In these days of 24/7 news, we are swamped by metrics. We get numbers from newspapers, from television, from the Internet. Statistics seem to fall from the sky.
Here are a few that apply to Florida.
1: We rank first among states in percentage of seniors. The 2012 U.S. Census shows 18.2 percent of Floridians are older than 65.
2: Florida is the second best state in which to do business, behind only Texas — this from Chief Executive magazine, which also says we have the fifth best living environment.
3: As in $3 billion, the cost to build a pipeline carrying natural gas from the Alabama coast to central Florida. The pipeline, just approved by state regulators, raises our stake in fracking. Florida Power & Light already derives 72 percent of its energy from natural gas.
6: That’s the percentage increase for eating out. Restaurants in Collier and Lee counties report a jump in sales of 5.9 to 6.3 percent over the past year, according to the Daily News. It’s another sign the recession is petering out.
8: The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bipartisan bill that would pour $8.2 billion into water projects around the country. Florida would benefit big time, with money to clean up polluted water from Lake Okeechobee that fouls the Everglades.
10: $10 billion is the size of the Florida Hurricane Fund after years of no major storms.
22: The Naples Area Board of Realtors reported the local real estate market spiked 22 percent in closed sales over the past quarter. And there’s no slowdown in sight.
30: Over 30 percent of South Florida residents are uninsured — the same as in areas of Texas, Arizona and California that have large Hispanic populations. So reports The Wall Street Journal.
80: The milligrams of caffeine in a 2-ounce cup of espresso. That’s important in a town that seems to have a Starbucks on every corner. For a real buzz, try a cup of Starbucks’ 16-ounce Grande. That has 330 milligrams of caffeine!
There’s much more.
For music buffs, there are chamber music concerts (16 scheduled in Naples this season). And for sports fans, how about the losses by Florida’s woeful pro football teams (19 so far)?
OK, enough numbers. We’ve got to conserve our energy for the really important stuff. Like keeping track of how many sign up for Obamacare. Or counting the sand trucks in Naples.