On this New Year’s Eve, some 315 million Americans of all ages are ready to greet the year 2013. A hundred years ago, the U.S. population was just over 97 million. Fifty years ago, it was just over 186 million. To show how the nation is growing, by this time tomorrow there will be 10,800 new babies on hand to welcome the new year. Tonight’s celebration will see many of the 182,000 musicians and singers in the U.S. entertaining crowds in nightclubs, bars, and restaurants across the country. Also on hand will be most of the 393,000 bartenders and just over 2 million waiters and waitresses. The men and women of the U.S. Census Bureau wish you a happy, safe, and prosperous New Year.
Sunday, December 30th. Before closing the book on this eventful year, it’s worth noting some of the anniversaries of 2012. Two-hundred years ago, tensions between the U.S. and Britain boiled over into the War of 1812, which basically ended in a stalemate. One-hundred years ago, the National Biscuit Company introduced the long-running favorite, Oreos. Fifty years ago, the U.S. faced down the Soviet Union as the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world close to nuclear war. A century ago, the average life expectancy was 56 years for a baby girl and 52 years for a boy. Now, those figures are 81 years for girls and 76 for boys. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.
Saturday, December 29th. One of the most important inventions of modern times was announced 65 years ago this week — when three Bell Laboratory scientists unveiled with what would become the junction transistor, the foundation of the information age. The three shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1956. The transistor replaced bulky, fragile vacuum tubes, which generated a lot of heat as they amplified a signal. The first application that caught the public’s attention was the transistor radio. Now, transistors are found in every electronic device that we all take for granted. Today, there are nearly 51,000 stores selling electronic devices in the U.S., with sales worth $109 billion annually. Profile America is in its 16th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.