Hobson's Choice

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The Independent Culture
Number of illegal immigrants arrested every day trying to enter Hong Kong:

100

Number of banks that refused to lend to Sicily last year when its debt reached $1bn:

40

Average amount of sturgeon, in tonnes, caught every year in the Caspian Sea at the start of the 1980s:

23,000

Average amount of sturgeon, in tonnes, caught every year in the Caspian Sea at present:

3,000

Number of factories responsible for industrial pollution, on average, in postcode areas of the UK where average household incomes are below pounds 15,000:

662

Number of factories responsible for industrial pollution, on average, in postcode areas of the UK where average household incomes are above pounds 30,000:

5

Projected number of publicly owned houses in Germany to be fitted with solar panels by 2005: 111,000

Projected number of publicly owned houses in UK to be fitted with solar panels by 2005:

100

Cash bet on the 1997 UK election:

pounds 10m

Amount of prize money unclaimed on a lottery ticket bought in Hull on 25 May 1996:

pounds 2,054,754

Average age of first-time property buyers in UK:

32

Chances that 30- 34-year-olds in the UK still live with their parents:

1:9

Number of films made in India last year, as opposed to 950 in 1990: 620

Number of people employed in the Indian film business:

3 million

Number of people who go the cinema every day in India:

15 million

Estimated annual worth of US health and beauty care market: $150bn

Number of Avon ladies worldwide 3 million

Average number of times a week Danes wash their hair:

4.7

SOURCES: UNDERSTANDING CHINA: JOHN BRYAN STARK, EUROMONEY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, THE ENDS REPORT, COMPUTER WEEKLY, TNT, THE OBSERVER, MIDWEEK, AIR FRANCE, TIME OUT, SPC, FORTUNE

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