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  • Just 3.5 per cent of British people believe they are in the top income quartile; 47 per cent believe they are in the bottom. [Prospect, p48]
  • In 1981, 24 per cent of British mothers returned to work within a year of giving birth; 20 years later, the figure was 67 per cent. [The Guardian, 6th December 2004]
  • 48 per cent of people in Kensington and Chelsea live alone. [Sunday Times, 24th October 2004]
  • In Britain, transaction costs amount to an average 2 per cent of house purchase prices; in Belgium, the figure is 18 per cent. [Financial Times, 5th November 2004]
  • North Korea declared three days of mourning after Yasser Arafat’s death. [New Republic, 18th November 2004]
  • The five most philanthropic American states, relative to their own wealth, are Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alabama. [catalogueforphilanthropy.org]
  • Colin Powell spent less time abroad than any secretary of state in the past 30 years. [Foreign Policy, November/December 2004]
  • Given the right conditions, over seven years a pair of poppies will produce 820,000 million million million descendants. [New Scientist, 27th November 2004]
  • The average Briton spends roughly 6 per cent of his or her waking life watching dramatic performances (TV drama, films and plays). [Philosophy and Literature, Volume 28]
  • The suicide rate in Britain is at its lowest since 1945. [The Economist, 30th October 2004]
  • In 1950, Europe had more than twice as many people as Africa and more than three times as many as Latin America. By 2050, the UN projects that Africa will have at least three times as many people as Europe, and that Latin America’s population will be about twice the size of Europe. [Christian Science Monitor, 1st March 2001]

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