8 out of 10 Brits

Intriguing statistics about the world's 79th largest nation

Some very revealing numbers about the British and how they live their lives

8 out of 10 Brits

Intriguing statistics about the world's 79th largest nation

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I know there's the old line saying you should use statistics the same way a drunk uses a lamppost - for support rather than illumination. But nevertheless it was fun to discover that the average British dogwalker covers 676 miles a year, while the average gym member does only 468. That the average age of a first-time grandparent is now 49. That we typically spend 22 minutes considering an expensive piece of clothing before purchasing it, against 18 minutes for a house.


‘Fascinating ... An amazing insight into the statistics behind our daily lives. Quirky, useless information galore’  The Sun
 
‘Mind-boggling facts and figures about the British’  Daily Mail

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Content

Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.