Source: The Mercury, Sunday, 16 August, 1998, p.9




Meet the Averages

EVER wondered
who people are
talking about
when they
make vague
references to
the average
bloke in the
street? SEAN
STEVENSON
goes in search
of Mr and Ms
Tassie Average.

MR Average is 33
years old, while Ms
Average is one year his
senior.

   Both are married, with
at least one dependent
child in the five- to 12-
year age group.

   Mr Average wed at 27
years of age, Ms Average
at 25.

   While they identify
with the Anglican faith,
there is a better than
even chance they decided
on a civil marriage
ceremony rather than a
church wedding.

   With an average
weekly income of $352
after tax Mr Average does
not have a lot of money
to throw around.

   But he earns
significantly more than
Ms Average, who
receives $199 a week
after tax.

   Neither will be flush
once they have contrib-
uted to their households'
monthly mortgage
repayment of $581, and
other necessities.

   Mr Average works a 40-
hour week, and drives to
work each day in one of
the family's two motor
vehicles.

   Ms Average works a 32-
hour week, possibly in
the retail trade, before
coming home to 17
hours and nine minutes
of housework.

   She also spends
four hours and 19
minutes caring for her
child(ren).

   Mr Average spends
four hours and 19
minutes each week doing
housework, and one
hour and 10 minutes
caring for the kids.

   Passive leisure
activities-such as
watching TV, listening
to music and reading -
take up 22 hours and 38
minutes, socialising and
entertainment 10 hours
and 44 minutes, and
active leisure activities
six hours and 32
minutes.

   Ms Average has
slightly less time for
passive leisure activities
(21 hours and 42
minutes), but more time
for socialising and
entertainment (12 hours
and 36 minutes).

   If his marriage is to
end in divorce it is likely
to do so after 11 years
and it will probably be
his wife that applies for
the divorce.

   If he does happen to
divorce his first wife, and
then decides to re-marry,
he will do so at about 41
years of age.

   Both his wives are
likely to outlive him.

Survived

   If Ms Average marries
for a second time she will
do so at 38 years of age.

   Having survived
adolescence, where motor
vehicle accidents and
suicide are the major
causes of death, Mr
Average is likely to die
of heart disease, stroke or
cancer.

   At his age malignant
tumours are the major
threat, accounting for
more than one-fifth of
deaths.

   The likely causes of
death are the same for Ms
Average, although
their incidence is lower.

   As the years unfold the
risk of heart disease
will increase.

   Mr Average may smoke
but he is more likely to
be a non-smoker.

   Which is a good thing,
considering that as a
male he is more likely to
die from lung or throat
cancer than Ms Average
where tobacco smoking
is a major factor.

   While she will live
longer, Ms Average is
more likely to report
health problems, and be
admitted to hospital than
Mr Average.

   Headache, is likely to
be her most commonly
recorded recent illness.

   Mr Average is likely to
give himself a good, very
good or excellent health
status.

   This is despite the fact
that there is a significant
chance he is overweight
or obese.

   Ms Average is less
likely to be overweight
and more likely to have
altered her diet to lose
weight.

   It is likely that in the
past two weeks Mr
Average has not
exercised at all, or he has
exercised at a low level.

   Ms Average is more
likely to have exercised
at a low level but less
likely to have exercised
at a high level.

   His favorite
participatory sport is
likely to be golf,
followed by Australian
Rules and cricket.

   Her's is likely to be
aerobics, followed by
netball and tennis.

   They each spend more
than $700 a year on
equipment, clothing,
transport, weekly fees
and membership.

   Both are more likely to
attend a sporting event as
a spectator than a
participant, probably a
football game followed
by the cricket for him and
basketball for her (this
may have changed since
the demise of the Tassie
Devils NBL club).

Alcohol

   He is more likely to
have attended a sporting
event in the past year
than a library, a museum,
a rock concert or an art
gallery - all of which
are more popular with Ms
Average.

   Mr Average is likely to
have consumed an
alcoholic drink in the
last week.

   Australians down an
average of 341 stubbles
of beer each year but as a
"30 something" Tassie
bloke Mr Average
probably knocks off a
few more than that.

   Ms Average drinks less
overall, and is less likely
to suffer health problems
because of the level of
alcohol she consumes.

   Does Mr or Ms "A"
sound like someone you
know? If so, let us know.

   If not, well lies, damn
lies and statistics.

* Compiled from figures
supplied by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics.


Where to next?

Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Reduction
Main Index - Numeracy in the News