January 22, 2001

Online consumer spending jumped from $7.7 billion in 1998 to $17.3 billion in 1999, a 124 percent increase, and was expected to reach $28 billion in 2000, according to the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2000 released today by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.

"The biggest categories for online spending in 1999 were air travel and personal computers, followed by books," said Lars Johanson, technical coordinator of the compendium, which was named one of the "Best 100 Documents of the Century, 1900-99," by a nationwide panel of librarians and the Government Printing Office. It has been published every year since
1878.

The Abstract features 78 new tables covering topics that range from prescription drug sales, charter schools and home remodeling to the e-business sales.

Highlights from the 1,012 pages and 1,458 tables in the 2000 Statistical Abstract include:

-- Between 1995 and 1999, the percentage of public schools with Internet access increased from 50 percent to 95 percent. In 1999, a ratio of 2 out of 3 public school teachers used computers or the Internet for classroom instruction.

-- Expenditures on drugs and other medical nondurables by consumers "out of pocket" and through private health insurance increased from $53 billion in 1990 to $103 billion in 1998. Private health insurance accounted for 24 percent of such expenditures in 1990, but 46 percent in 1998.

-- Federal Medicaid grants to state and local governments went from $41 billion in 1990 to a projected $116 billion in 2000 -- an increase of 183 percent.

-- Civil rights-related complaints in U.S. District Courts increased from 18,793 in 1990 to 42,354 in 1998, a 125 percent increase over eight years.

-- State prison operating expenditures per prisoner varied widely in 1996 from about $22 per day in Alaska to more than $103 in Minnesota. The national average was $55.

-- In the year leading up to spring of 1998, 5.5 million households had remodeled their bathrooms; 4.6 million had redone their kitchens and 3.0 million had made improvements to their bedrooms. Other popular home remodeling projects were carpeting (4.9 million households), roofing (4.7 million) and adding a deck, porch or patio (2.2 million).

-- New truck sales exceeded new car sales for the first time during the 1999 model year, representing 50.1 percent of all motor vehicle sales.

-- In the year leading up to the spring of 1998, 55.7 million adults had played a game of cards, 32.1 million had tried their hands at a crossword puzzle and 24.2 million had played a video game.

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