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Statistics That Motivate Your Own Problems

So much data exists...That is, we are surrounded by data...and where there is data, there are opportunities to create mathematical problems.

Consider these pieces of interesting data:

  • Percentage of Americans who claim Monday as their favorite day of the week: 3%.
  • Number of Americans who drink Coca-Cola for breakfast: 965,000.
  • Percentage of American adults who cannot swim: 47%.
  • Percentage of Americans who want to live to be 100: 49%.
  • Average number of Health and Human Services Department employees it takes to answer a single letter to the Secretary: 55.
Using these interesting gems of data, your task is to either conduct related surveys to check the veracity of the data provided (e.g. see date of source)...or pose (and solve) new problems. Share the results with others and compare your respective creative slants.

Source: Harper's Magazine, 1985