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Interesting statistics

Author: Dr Simon Moss

This page presents some interesting statistics or facts, which are intended to highlight the importance of some issue. For example, this information could be included in the introduction of a report to demonstrate the topic is consequential.

Aggression and violence In the US, as reported by a sample of approximately 800 employees, 10% of these individuals maintained they witness incivilities--snide remarks, derogatory comments, pushing in front of someone, snatching an item from someone, and so forth--daily (Pearson & Porath, 2005)& 20% of these individuals maintain they were victims of such behavior at least once a week. In a Canadian sample, the percentages were more than double these levels (Pearson & Porath, 2005). Customers who witness these incivilities will tend to evaluate the entire organization, and not just the perpetrators, unfavorably (Porath, MacInnis, & Folkes, 2010).

In the US, if a woman is murdered, and she is known to have been battered by her husband, the likelihood she was killed by her spouse approximates 90% (Gigerenzer, 2002).

In the US, 30 to 40% of women who are murdered are killed by their romantic partner (Reiss & Roth, 1993)

In the US, every year, 1 in 1000 women over the age of 12 are raped (Reiss & Roth, 1993)

During the 1990s, a few hundred Neojihadist websites emerged, presenting propaganda, facilitating communication amongst members, and offering educational material, often violent in nature. By 2006, the figure had increased to over 5000 (Weimann, 2006).

During the eight years after the September 11 attacks, 240 000 American inmates have converted to Islam--a conversion that can both facilitate rehabilitation and enhance resilience as well as, potentially, provoke radical behavior (Hamm, 2009).

In the 20th century, approximately 36 million individuals have been killed in war and over 119 million more individuals have been killed in genocide and massacres, mainly by totalitarian governments (Bond, 2004).

In 2009, approximately 100 Muslims are currently in UK prisons on charges that relate to terrorism (Brandon, 2009).

With advances in modern technology, the amount of intelligence information that is collected is often overwhelming. In Operation Crevice, intended to prevent an attack in an English shopping centre, MI5 collected 45,000 hours of monitoring and transcription and 34,000 hours of surveillance, coupled with the analysis of 4020 telephone calls. Despite these attempts, they overlooked two terrorists--Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shazad Tanweer--who later committed the 7 July London bombings (Intelligence and Security Committee, 2009).

In the US, in response to a survey in which Muslims were asked "Can suicide bombing of civilian targets to defend Islam be justified, only 1% of respondents endorsed "often" and 7% endorsed "sometimes" (Pew Research Center, 2007).

During the years 1980 to 2003, suicide attacks represented only 3% of terrorist attacks but were responsible for 48% of the deaths that can imputed to terrorism (Pape, 2006).

Corporate boards In the US, from 1973 to 1998, the percentage of large corporate boards with former government officials has increased from 14% to 53%, even though the average number of outside directors has diminished from 16 to 9 (Korn/Ferry International, 2000).

Customer satisfaction In medium-sized firms, a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction has been shown to be associated with an 11.4% increase in return on investment, a $654 million increase in market value of equity, and a $55 million increase in net operating cash flow (Anderson & Fornell, 2000& Gruca & Rego, 2005& see also Subramony, Krause, Norton, & Burns, 2008).

When employees feel their pay is competitive and appropriate, customers of their organization are more likely to be satisfied. Indeed, when the level of pay increases by one standard deviation, customer satisfaction increases by .30 of a standard deviation (Subramony, Krause, Norton, & Burns, 2008). In particular, as pay increases, morale improves& employees thus devote more effort to employees and their excitement is translated to customers.

Discrimination In the US, men are 4 times more likely to occupy the highest levels of management than women, even though females constitute 46% of the workforce (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008).

In a survey of Muslim individuals, living in the UK, 80% of the respondents maintained they had been the target of discrimination (Ameli, Manzur, & Merali, 2004). This problem is rife, partly because legislation prevents discrimination against racial groups but not religious groups--although Sikhs and Jews, but not Muslims, have been defined as racial groups because they entail less choice (for a discussion, see Allen, 2005).

Furthermore, in the US, individuals with white skin are 11 times more likely to occupy management positions than individuals with black skin (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006).

Bertrand and Mullainathan (2004) showed that job applicants with White European names were twice as likely to receive telephone calls from recruiters, after submitting their resume, than job applicants with African American names. In this study, the resumes were identical.

Economic instability During the late 2000s, the price of crude oil spiked from about $30 a barrel to $147, before plummeting to $33 a barrel and then doubling soon afterwards. During this spiked, however, supply increased and demand diminished. Hence, the rise cannot be ascribed to demand and supply curves. Instead, the spike is more consistent with a speculative bubble, derived from expectations of increases (see Orrell, 2010).

Before the financial crisis in the late 2000s, investment banks like Lehman brothers were leveraged at about 30 to 1. That is, their liabilities were 29/30ths of their assets (see Orrell, 2010).

On average, in the US, the stock market, as gauged by the S&P 500, falls by 1.3% during September, as winter approaches (see Orrell, 2010).

Before the banks in Iceland crashed during 2008, the privatized banks had lent approximately 10 times the GDP of this nation. Thus, when depositors withdrew their cash because of doubts about Iceland, the banks could no longer attract credit and the nation could not pay creditors (see Orrell, 2010).

Education According to some research, the percentage of students who are absent from school, at least in the US, might be as high as 30% (Ingersoll & LeBoeuf, 1997).

Executive pay In 2000, at Enron, the 200 top executives earned an estimated $1.4 US billion, $7 US million per individual (Pepper, 2006).

In 2000, CEO pay, in the US, has been estimated to be 350 times the salary of an average employee (Rynes & Gerhart, 2000).

Incentives, which primarily comprise stock options, represent approximately 70% of the compensation that CEOs receive in the US (Chingos, & Contributors from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Inc, 2004).

Finances Suppose you invested 1 $US in 1925. In 2005, 80 years later, your return would be 3.7% a year if you had invested this dollar in US government bonds. The return would be 10.4% if you had invested this dollar in a mutual fund with shares in the S&P 500. Inflation during this time, on average, was 3% a year (Thaler & Sunstein, 2009).

Health and safety In the US, during 2004 alone, 4.3 million injuries and illnesses that relate to work were reported, 1.3 million of which culminated in lost work time (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005).

Health care premiums, which significantly depend on mental health, rose by 60% from 2000 to 2004 in the US and now approximate $7009 per employee (Eishen, Grossmeier, & Gold, 2005).

Indirect costs of health complaints, including mental health-which includes productivity, recruitment fees, training costs, supervision time demands, and overtime pay-approximates three times the direct costs of wage replacement and healthcare to the affected employees (Gallagher & Morgan, 2002).

Honesty A survey of two hospitals--in Boston and Rhode Island respectively--revealed that only 40% of patients with HIV disclosed this diagnosis to their partner (Stein, Freedberg, Sullivan, avetsky, Levenson, Hingson, & Samet, 1998).

About 90% of people concede they have engaged in some form of faking during job selections (Levishana & Campion, 2007).

Income inequality In Japan and Sweden, the richest 20% of people earn four times the income as the poorest 20% of people. However, in Singapore and the UK, the richest 20% of people earn approximately nine times the income as the poorest 20% of people (National Opinion Research Center, 1999, cited by Wilkinson & Pickett, 2009).

Unemployment benefits vary considerably across OECD nations. For example, in Japan, South Korea, and Poland, unemployed individuals earn approximately 10% or less than other people with similar demographics. In Australia, UK, and Germany, this percentage approximates 20%. In Austria, Italy, and Norway, this figure approximates 30%. Finally, in some nations, such as Belgium, Iceland, and France this percentage is about 40% (see Stavrova, Schlosser, & Fetchenhauer, 2011).

Learning After 2 years, medical students forget over 50% of the basic science knowledge they acquired (Custers, 2010)--and, after 25 years, they forget over 80% of this knowledge (Custers & ten Cate, 2011).

Networking In the UK, between 2001 and 2005, the government has invested over 125 million pounds in incubation activities--hubs that facilitate networking for young firms (DTI, 2001).

Compared with the 2.5% unhappiest individuals, the 7% happiest individuals are twice as likely to engage in substantive conversations--that is, conversations in which genuine information is exchanged--rather than small talk (Mehl, Vazire, Holleran, & Clark, 2010).

Poverty In Britain, 16% of children living in poverty--with household incomes of less than 100 pounds a week--are experiencing mental health problems, whereas 6% of children living in better conditions--with household incomes of more than 500 pounds a week--are experiencing mental health problems (Meltzer, Gatwood, Goodman, & Ford, 1999).

In the US, each year, approximately 44,000 to 98,000 individuals die in hospital as a consequence of documented, preventable medical errors (Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 2000).

Each year, approximately 1 in every 7000 inhabitants of the US will die in a motor vehicle accident (Ross, 1999).

Power and control According to a survey of 30 private investigators, even after clients are informed their spouse has engaged in an act of infidelity, 92% of these individuals still prefer to observe the photographs that depict this act. Even though only 8% of clients feel that viewing the photographs will be helpful, individuals are still often motivated to seek unpleasant knowledge to resolve their curiosity, called the paradox of Alypius (Kruger & Evans, 2009).

In 2010, seven of the ten largest companies in the world operated in the oil and gas industry, such as ExxonMobil (see Orrell, 2010).

Relative to other electricity companies, nonprofit electricity companies tend to be 11% less expensive and more likely to offer sustainable alternatives (Alperovitz, 2004).

Substance abuse According to a survey, conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, 44% of college students who responded had engaged in binge drinking during the previous fortnight (Wechsler, Lee, Kuo, & Lee, 2000).

In the US, approximately 20% of people aged 13 or over concede to binge drinking at least one a month (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002).

Teamwork and trust In the United States, 90% of employees, at least sometimes, work in team settings (see Casio, 1998& Gordon, 1992). This percentage is lower, but still exceeds 55%, in the majority of European nations (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2007)

In Norway, 65% of people agree with the question "Most people can be trusted"& in Brazil, only 3% of people agree with this question. Finally, in Anglo-Saxon nations, such as Australia and the United States, between 30 and 40% of people agree with this question (World Values Survey, 1997, cited in Halpern, 2005).

In Portugal, only 10% of individuals agree to this statement that "Most people can be trusted" (World Bank, 2006).

In the USA, in 1960, 60% of individuals agreed to the statement "Most people can be trusted". This percentage dropped to 40% in 2004 (National Opinion Research Center, 1999, cited by Wilkinson & Pickett, 2009).

Training and development A series of executive coaching sessions, coupled with subsequent telephone calls, tends to cost between $3000 US and $12,000 US per executive (Harris, 1999).

In 1991, Cascio (1991) estimated that computer programmers in the top 15% of employees offered $10,871 more value than do their average counterparts.

Unsurprisingly, when organizations offer training, employees are more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs. On average, the benefits of training are equivalent to a 17.7% increase in wages (Budria, 2012). These effects persist after control tenure, education, wage, and other variables. Arguably, such training increases the likelihood that employees feel valued and supported as well as believe their expectations have been fulfilled.

During 2009, in the United States, 134.07 billion dollars was devoted to training and development in organizations (Paradise, 2009).

Well being In the US, dual earners worked 81 hours a week, on average, in 1977. However, they worked 91 hours a week in 2002, an increase by 10 hours, according to some estimates (Bond, Thompson, Galinsky, & Prottas, 2003).

In 2000, Americans spent approximately $563 million on self help books (Paul, 2001).

From about 1955 to 2000, suicide rates across the world have increased by 60% (van Praag, 2002). Suicide is a more common cause of death than wars or homicides combined.

About 47% of Americans feel they are not granted enough time in their daily life, as uncovered by a poll of 1000 individuals (Carroll, 2008).

In the United States, twice as many people die from suicide than homicide (Centers for Disease Control, 2012)& 36 000 die from suicide

Work attitudes and turnover The prevalence disengagement at work in the US, called the engagement gap, has been estimated to cost American businesses approximately $300 billion a year (Kowalski, 2003).

The costs that organizations incur when an employee leaves voluntarily typically range from 75% to 150% of their annual salary, depending on their job, as estimated by Johnson (2001).

In the US, in 2000, 21% of individuals at organizations with 1000 to 5000 employees departed voluntarily that year. Furthermore, 24% of individuals at organizations with more than 5000 employees departed voluntarily that year (2000 Survey of Human Resource Management Retention Practices Survey, as cited in Attridge, 2005).

Organizations such as the Saratoga Institute, Development Dimensions International, and Kwasha Lipton all estimate the costs of employee departures--the costs of recruitment and training, for example--approximate or exceed 150% of the annual wage of these individuals (Ahlrichs, 2000).


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Alperovitz, G. (2004). America Beyond Capitalism. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Ameli, S. R., Manzur, E., & Merali, A. (2004). British Muslims' Expectations of the Governmnet: Social Discrimination Across the Muslim Divide. Wembley: Islamic Human Rights Commission.

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Attridge, M. (2005). The business case for the integration of employee assistance, work-life, and wellness services. A literature review. In M. Attridge, P. A. Herlihy, & R. D. Maiden (Eds), The integration of employees assistance, work/life, and wellness services (pp. 31-55). NY: Haworth.

Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2004). Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination. American Economic Review, 94, 991-1013.

Bond, J., Thompson, C., Galinsky, E., & Prottas, D. (2003). Highlights of the National Study of the Changing Workforce. Family and Work Institute, No. 3.

Bond, M. H. (2004). Culture and aggression--from context to coercion. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8, 62-78.

Brandon, J. (2009). Unlocking Al-Qaeda: Islamic extremism in British Prisons. Quilliam.

Budria, S. (2012). The shadow value of employer-provided training. Journal of Economic Psychology, 33, 494-514. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2012.01.001

Carroll, J. (2008). Time pressures, stress common for Americans. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/103456/Time-Pressures-Stress-Common-Americans.aspx

Cascio, W. F. (1991). Costing human resources: The financial impact of behavior in organizations. Boston: PWS Kent.

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Chingos, P. T., & Contributors from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Inc. (2004). Responsible executive compensation for a new era of accountability. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Custers, E. (2010). Long-term retention of basic science knowledge: A review study. Advances in Health Science Education: Theory and Practice, 15, 109-128.

Custers, E., & ten Cate, O. (2011). Very long-term retention of basic science knowledge in doctors after graduation. Medical Education, 45, 422-430.

DTI (2001). The Government's Expenditure Plans 2001-02 to 2003-04 and Main Estimates 2001-02, Cm 5112. London: The Stationery Office.

Eishen, B. D., Grossmeier, J., & Gold, D. B. (2005). Fairview alive-an integrated strategy for enhancing the health and well-being of employees. In M. Attridge, P. A. Herlihy, & R. D. Maiden (Eds), The integration of employees assistance, work/life, and wellness services (pp. 263-279). NY: Haworth.

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. (2007). Teamwork and high performance work organization. Loughlinstown, Ireland: Eurofound Report.

Gallagher, P. A., & Morgan, C. L. (2002). Defining the tangible: Measuring the indirect costs related to workers' absence. Health & Productivity Magazine, 1, 26-27.

Gigerenzer, G. (2002). Reckoning with risk: Learning to live with uncertainty. London: Penguin.

Gordon, J. (1992). Work teams: How far have they come? Training, 29, 59-65.

Halpern, D. (2005). Social capital. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Hamm, M. S., (2009). Prison Islam in the age of sacred terror. British Journal of Criminology, 49, 667-685.

Harris, M. (1999). Practice network: Look it's an I-O psychologist...No, it's a trainer...No, it's an executive coach. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 36, 38-42.

Ingersoll, S., & LeBoeuf, D. (1997). Reaching out to youth out of the education mainstream [Bulletin]. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Intelligence and Security Committee (2009). Could 7/7 have been prevented? Review of the intelligence on the London terrorist attacks on 7 July 2005. London: Office of Public Sector Information.

Johnson, W. G. (2001). Economic analysis of health and productivity: An integrated approach to health. White article for IHPM. Scottsdale, AZ: Institute for Health and Productivity Management.

Kohn, L. T., Corrigan, J. M., & Donaldson, M. S. (Eds.) (2000). To err is human: Building a safer health system. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

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Kowalski, B. (2003). The engagement gap. Training, 40, 62.

Kruger, J., & Evans, M. (2009). The paradox of Alypius and the pursuit of unwanted information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1173-1179.

Levashina, J., & Campion, M. (2007). Measuring faking in the employment interview: Development and validation of an interview faking behaviour scale. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1638-1656. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.6.1638.

Mark, T. L., Levit, K. R., Buck, J. A., Coffey, R. M., & Vandivort-Warren, R. (2007). Mental health treatment expenditure trends 1986-2003. Psychiatric Services, 58, 1041-1048.

Mehl, M. R., Vazire, S., Holleran, S. E., & Clark, C. S. (2010). Eavesdropping on happiness : Well-being is related to having less small talk and more substantive conversations. Psychological Science, 21, 539-541.

Meltzer, H., Gatwood, R., Goodman, R., & Ford, T. (1999). The mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain. London: Social Survey Division for National Statistics.

National Opinion Research Center (1999). General Social Survey. Chicago, NORC.

Orrell, D. (2010). Economyths: Ten ways that economics gets it wrong. London: Icon Books.

Pape, R. (2006). Dying to win: The strategic logic of suicide terrorism. Melbourne: Scribe.

Paradise, A. (2009). 2009 state of the industry report. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development.

Paul, A.M. (2001). Self help: Shattering the myths. Psychology Today, March.

Pearson, C. M. & Porath, C. L. (2005). On the nature, consequences, and remedies of workplace incivility: No time for "nice"? Think again. Academy of Management Executive, 19, 7-18.

Pepper, S. (2006). Senior executive reward: Key models and practices. Burlington, VT: Gower.

Pew Research Center (2007). Muslim Americans: Mostly middle-class and mainstream. Washington, Pew Research Center.

Porath, C., MacInnis, D., & Folkes, V. (2010). Witnessing incivility among employees: Effects on consumer anger and negative inferences about companies. Journal of Consumer Research, 37, 292-303.

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Stavrova, O., Schlosser, T., & Fetchenhauer, D. (2011). Are the unemployed equally unhappy all around the world? The role of the social norms to work and welfare state provision in 28 OECD countries. Journal of Economic Psychology, 32, 159-171.

Stein, M. D., Freedberg, K. A., Sullivan, L. M., Savetsky, J., Levenson, S. M., Hingson, R., & Samet, J, H. (1998). Sexual ethics: Disclosure of HIV-positive status to partners. Archives of Internal Medicine, 158, 253-257.

Subramony, M., Krause, N., Norton, J., & Burns, G. N. (2008). The relationship between human resource investments and organizational performance: A firm-level examination of equilibrium theory. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 778-788.

Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, R. H. (2009). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness. London: Penguin.

van Praag, H. M. (2002). Why has the antidepressant era not shown a significant drop in suicide rates? Crisis, 23, 77-82. doi:10.1027//0227-5910.23.2.77

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U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2006). Employed persons by occupation, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, sex. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor.

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Wechsler, H., Lee, J., Kuo, M., & Lee, H. (2000). College binge drinking in the 1990s: A continuing problem--Results of the Harvard School of Public Health 1999 College Alcohol Study. Journal of American College Health, 48, 199-210.

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Last Update: 6/17/2016