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The World Almanac 2008: At a Glance

World Almanac 2008 StacksYes, the day that you (and we) have been waiting for is here: The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2008 is officially on sale. If you pre-ordered, you've probably got a copy already; if not, you should be able to stroll into the bookstore of your choice and pick one up today.

We'll be using this blog to share (and expand on) parts of this edition throughout the year. Today, though, I'll just leave you with an assortment of facts from The World at a Glance, one of our new quick-reference features:

Nation most dependent on nuclear energy: France, 78.1% of electricity is nuclear-generated
World's most popular tourist destination: France, 79.1 million arrivals in 2006
Most popular luxury car color in the U.S.: Black, 22% of 2006 model year cars
Most popular light truck color in the U.S.: White, 25% of 2006 model year trucks
Nation hosting the most refugees: Pakistan, 2.2 million, mostly from Afghanistan, in 2006
Top country for U.S. foreign adoptions: China, 6,520 in 2006
Fastest roller coaster in the world: Kingda Ka, 128 mph (Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ)
Busiest airport outside of the U.S., by passenger traffic: Heathrow Airport (London, UK), 67.5 million passengers in 2006
Most-visited shopping website: eBay, 79.8 million visitors in July 2007 alone

California's gross domestic product in 2006 was $1.73 trillion. If it was its own country, it would have the 10th largest economy in the world, smaller than Russia's but larger than Brazil's.
If all circulating U.S. dollars and coins were equally distributed among the nation's population, everyone would receive $2,688.

Total fat consumption per capita in the U.S. was 37.7 pounds in 1910. It climbed to a whopping 85.5 pounds by 2005.
China's annual energy consumption grew 249% in the past 15 years, from 27 quadrillion Btu in 1990 to 67 quadrillion Btu in 2005.
The amount Americans spent annually on casino gambling ballooned 610%, from $11.5 billion in 1990 to $81.6 billion in 2006.
The number of violent crimes in the U.S. declined from 1.6 million in 1997 to 1.4 million in 2006, a drop of 13.3%.

Previously: The World at a Glance: Number Ones, Surprising Facts, and Changing Times

Photo: Vincent G. Spadafora


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