NPR Fun Facts


One of the great joys of listening to NPR is not knowing where the next story will take me. Will it be the Steppes of Mongolia? A prison in Alabama? The inside of the Federal Reserve?

Often embedded within these pieces are facts, figures, and fascinating trivia; but the smooth, dulcet tones of the reporter distract me, allowing the information to slip out the back. I will attempt to collect these morsels of hard data and post them here.

If you hear something, share something. But only the facts; not subjective thoughts, loose approximations, or unprovable claims.

Link: Consumption of diet sodas has doubled among U.S. children over a decade.

About 1 in 4 of adults drink low-calorie or no-calorie sweetened drinks and foods. And for children: Six percent were consuming diet drinks in 1999-2000. This increased to 12.5 percent in 2007-2008.

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Link: About 1 million children age 10 to 15 were working in America in 1920

That out of a total population of 12 million kids in that age range. About half worked on family farms. The rest did everything else, working in factories, trained as apprentices, and served as messengers.

As late as 1940, the average American had only a ninth-grade education, and the first enduring, federal child-labor law wasn’t passed until 1938.

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Link: The average American 3-year-old can recognize 100 brands.

A recent British study showed that babies born to women who watched a particular show when pregnant had a stronger preference for that program than those children whose mothers did not watch the show while pregnant.

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