Statistics You Can Use

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I had an interesting Twitter chat with Rob Garcia from LendingClub the other night. Rob cited some statistic he heard at a conference about how 40% of US households were either unbanked or underbanked.

I tweeted back that I thought that percentage was way too high. To put that in perspective, look to your left, look to your right, look in the mirror — chances are you just saw an unbanked or underbanked person.

Rob then explained that, to the speaker, underbanked refers to any person who has used alternative financial services (e.g., check cashing services, money transfer, etc.) in the past five years.

Aha. Well, by that definition, I’m underbanked. Which is news to me.

It’s one thing to twist the definition of something to suit your needs, but this really goes to show that people won’t question any statistic they see as long as it fits their needs.

So let me share with you some statistics you can use if it suits your needs:

  • 97% of Americans are gay. By gay, I mean anyone who is homosexual or who has been “happy” at any point in the past three years.
  • 96% of US households lack health care coverage. To be specific, they lack coverage for “family” members like their pet fish.
  • 94% of Americans are short. Survey respondents were asked “Which of the following describes you at any point in the past year: a) I’ve been short with a family member or friend; b) I’ve been short of cash when trying to buy something; or c) I’m under 5’2″.”
  • 98% of bank customers are dissatisfied with ATM service. Well, the ones trying to get cash out of the broken ATM on Arch Street in Boston are. Personally, I’m not sure that the other 2% understood the question.
  • In any given month, women are twice as likely as men to pull their credit card out of their wallet. It’s not that women are any more likely than men to pay for something with their credit card, but over the course of a month, women change wallets or their purse more often than men.

These are just a few of the statistics I’ve got if you want to use them. But please don’t forget to cite the Marketing Tea Party as the source when you cite these statistics. You wouldn’t want anyone to think that you made them up.

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