higher for law enforcement officers when compared to the general population. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate per 100,000 people is 18 for law enforcement officers and only 14.6 for people ages 25 to 50 and 11.1 for the total U.S. population.
Law enforcement fatalities increased 37 percent from 2009 to 2010 with 117 fatalities reported in 2009 and 160 in 2010. Fifty-nine law enforcement fatalities were by gunfire while 73 were traffic related and 17 were listed by other sources.

A national Survey on Drug Use and Health noted that more than 19 million Americans age 12 or older are users of an illicit drug. The top three drugs were marijuana, prescription misuse and cocaine.

Child pornography is also a growing concern. From 2000 to 2005, the FBI’s Anti-Child-Pornography Initiative noted that convictions and closed cases increased from 476 in 2000 to 994 in 2005.

Identity theft has nearly doubled from 2002 to 2008 as consumer’s logged 161,977 calls in 2002 and 313,982 in 2008, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The prison population grew nearly 15 percent from 2000 to 2007, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 2000, 1.4 million inmates were incarcerated and the number increased to 1.6 million in 2007.

The Department of Homeland Security notes that the Top 10 states with the most illegal immigrants included: California, Texas and Florida with 2.6 million, 1.7 million and 720,000 respectively. The numbers represent seven percent of California’s and Texas’ total share of the population and four percent of Florida’s share of the population. New York, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, New Jersey and Nevada round out the Top 10 of the list. Illegal immigrants represent between four and seven percent of the share of the state’s populations except in Nevada where the 260,000 illegal immigrants represent 10 percent of the population.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the United States ranked seventh largest with an older population as 13 percent of the population was ages 65 and older. Japan ranked at the top with 22.6 percent followed by Germany, Italy, Sweden, Greece and Portugal. The countries ranked had populations of at least 100,000 people.

If you are looking forward to your Social Security check, the Social Security Administration says 48 million people received Social Security benefits in 2005 and the number increased to 52.6 million in 2010. The number is expected to jump to 63 million in 2017 and 91.5 million in 2041.

During the same time frame, the number of citizens age 55 or older approaching retirement increased from 67.8 million in 2005 to 76.7 million in 2010. The numbers are expected to increase to 91.6 million in 2017 and 120 million in 2041.

According to a Harris Interactive poll, 60 percent of Baby Boomers want to retire to a rural or small town. Forty-nine percent want to live in an age restricted community and 38 percent wanted to be close to family. Only 12 percent want to live in an urban or city environment.

The Employment Policy Foundation’s Center for Work and Family Balance reports that in 1950, 66 percent of families were single-earner married couple households. In 2000, the number shrank to 25 percent and it is expected to shrink to 17 percent in 2030.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the median tenure of a typical worker staying on the same job is 4.1 years. Thirty percent stay less than two years and 23 percent stay two to four years. Twenty percent stay on the same job five to nine years and 11 percent stay on for 10 to 14 years. Seventeen percent stay at the same job 15 or more years.

The Financial Freedom Senior Sentiment Survey discovered that one in three 62-year-old and older respondents currently has or is expected to have debt in retirement. Of those individuals who have debt, 14 percent expect to pay it off in less than one year; 41 percent in one to less than five years; 16 percent in five to 10 years; 12 percent in more than 10 years; and 17 percent never expect to pay off their debt.

According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, nationwide public sector employees earn 12 percent less than private sector employees; local government employees earn 7.4 percent less; and state government employees earn 6.8 percent less.
China’s auto market overtook the U.S. to become the largest in the world in 2009 with 13 million cars made to 10.3 million for the U.S. In 2001, the Chinese made 2.1 million cars and the U.S. made 17.2 million.

In 2008, the Big Three automobile makers of Ford, GM and Chrysler held less than 50 percent of the domestic auto market at 47.4 percent. In 1998, the Big Three held 70.1 percent of the domestic auto market.

In 2000 the average cost of health insurance was $6,438 but the number soared to $12,680 in 2008. In 2005, the worker paid $2,713 for health care premiums and the employer paid $8,167. By 2010, the worker paid $3,997 and the employer paid $9,773.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center discovered that 81 percent of women surveyed do the cooking and 39 percent of men do the cooking. Seventy-eight percent of women said they did the cleanup and 54 percent of men said they did the clean up. The telephone survey included 1,009 adults.

From 1995 to 2004, the National Sporting Goods Association discovered that 7 to 11-year-olds taking part in traditional pastimes declined for bicycling, swimming, baseball, fishing and touch football, anywhere from six percent to 19 percent. Video game activities moved children indoors.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse says interaction with family steers children away from substance abuse. Forty-two percent of children ages 12 to 17 said they ate dinner with parents or a guardian seven times a week. Twelve percent said five times per week and 10 percent said four times per week. Five percent said they never ate together.

The Census Bureau stated that in 1980 there were 616,000 single fathers heading households with children younger than age 18. By 2008, the number increased to 2.2 million.

The Kaiser Family Foundation issued a study that noted that children spend more than seven hours a day with various media. For children ages 8 to 18 the average time spent with TV content is 4:29 hours; music/audio is 2:31 hours; computer 1:29 hours; video games is 1:13 hours; print is 38 minutes; and movies is 25 minutes.

A national study by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs noted that 20.1 percent of middle school students never watched an R-rated movie while 30.6 percent sometimes watched the movies; 28.3 percent watched them once in a while and 21 percent always watch them.

The survey said middle school students who have never tried drinking alcohol included 2.9 percent while 12.5 percent said they sometimes drink; 28.3 percent said they drink once in a while and 24.4 percent said they always drink.

Health care professionals note that 17.45 percent of children age 2 to 5 are obese while 32.6 percent age 6 to 11 are obese; 39.6 percent of age 12 to 15 are obese and 51.6 percent of youths ages 16 to 19 are obese.

Over the course of the year an average child will view 1,500 hours of television; attend 800 hours of school; and have 72 hours of conversation with parents. The CTIA Wireless Association and Neilson Company International Communications note that 93 percent of Americans have cellular telephones and 30 percent of cell phone users have smart phones. From June 2009 to June 2010, 1.8 trillion mobile text messages were sent and 56.3 billion mobile multimedia messages were sent during the same time frame. Ninety percent of the global population has access to mobile networks.

With a survey of 780 youths and 2,480 adults, 58 percent of those surveyed age 16 to 20 said they could not imagine life without the Internet and 60 percent of adults ages 45 to 60 said they could not imagine life without the Internet.

Facebook notes that five billion pieces of content are shared weekly; three billion photos are uploaded each month; 400 million active users are worldwide and 70 percent are outside the U.S.; 60 million status updates are posted daily; 35 million users update daily; 130 friends on average per user; and 55 minutes are spent on the site by a typical daily user.

In 2002, there were 1.1 billion fixed phone lines worldwide and the same number of cell phones. In 2008, fixed line phones increased to 1.3 billion and cell phones increased to 4.1 billion.

But there are also encouraging trends as small businesses continue to expand and provide vitality and flexibility. Large U.S. businesses are well positioned to compete in the global market and the interlocking trading, ownership and communication mechanisms of global capitalism make widespread war unlikely.

New sources of energy are appearing in Ethanol, sugar cane, solar power, hydrogen and manure while technology increases our reach and will continue to serve the U.S. in addressing our needs.

Baby Boomers will continue to work and contribute. Immigrants will continue to re-vitalize and energize our workforce and give the U.S. a competitive edge.
There are more than 78 million “Boomers” (1946-1964); 46 million “Xers” (1965-1980) and 76 million “Millennials” (1981 to 1999) to continue and create a whole new competitive generation with strong work values on the horizon.

 

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