Stats All, Folks!

When I was publisher of a local weekly newspaper, much like this one, I had a stock response for the occasional reader who would accuse our reporters or our news coverage of bias: “You’re right,” I would say. “There is bias in the media, because every single person brings his or her own bias to every story.” It’s human nature that different people react differently to the same thing, whether it’s a movie, a restaurant or a news story.

Now there are statistics that say pretty much the same thing about how we react to news coverage. Of course, whether you believe even those statistics depends on your personal politics, and on how credible you find surveys.

Here’s what I mean: Some nine in 10 Democrats say criticism from the news media helps keep our political leaders in line. Yet, that same sentiment is held by four in 10 Republicans. The yawning gap between the two points of view is 47 percentage points. That’s according to an online survey of more than 4,000 U.S. adults conducted this past March by Pew Research Center.

Sign Up for E-News

Even more stark is that, when the same question was posed a year earlier (January-February 2016), both Republicans and Democrats supported in nearly identical numbers the media’s watchdog role over government. At that time, in fact, slightly more Republicans (77 percent) expressed support than did Democrats (74 percent). What a difference a year—and an election—makes.

Overall, reports Pew, 70 percent of U.S. adults support news media’s watchdog role and 40 percent say they follow national news “very closely.”

But enough about politics. Let’s look at some other numbers gathered by Pew, whose business model is codified in its tagline, “Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Our World.”

We just observed the annual day on which we salute our moms (who deserve that outward show of gratitude every day, not just 1/365th of the year). Let’s take a closer look at who they are.

There are 85 million moms in the U.S., estimates the Census Bureau. Pew tells us that “women are having children at a later age” than in past years. In 1970, the average age of a first-time mother was 21.4 years. In 2012, the average age was 25.8 years.

There are a great many more women today than in the past who bear children out of wedlock: four out of 10 births (40 percent) are to unmarried moms. That compares with only 5 percent of births to unmarried women in 1960.

It should surprise almost no one that substantially more moms with younger children have jobs today than used to be the norm. In 2012, more than 70 percent of mothers with children under 18 were in the labor force. Compare that with 1975, when less than half of women with kids that age were working moms.

Moving along to another familial statistic, take a guess what percentage of young adults (25-35 years old) live in their parents’ home currently? If you guessed 15 percent, get yourself to Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods this weekend because you’re bound to come back a winner.

That 15 percent of 25-35 year-old live-at-homers is 50 percent higher than the number in that same age cohort who lived at home in 2000 (10 percent), and nearly twice as many as the number of young adults who lived at home in 1964 (8 percent).

Hey, who said you can’t go home again? As every English major knows, the answer is Thomas Wolfe.

Bruce Apar is chief content officer of Pinpoint Marketing & Design, a Google Partner Agency. Its Adventix division helps performing arts venues increase ticket sales. Reach him at or 914-275-6887.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


I Do Not Make Stuff Up!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in my column, “Watergate analogies apply to Obama, not Trump,” that President Obama’s Justice Department planted a spy in the Trump campaign. I said I used the term “spy” because this was a counter-intelligence operation, not a criminal investigation, where the term informant would have been proper.

That statement has been brought ...

Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Reagan on Trump

The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:

• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria; 
• The underhanded ...

The Rich Get Richer, and We’re Paying For It

According to a Harvard University study published late last year, most Americans believe that the richest 20 percent of Americans own just half of the nation’s wealth. Wrong! The top 20 percent own 93 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1 percent own 40 percent of that wealth. Additionally, the top 10 percent of earners in 2017 took home more than half the nation’s ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

PCDOH Free HIV Testing Day

Health & Wellness