April 22 marks the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day—a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. The day originated in reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. In honor of Earth Day—and Earth Week (April 16-22) —here are some statistics about energy and the environment.
Heating and cooling the home
2.3 million: Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by wood in 2011, more than 2 percent of all homes.
40,063: Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country totally heated by solar energy in 2011.
Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by utility gas in 2011—about half of all homes.
88: Estimated percent of newly built single-family homes across the country with air-conditioning in 2011. In 1974, it was 48 percent.
Commuting to work
25.5 minutes: Estimated average time for workers age 16 and older across the country spent getting to work in 2011, up from 25.1 minutes in 2009 and 25.3 minutes in 2010.
19,061 trillion Btu: The energy consumption in the U.S. manufacturing sector in 2010, down almost 10 percent from the 21,098 trillion Btu (British thermal units) consumed in 2006.
-46%: The drop in the consumption of residual fuel oil in the U.S. manufacturing sector in 2010, going from 314 trillion Btu in 2006 down to 170 trillion Btu consumed in 2010.
Building a house
2,480 square feet: The average size of a single-family house built in 2011.
$267,900: The average sales price of a new single-family home in 2011. In 2008, the average sales price was $292,600.
9,000: The number of multi-family buildings built across the U.S. in 2011. Of these, 51 percent had at least 10 units.
$1.5 billion: Estimated revenue for “waste collection—hazardous waste management collection services” in 2011 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms.
$6.3 billion: Estimated revenue for “waste treatment and disposal — hazardous waste treatment and disposal services” in 2011 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms. This was up 9.2 percent from 2010.
$6.3 billion: Estimated revenue for “local, fixed-route passenger transportation, by road and transit rail” in 2011 for estimated sources of revenue for employer firms. This is up 4.8 percent from 2010.
Information courtesy of Profile America Facts for Features (www.census.gov).