Monday, May 23, 2022

Join our email blast

Cover Story

Records and rankings


It’s all about you. That’s why we do this. We can spit out political articles, recommend the best bars and restaurants we know, report on stories of odd arrests and show the poor unfortunates who were captured by local authorities and suggest what books, movies and music to take in, but in the end, it all comes down to good, ol’ No. 1. In this 2013 edition of Records and Rankings, we bring you the statistics, figures and graphs all about you — whether you want to admit it or not. How do we measure up? Embarrassed about being a statistic? Proud, perhaps? Disappointed to find that you are not as unique as you thought? It’s OK. That’s what tattoos are for.

Speaking of tattoos, Americans spent $1.65 billion on tattoos in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center (found at, and 11 percent of the 45 million people who are tattooed in this country have reported either having one removed or planning to have one removed.


The average cost to see a movie in Des Moines is $8.09, and last year the U.S. average was $7.96. So when it comes to dropping $33 on a family of four (concessions not included) to see the latest box office smash, choose wisely.

Top 10 Grossing Movies of 2012

“Marvel’s the Avengers” ($623,357,910)

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa

“The Dark Knight Rises” ($448,139,099)

“The Hunger Games” ($408,010,692)

“Skyfall” ($304,360,277)

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” ($303,003,568)

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” ($292,324,737)

“The Amazing Spider-Man” ($262,030,663)

“Brave” ($237,283,207)

“Ted” ($218,815,487)

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” ($216,391,482)


Conclusion: Americans love super heroes, the supernatural and talking animals — not to mention women in no-need-for-guessing spandex.

Top Selling Albums of 2012 (copies sold)

Adele, “21” (4.41 million)

Taylor Swift, “Red” (3.11 million)

One Direction, “Up All Night” (1.62 million)

Mumford and Sons, “Babel” (1.46 million)

One Direction, “Take Me Home” (1.34 million)


Conclusion: Whiny breakup songs seem to hit home with almost everybody, whether you love ’em, hate ’em or love to hate ’em.

Top Selling Digital Song Downloads of 2012

Gotye, “Somebody That I Used to Know” (6.8 million)

Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe” (6.47 million)

Fun, “We Are Young” (5.95 million)

Maroon 5, “Payphone” (4.76 million)

Nicki Minaj, “Starships” (3.98 million)


Conclusion: Mixed tapes serve their purpose for both the horny and scorned: Hook up, break up, grovel, get over it, realize your freedom, go to the beach. Rinse. Repeat. Download. Delete. Apparently millions of wailing teenage girls are controlling the market on Billboard top 40s.

Best Selling Books of 2012:

“Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

“Fifty Shades Darker” by E.L. James

“Fifty Shades Freed” by E.L. James

“Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins


Conclusion: Whoever started the rumor that women don’t like sex is a dirty, dirty liar or someone who could perhaps learn a few lessons from some of these top-sellers. We hope the odds of kinkiness are ever in your favor.



The signs on the highways that stretch over the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, welcoming motorists into Iowa, read that this state offers “Fields of Opportunities.” It’s a fun play on words to celebrate both our growing economic prowess and our state’s rich agricultural base. According to the latest statistics, that’s not far from the truth.

Iowa Demographics

Population: 3,074,186

49.5 percent male

50.5 percent female

92.8 percent of the population is white

3.2 percent of the population is black

2 percent of the population is Asian

5.3 percent of the population is Latino


Conclusion: Some might say we need a bit more diversity in all fields, including our population. But race isn’t supposed to matter anyway, so who’s counting?



Top Five Most Expensive Schools in Iowa (by annual tuition)

Grinnell College (Grinnell), $41,004

Luther College (Decorah), $36,100

Cornell University (Mount Vernon), $35,222

Coe College (Cedar Rapids), 34,220

Wartburg College (Waverly), $32,740


Conclusion: We’re not too cool for school, and many of us have years of student loans to prove it. To be more realistic, tack on $10,000 for beer money… oh, yeah, and another couple grand for books. Can’t forget the books.

Degrees (percent of Iowans)

High school diploma, 92.7

Associate, 41.1

Bachelor’s, 28.7

Graduate or professional, 8.7


Conclusion: Reckon we ain’t no so-called “Idiots Out Wandering Around” as them Minnesotans might like ta have ya think. Here in Iowa, we smart… at least, some of us.

AgricultureCVA_25PAGE 182


Total acres of farmland = 30.7 million

Farm real estate value = $5,700 per acre


Conclusion: Here in Iowa, we grow corn and soybeans. In fact, stats for 2011 reveal $6.2 million worth of crop exports. That’s corn and beans, not potatoes! Outsiders often confuse Iowa for the potato-growing state of Idaho, but besides starting our state names with the letter “I,” we have little else in common. (See sidebar below.)


Jobs and Money

1,553,000 are employed.

86,000 are unemployed.

5.2 percent of Iowans are unemployed (the national average is 8.1).

$41,156 is the per capita personal income.

$50,504 is the median household income.


Conclusion: A high school diploma can lead to a stellar career in truck driving and forklift operating.


54,201 vehicles were newly registered in 2012.

36,343 of newly registered vehicles were made in the U.S.


Conclusion: Ford or Chevy? Who cares as long as it’s made in ’Merica?


1,332,487 total housing units.

The average monthly mortgage payment is $1,173.

The average monthly rent is $637.

3,672 houses in Iowa are valued at $1 million or more.


Conclusion: Home is where the heart is, whether in a studio apartment or a multi-million-dollar mansion.



Iowans consume approximately 86.7 million gallons of alcohol per year That’s 39.78 gallons of alcohol per person in an average year:

                  Liquor = 4.9 million gallons

                  Wine = 4.2 million gallons

                  Beer = 77.6 million gallons


Conclusion: Well, the song does say rain makes corn and corn makes whiskey. We know how to efficiently use our natural resources. Plus, it’s cheaper than a movie.


20.4 percent of adult Iowans smoke.

7.9 million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by minors each year.

54.9 percent of Iowans have attempted to quit smoking.

4,400 adults die each year from their own smoking.


Conclusion: One Gallup poll records that in the 1940s, 43 percent of Americans smoked. Fortuneately we are on the decline for this habit.



Oldest male: 106

Oldest female: 109


Total live births: 38, 204

Live male births: 19,522

Live female births: 18,682

Out-of-wedlock live births: 12,916

Highest weight reported: 11 lbs. 10 oz.

Lowest weight reported: 8 oz.

Oldest father: 73

Oldest mother: 50

Youngest father: 14

Youngest mother: 13

Day on which most births occurred: July 1 (161)


Most popular boys names:

Carter (194)

Mason (184)

Owen (181)

Most popular girl names:

Emma (205)

Sophia (191)

Olivia (190)

Conclusion: We’re breeding a generation of kids who can go to class with their aunts and uncles, many of whom have a good chance of not knowing who their daddy is.


Total: 20,567

Oldest male: 95

Youngest male: 17

Oldest female: 94

Youngest female: 16

Day on which most marriages occurred: Sept. 10 (682)

Month in which most marriages occurred: June (2,751)

Male-Male marriages: 417

Female-Female marriages: 885


Total: 7,416

Oldest male divorcee: 97

Youngest male divorcee: 19

Oldest female divorcee: 89

Youngest female divorcee: 18

Marriage of longest duration ending in divorce: 56 years

Marriage of shortest duration ending in divorce: 59 days

Conclusion: She just wouldn’t squeeze the Fixodent from the bottom of the tube. Guess it’s never too late… Or too soon for that matter.

Deaths 2012

Total: 28,074

Most deaths occurred on Feb. 9 (109).

Most deaths occurred in the month of March (2,622).

Oldest male at time of death: 106

Oldest female at time of death: 109

Suicides: 420

Leading causes of death

Heart disease: 6,726

Cancer: 6,440

Cerebrovascular Disease: 1,431

Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 1,831

Unintentional injury: 1,340

Motor vehicle: 393

Falls: 454

Machinery: 23

Drowning: 23

Choking: 46

Poisoning: 197

Unintentional injury deaths by county

Polk: 180

Scott: 73

Linn: 69

Black Hawk: 42

Woodbury: 41

(Source for Vitals above:

Conclusion: Uh… be more careful?


64.8 percent of Iowa adults are overweight

28.3 percent of Iowa children are overweight

Life expectancy for Iowa males is 77.3 years.

Life expectancy for Iowan females is 82 years.


Conclusion: Statistically, many of us are likely to die old and fat… and hopefully happy.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

10,542 reported cases of chlamydia

1,803 reported cases of gonorrhea

68 reported cases of syphilis


Conclusion: Think that stat is uncomfortable? Not as uncomfortable as a herpes outbreak. Iowa has a host of free clinics. So there’s no excuse to not get checked regularly.

Iowa Crime

8,830 violent

8,504 property

10,162 drug related

533 public order

10-20 years is the average prison sentence.

The average offender’s age is 36 years old.

Total prison population: 8,333

Female prison population: 682

699 inmates are serving life sentences.

$84.85 is the average daily cost of one prison inmate in Iowa.

Des Moines Crime

191,962 calls

37,783 police reports completed

794 OWI arrests

24,859 traffic tickets issued

60,161 parking tickets issued

10 murders reported: seven cleared

94 rapes reported: 40 cleared

587 aggravated assaults reported: 455 cleared

234 robberies reported: 77 cleared

2,371 burglaries reported: 288 cleared

6,708 thefts reported: 1,522 cleared

843 auto thefts reported: 132 cleared

1,599 drug-related arrests

45 prostitution arrests

59 search warrants issued

7 clandestine meth labs

18 meth lab dump sites

$1.6 million total street value of drug seizures.

Total street value of marijuana seized, $1,011,311.32

Total street value of methamphetamine seized, $390,232.50


Conclusion: We often leave our doors unlocked and trust our neighbors, and we should not live in fear, but bad things happen even in Iowa. So, in the wise words of Jerry Springer, “Take care of yourself and each other.” CV

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.