1. Archive


I heard a story on the radio that said for the first time, more people in China live in urban areas than in rural areas. How does that compare to the United States?

According to the Wall Street Journal, China's National Bureau of Statistics announced recently that there are 690.8 million Chinese living in urban areas - 51.27 percent of the population. More than 656 million live in rural areas. It's the first time that ratio has tilted to urban residents.

And it's a remarkable change. In 1949, when the Communist Party took control of the country, just about 10.6 percent of residents lived in cities. Even as recently as 1979, when the country launched a series of market reforms, city residents made up only about 19 percent of the population.

Economic historians say what took about 30 years to accomplish in China took 200 years in Britain, more than 90 years in the United States and 50 years in Japan.

In the United States, about 80 percent of residents now live in cities (in Florida, about 95 percent of residents live in urban areas). This country changed from majority rural to majority urban between the 1910 and 1920 Census counts. In 1910 it was 54.4 percent rural, 45.6 percent urban. By 1920 it was 51.2 percent urban and 48.8 percent rural.

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Sony, Sorkin may profile Jobs

With the passing of Steve Jobs, I am interested to learn if there is a motion picture in the works.

Sony has acquired the rights to Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of the Apple co-founder - called Steve Jobs - the Los Angeles Times reported in October, and several media outlets, including the Times and Entertainment Weekly, have reported that Aaron Sorkin is interested in writing the script for a potential movie.

Sorkin co-wrote Moneyball and won the Oscar in 2010 for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network. "Right now I'm just in the thinking-about-it stages," Sorkin told in November. "It's a really big movie, and it's going to be a great movie no matter who writes it." Sorkin told he is reading Isaacson's book.

Jobs, 56, died Oct. 5, 2011, of respiratory arrest. He had been ill with pancreatic cancer for about eight years.

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And the earmarks go to . . .

Which states get the most money/benefit from government earmarks?

Hawaii, North Dakota and West Virginia gain the most from government earmarks, per capita, according to a U.S. News & World Report article in November 2010. Hawaii had earmarks of $318.26 per capita in 2010, North Dakota $233.60 and West Virginia $173.74. Other states in the top 10: Vermont, Mississippi, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Nevada. Florida was 35th at $22.55.