Percentage of travelers who are concerned about germs, bacteria and viruses while traveling, according to the results of TripAdvisor's 2008 Travel Trends survey: 80

Percentage of travelers who said they tend to wash and disinfect their hands more often while traveling: 55

Percentage of Americans who either bring their own disinfectant and cleaning supplies, shower shoes, pillows, towels or linens when going on a trip: 27

Source: TripAdvisor

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Percentage of American adults who are now online, according to research by Harris Interactive: 79

Number of people this represents: 178 million

Percentage who were online in the spring of 2000: 57

Percentage of adults who reported that they were online when Harris Interactive first began to track Internet use in 1995: 9

Source: Harris Interactive

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Percentage of American workers who say that they give enough thanks and appreciation to their colleagues, according to the findings of a Thanksgiving survey from Adecco: 73

Percentage of respondents who say that they would like to get more of their own "thanks" and appreciation on the job: 65

Percentage who admit that their boss does a good job of thanking them: 52

Percentage of respondents who believe that being thanked via e-mail is worse than getting thanked in person: 68

Source: Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

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Percentage of U.S. adults who phone their parents weekly, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press: 47

Percentage who call their parents daily: 32

Percentage who call their parents once a month or less: 19

Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

 · · · · · 

Percentage of Americans who say they are living with "extreme" stress, according to a study by the American Psychological Association: 32

Percentage of Americans who say their stress has increased during the past five years: 48

Rank of money and work among the leading causes of stress for 75 percent of Americans: 1

Source: American Psychological Association

 · · · · · 

Percentage of professionals who will not take extra time off this holiday season beyond employer-provided vacation days, according to a survey by Robert Half International: 42

Percentage who plan to take one to two days: 17

Percentage who plan to take seven or more days: 12

Source: Robert Half International

 · · · · · 

Percentage of caterers who reported that offering guests healthy menu choices at holiday parties is a growing trend, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Catering Executives: 63

Percent who said that healthy-style menus are not more expensive than traditional holiday fare: 71

Source: National Association of Catering Executives

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Estimated number of mothers in the United States, according to a report by BSM Media: 80.5 million

Rank of health care and education as their biggest political concerns: 1, 2

Source: BSM Media

 · · · · · 

Percentage of drivers on the road who say they have difficulty seeing all or most of the time while driving in the dark, according to a survey conducted for Road and Travel Magazine and Acuvue brand contact lenses: 32

Percentage of respondents who say that they have trouble seeing signs or exits: 26

Percentage who say they have difficulty seeing animals or pedestrians: 20

Source: Kelton Research

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Estimated number of U.S. households with discretionary income (defined as those whose spendable income exceeds that held by households with similar demographic features), according to a report by the Conference Board: 73 million

Estimated total discretionary income in the United States in 2006: $1.7 trillion

Percentage of all discretionary income that is held by households earning more than $100,000: 78

Rank of New England as the region with the highest concentration of wealthy households having discretionary income: 1

Source: The Conference Board

John MacIntyre has been writing Figuratively Speaking since 1989. You can contact him by e-mail at [email protected]