One of the most inspiring people blogging about simplicity and minimalism is Joshua Becker from Arizona. He recently published some statistics for the US that might be interesting for European readers as well since we have the same tendency. I am posting an excerpt of Joshuas list that was originally posted here.
- There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times).
- The average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years (NPR).
- And still, 1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage—the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the past four decades. (New York Times Magazine).
- British research found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph).
- 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed globally (UCLA).
- The average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually (Forbes).
- While the average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year (Huffington Post).
- American homes have more television sets than people. And those television sets are turned on for more than a third of the day—eight hours, 14 minutes (USA Today).
- Some reports indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago (The Story of Stuff).
- Currently, the 12 percent of the world’s population that lives in North America and Western Europe account for 60 percent of private consumption spending, while the one-third living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 3.2 percent (Worldwatch Institute).
- Americans spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($100 billion) than on higher education (Psychology Today).
- Shopping malls outnumber high schools. And 93% of teenage girls rank shopping as their favorite pastime (Affluenza).
- Women will spend more than eight years of their lives shopping (The Daily Mail).
- Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items.The research found we lose up to nine items every day—or 198,743 in a lifetime. Phones, keys, sunglasses, and paperwork top the list (The Daily Mail).
- Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods—in other words, items they do not need (The Wall Street Journal).
That I owned so much stuff over the last years is one part of the story, that I owned so much stuff I didn’t really need is the other. What about you?