Our endless appetite for opinion polls and surveys throws up the most peculiar statistics - from the one per cent of British men who change their underpants only once a week, to the 84 per cent of dog-owners who would rather their toes were licked by their pets than their partners. In this poll of polls, William Hartston traces the preoccupations, big and small, of the modern British family
1%of adults buy more than 10 lottery tickets each weekof women, given one wish, would ask for a new husbandof women hope for sex after Christmas office partiesof men wear the same underpants all week

2% of adults never travel by carof women voted Jeremy Paxman their top fantasy object of youngsters aged 11-24 believe they can be helped by smoking or taking drugsof all journeys over one mile are made by bicycle

3%of respondents bathe only once a week of females over 16 have played darts in the past four weeks of women love someone other than their husbandsof marriages take place on a Tuesday

4%of adults belong to a political partyof women make love most daysof 16-24-year-olds visit a religious place regularly

5%of adults make phone calls on the looof households have three or more childrenof youngsters aged 11-24 think drinking alcohol is a useful way to relieve worry 6%of 45-54-year-olds think chocolate increases ardour of women say their husbands have been unfaithful more than once

7%of respondents think John Major working-classof women have sex less than once a monthof women say their husbands have been unfaithfulof females aged 14-25 never wash upof all journeys over one mile are made on footof 16-24 year-olds have taken part in a seance

8%of MPs are female of husbands clean the lavatoryof all journeys over one mile are made by bus

9%of respondents want sex on TV to be screened at 8pmof women take a condom with them to partiesof males over 16 have played darts in the past four weeksof under-16s are from ethnic minorities

10%of adults are members of an environmental group of married people in the south of England have thrown crockery of women, given one wish, would ask for eternal youthof adult females in Brighton are widowed of married women find their sex lives are improved by imagining their partner to be someone elseof married men ever do any ironing

11%of respondents do not believe in Godof respondents are dissatisfied with the number and size of rooms in their homeof parents thought their under-15s were unlikely to wash their hands after going to the toiletof males aged 20-24 are marriedof men always take a condom with them to office partiesof under-25s assess the suitability of potential partners by snooping in their supermarket trolleys 12%of respondents believe in a higher power of some kind but not Godof males are very worried about mugging

13%of respondents are on a dietof 45-year-old women have not had children of girls aged 11-15 smoke regularly of car trips lead to road rage

14%of women, given one wish, would ask for the housework to be magically doneof 16-24-year-olds believe school is a waste of timeof marriages take place on a Fridayof fatal accidents involve drunk drivers 15%of respondents are dissatisfied with the state of repair of their homesof women would consider having sex after a first dateof 16-24 year-olds have consulted a medium

16%of the population are aged 65 or aboveof 16-24 year-olds are virginsof men think chocolate an aphrodisiacof 7-14-year-olds can't spell "replaced"

17%of women are unhappy because their breasts are too largeof women wash their hands before making loveof females aged 15-24 are unemployed of men regard Mother's Day as "commercialised rubbish"

18%of 16-24-year-olds would commit murder if they could get away with itof Burnley adults are divorcedof women are D-cup or largerof men wash their hands after every mealof 18-21-year-olds enrol for further education

19%of the population has a long-standing illness or disability of women think sex is one of the most important things in their livesof men blame marital stress on their jobsof thefts of vehicles are cleared up by the police of conceptions are legally aborted

20%of respondents think Tony Blair is upper classof the population has tried cannabis of men hope for sex after Christmas office parties 21%of respondents believe in God with no doubtsof the population are under-16of couples met in a pubof males aged 15-24 are unemployed of burglary cases are cleared up of children live with a single parentof Northerners have thrown crockery 22%of women prefer a man with body hairof households have a pet dogof 16-22-year-olds have had their palms read

23%of respondents believe in God, with some doubts of families are single-parentof parents blame getting lost on car journeys on rowdy youngsters of 35-year-old women have not had a childof women think they reach their sexual peak in their 40sof married women have resisted enticing offers to be unfaithfulof men wash their hands before making love 24%of females over-16 experience no stress in daily life

25%of scones are eaten by menof 16-24 year-olds would have sex with a stranger for money, if desperate

26%of females are very worried about muggingof women have sex 2-3 times a weekof women think they reach their sexual peak in their 20sof males over 16 experience no stress in daily life

27%of adults spend much of their leisure time having sexof all couples (married or co-habiting) have no childrenof women wash their hands after every meal

28%of London adults are unmarriedof women think men are primarily attracted by their breastsof women have sex once a week 29%of homes are one-personof 16-24 year-olds disagree that all races are equal

30%of women have done some DIY over the past four weeksof men prefer to go without underwear on holiday 31%of the population live in the South-eastof women think chocolate is an aphrodisiac

32%of adults want Britain to unite fully with the EUof adults think satin sheets are bestof households have no carof 16-24 year-olds rate the Germans their least favourite Europeans

33%of the population is under-25of administrators and managers are femaleof women rate actor George Clooney their top fantasy object 34%of adults have made love on a beachof women think Peter Mandelson is the sexiest MPof accidents requiring medical treatment happen in the home

35%of women think they reach their sexual peak in their 30sof young women take exercise to relieve stress

36%of respondents call the lavatory the looof adults will select a product for its environmental friendliness

37%of adults think photos of two adult men having sex should be banned from adult magazinesof men wash their hands more than 10 times a dayof car journeys involve speeding

38%of women would end the relationship if they discovered their partner was unfaithful

39%of adults think John Major is upper classof the labour force is unionised

40%of adults cannot spell "apologise"of women sleep naked in summerof women consider body odour the biggest turn-off on a dateof nurses don't think the NHS will still be there in 10 years' time

41%of adults have made love in the kitchenof 8-10-year-olds think slimness is attractive

42%of 14-25 year olds always clean their own room of Northerners worry more about their jobs than inflation

43%of women re-read their Mother's Day cards

44%of adults say they can communicate in at least one foreign languageof professional and technical workers are female

45%of women are happy with their breasts of males have exercised by walking in the past four weeks of men vote body odour the biggest turn-off on a date

46%of Welsh females are married

47%of adults regard their lovers' feelings during sex as a top priorityof cats are overweight 48%of respondents have gone for a drive for pleasure in the past three monthsof lottery participants stick to the same numbers each week

49%of adults have a building society accountof Welsh males are marriedof marriages take place in church

50%of women describe the experience of losing their virginity as "disappointing" or "awful"

51%of males have done some gardening in the last four weeksof 16-24 year-olds think chocolate increases ardour

52%of adults claim to have had sex in a carof girls aged 11-15 have never smoked 53%of boys aged 11-15 have never smoked

54%of adults would ban homosexual love scenes from TV of women find David Mellor the least attractive MPof women think men are primarily attracted to their faces

55%of respondents eat chocolate most in the bedroom of women aged 25-29 are marriedof working females have an occupational pension

56%of respondents believe it should be illegal to smoke cannabisof adults claim to have had sex in a fieldof women think sex is vital to a good relationship of women have never been tempted to infidelity

57%of women are disgusted by men with body hair of men have done some DIY in the past four weeksof 16-24 year-olds believe in ghosts

58%of men sleep naked in summerof 16-24 year-olds believe in life after deathof 8-10-year-olds think a sun tan is attractive

59%of respondents confess to dunking biscuitsof women consider their husbands unromanticof men have read a book in the past four weeks

60%of respondents claim to have had sex in the bathroom of the population experience dandruff at some time

61%of 16-24 year-olds have sex at least once a weekof 16-24 year-olds favour compulsory Aids testingof 16-17 year-olds always or occasionally carry a condom

62%of respondents have been cuddled while washing the dishesof men say they have no problem with their looks

63%of respondents take a hot drink to bed with them

64%of women buy their mother something on Mother's Dayof mothers would be upset if their families forgot Mother's Day of men wash their hands after preparing food

65%of respondents hate junk mailof respondents think cotton is best for sheets

66%of respondents want more money spent on education of 7-14-year-olds can't spell "stretched" of confectionery is bought by women 67%of respondents think mortgage rates will rise in 1997 of teenage boys in Nottingham describe their rooms as "tidy"

68%of the population are owner-occupiersof respondents think chocolate cheers them upof marriages take place on Saturday

69%of Scottish males aged 30-34 are married

70%of 11-24 year olds think people with mental illness are not a burden on society

71%of women aged 30-34 are marriedof females have read a book in the past month of women wash their hands after preparing food

72%of respondents believe more should be spent on the policeof male teenagers tidy their room once a month or less 73%of respondents would allow a 15-year-old to watch an explicit sex-education filmof dog owners have taken time off work because their dog is ill

74%of all journeys over one mile are made by car

75%of adults have a current account

76%of the electorate voted at the last election of sexual offence cases are cleared up by the police

77%of respondents think that chicken curry is healthier than fish, chips and peasof nurses believe the Government plans to privatise the NHSof violent offences are cleared up by the police

78%of respondents have made love in front of the TVof women in their 50s are marriedof males aged 40-44 are marriedof accountants consider themselves "fitting consorts" for Liz Hurleyof airline seats are occupied

79%of respondents think TV programmes need age-classification

80%of respondents want more money for the health serviceof women in their 40s are married

81%of respondents use some sort of contraception of women would never consider cosmetic breast surgery

82%of 37-year-olds have "high literacy"of males in their 50s are married

83%of respondents think photos of a man and a woman having sex should be allowed in magazines 84%of respondents believe that the royal family dunk their biscuitsof fathers live with all their childrenof dog owners would rather have their toes licked by their dogs than their partners

85%of 16-year-old males are in education or training

86%of the population is not fluent in any foreign language

87%of women go for " slim clean-shaven men with brown hair and blue eyes"of breath tests on motorists are negative

88%of respondents have listened to the radio in the past four weeksof 16-year-old females are in education or training of thefts from cars are not cleared up by the police

89%of respondents would always use a condom with a new partner met at a partyof 7-14-year-olds can spell "honest"

90%of married men never do the ironingof the population has bought a lottery ticketof women want the media to portray a more romantic and loving world

91%of respondents would never agree to partner-swapping

92%of teenage girls in Middlesex tidy their rooms at least once a week

93%of households have a telephoneof pet-owners say they would give a sick dog more care than a sick partner

94%of males over 16 have not done any yoga in the past four weeks

95%of respondents take a magazine to bed with them of males have visited or entertained friends or relations in the past four weeks

96%of females have visited or entertained friends or relatives in the past four weeks

97%of 7-14-year-olds can spell the word "still"

98%of the population sometimes travel by car

99%of over-16s have watched television in past four weeks

100%of popular periodicals sometimes include opinion surveys of dubious validity

Principal sources: Population Trends (Autumn 1996); Social Trends (1997); National Census (1991); UN Human Development Report (1996); British Social Attitudes Survey (1996). Other sources include polls conducted for She magazine, Marketing magazine, BBC Clothes Show Magazine, Bella (on breast sizes body hair), Hays Accountancy Personnel, McVities biscuits, Radio Rentals, Harpic, Mills & Boon Durex, MTV, Midland Choice, Good Housekeeping, Company, Neutrogena shampoo, New Woman, Dogs Today, MTV, RAC, Courtaulds, British Household Panel Survey, SRA Health Monitor, NOP polls for Dettol and Camelot, Market Research Solutions for Tesco, and Survey Research Associates (for Arrid Extra Dry)