Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Michigan stats in the news

Some curious stats and facts from recent news reports.

Michigan is a top exporter to Iran, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the last seven years. Curiously, during the Bush years, U.S. exports to Iran have increased more than tenfold, in spite of all the angry rhetoric about nuclear programs.

The Bay City Times reports that heroin trafficking is on the rise in mid-Michigan.

Michigan drivers buckled up at record rates in 2007 -- over 93 percent -- making it a top ten state for seatbelt use. (Chicago Tribune)

Isabella County had the highest increase in residents seeking food assistance in the first quarter of 2008 -- 23.6 percent over the same period last year. Sharon Parks, president of the Michigan League of Human Services says the trend will continue statewide, as people's unemployment benefits end they exhaust savings. According to Parks, "The economy is in a distressing state."

Michigan's richest man says "I'm working for myself. The auto companies are working for the UAW and it doesn't work." According to the Chicago Tribune, Bill Davidson, owner of Auburn Hills-based Guardian Industries, is Michigan's richest man. His net worth of about $4.5 billion makes him the 68th richest person in the U.S.