Hobson's Choice

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The Independent Culture
Estimated number of Easter cards sent this year in the UK, second only in

bulk to Christmas cards:

16.6m

Number of Mother's Day cards sent in the UK this year, 1m

more than Valentine cards:

12m

Percentage of Easter cards featuring religious motifs, rather than lambs, bunnies or fluffy chicks:

10

Amount spent annually in the UK on Easter eggs:

pounds 250m

Percentage of Americans, according to a Gallup poll,

who believe that religion can solve the vast majority of today's social problems:

63

Number of people in UK who have converted to Catholicism since 1981:

80,000

Amount, in lire, provided by Italian government to

teach English to bus drivers and traffic wardens in Rome in anticipation of the millions of visitors in 2000:

40bn

Amount, in lire, provided by the Italian government for studies to predict the number of visitors to Rome in 2000:

6bn

Number of different brands of breast milk substitutes - powder and liquid - on sale in Italy:

129

Number of children adopted annually in the UK in the 1970s:

21,000

Number of children adopted annually in the UK in the 1990s:

2,000

Number of children

in care in the UK,

at a cost of pounds 2.25bn to local authorities:

50,000

Number of people who have escaped from the General Penitentiary in Kingston, Jamaica in the last five years:

300

Difference between the amount needed to be spent annually to provide low-cost safe water and sanitation to all the people in the world who need it and the amount spent annually on pet food in Europe and US:

0

Number of attacks by dogs on humans every year in the US:

3m

Number of new companies being founded every week in Silicon Valley, California:

15

Number of Stradivarius violins in the world:

600

SOURCES: THE EVENING STANDARD, CHURCH TIMES, THE INDEPENDENT, THE ECONOMIST, THE LANCET, COMMUNITY CARE, FAIR TRADING, BLACK PERSPECTIVE, NEWSWEEK, FINANCIAL TIMES, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, NEW YORKER, NEWSWEEK.

Compiled by Will Hobson

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