Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

America’s Most Popular Department Store

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

America's Most Popular Department Store

If you’ve ever seen an “I’d rather be shopping at Nordstrom” bumper sticker, take note: America really would rather be shopping at Nordstrom. According to a recent survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), Nordstrom is the most popular department store in the country.

The upscale department store was founded in 1901 when Swedish immigrant and successful gold prospector John W. Nordstrom returned to Seattle and opened a shoe store with Carl F. Wallin, a local cobbler. It wasn’t until 1963 that Wallin & Nordstrom, then owned by Nordstrom’s three sons, expanded to include apparel and changed their name to Nordstrom Best. That name lasted ten years before being shortened to Nordstrom.

Nordstrom has dominated ASCI almost every year it’s been measured. Target managed to rank first in 2001, however, and Nordstrom’s rank wasn’t measured for the five years following that victory.
This year, Nordstrom ranked first with a score of 83 while Target holds second place at 80. Dollar General, J.C. Penney and Kohl’s all ranked third most popular with scores of 79.

Most Popular Day to Rob a Bank

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Most Popular Day to Rob a Bank

In 2009, there were more than 6,000 robberies, burglaries and larcenies committed in banks across the United States—almost 1,000 fewer than in 2008. Thankfully, only twenty-one people were killed during these incidents and each of those was one of the criminals involved. Of the over $45,000 taken during these robberies, only $8,000 has been recovered.

Most important to those who’d rather avoid being present for a bank robbery, though, is the day most of them occurred. The most popular day of the week to rob a bank was Friday. Twenty percent of the heists occurred on Fridays, with Mondays and Tuesdays being the second and third most popular days at 18% and 17%, respectively.

The least popular days were, unsurprisingly, Saturdays and Sundays.

Twenty-seven percent of the crimes occurred between the hours of 9 and 11 am, while 23% occurred between 11 am and 1 pm and 22% occurred between 3 and 6 pm.

The statistics were compiled in the FBI’s Bank Crime Statistics report for 2009.

Most Popular Girls’ Names in the US

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Since 1996, Emily has been the most popular girl’s name in the US. In fact, the Social Security Administration, the government organization that tallies babies’ names every year, named its own spokesbaby Emily. It looks like Emily’s going to have to resign now, though, as Emma has become the most popular girl’s name in the US.

Emma wasn’t the only name to outperform Emily in 2008. Isabella ranked second place, knocking Emily down to a humble third place. Following Emily, from most to least popular, were Madison, Ava, Olivia, Sophia, Abigail, Elizabeth and Chloe.

The SSA has also started ranking names by their year-to-year changes in popularity. The rising star among girl’s names this year was Khloe, which rose from 665 in 2007 to 196 in 2008. Miley, in only its sophomore year on the list, rose from 279 to 127.

Most Popular Destinations for College Graduates

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

The most populous city in the US is also the most popular city for college graduates looking to put their degrees to work. New York City topped a list of cities, compiled by job hunting sites CareerCast.com and Going Global, ranked by their popularity as destinations for graduates looking for entry level employment opportunities.

The Big Apple was a top choice on the lists of 83% of those surveyed. Washington, DC, which ranked second, was chosen by only 65% of the surveyed students. Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco rounded out the top five cities listed by these first time job hunters.

The two sites also found that the United Kingdom is the most popular country for both American students and foreign-born students at US colleges when asked where they’d like to work after graduation. Like the foreign-born students, US students gave the United States third place—despite a drop in the number of US students looking to move abroad after graduation.

Most Popular Soda in the US

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Most Popular Soda in the US - Coca-Cola

Whether you call it pop, soda, coke or soda pop, if you’re a US citizen it’s likely that you drink soda on a fairly regular basis. In 2007, it was estimated that, on average, Americans drink three quarts of soda per week. So what is it that we’re drinking so much? Well, just take another look at that list of generic names for carbonated soft drinks and it should be pretty obvious; Coke is America’s most popular soft drink.

Coca-Cola was created in 1885 by Georgian druggist John Pemberton and was originally known as Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. You’ve probably heard that the original formula used cocaine, but may not be aware that it was also alcoholic. Of course, that had to change when Atlanta outlawed booze the next year and the resulting drink, which also contained caffeine from Kola nuts, became known as Coca-Cola. It wasn’t until 1903 that the Coca-Cola Company stopped using cocaine in the popular soft drink.

According to “Beverage Digest,” 17.2% of soda consumed in 2007 was Coke Classic. Pepsi Cola held second place with 10.7% and Diet Coke came in third with 10%.

Most Popular Leader in the Americas

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Most Popular Leader in the Americas - Barack Obama

Far be it from me to turn the wheels of propaganda, but this wouldn’t be The Most Popular Journal if we ignored a story like this. After a poll of 10,000 people in twenty-two Ibero-American countries, President Barack Obama has been declared the most popular leader in the Americas.

The poll shows a 70% approval rating for President Obama—a bit more than the stateside 63% approval rating he garnered after his first quarter in office. As if that isn’t enough, Canadians really tipped the scales with a phenomenal 82% approval rating for the US President, although that was before he took office.

The Latin American poll was released on the same night of Obama’s nigh unprecedented visit to Mexico City where he received glowing praise from Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Second place on that poll went to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who managed a 59% approval rating.

Of course, it’s still early in the popular President’s term—only time can tell if he’ll remain the Americas’ most popular leader in the years to come.

Most Popular Actors

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Most Popular Actor - Tom Hanks

A recent poll has allowed ordinary Americans to vote on their own favorite actors and actresses. The poll was conducted jointly between Parade magazine and Entertainment Tonight. Participants were allowed to vote on previous Academy Awards winners in various Oscar-like categories.

Tom Hanks was voted Best Actor in the poll, proving that the two-time Oscar winner is America’s most popular actor. He has won awards for his performance in Philadelphia (1999) and Forrest Gump (1994) while competing with Russel Crowe and the late Paul Newman.

Most Popular Actress - Julia Roberts

The most popular actress was Julia Roberts, who won an Oscar for Erin Brokovich in 2000. Her competitors that year were Reese Witherspoon and Jodie Foster.

America’s favorite supporting actors were Morgan Freeman, who took home an Oscar for Million Dollar Baby in 2004, and Angelina Jolie, who won her award for Girl, Interrupted (1999).

Participants were also allowed to vote on the Best Film, which turned out to be 1997’s Titanic.

Most Popular Ads of Super Bowl XLIII

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Super Bowl is about more than football, snacks and camaraderie—it’s also about watching the most extravagant ads of the year. The most popular Super Bowl ads this year, however, weren’t the most expensive to make.

Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” contest allowed aspiring filmmakers and amateur marketers to submit their own ads to, well, crash the Super Bowl. Two finalists—“Free Doritos” and “Power of the Crunch”—were chosen to be aired during the Super Bowl. “Free Doritos,” as it happens, became not only the best of nearly 2,000 “Crash the Super Bowl” submissions but also managed to be the most popular ad of Super Bowl XLIII.

“Free Doritos” features an office worker throwing his snow globe “crystal ball” at a break room vending machine in order to get free Doritos for the whole office. It was created by Joe and David Herbert of Batesville, Indiana.

While everyone seems to agree that this was the most popular ad during the Super Bowl, the number two spot is still contested.

According to YouTube’s AdBlitz program, second through fourth place are held by E*Trade’s “Singing Baby” ad, Careerbuilder.com’s list of reasons you need a new job and Pepsi Max’s “I’m Good” commercial.

USA Today, on the other hand, gives second and third place to Budweiser’s Clydesdale ads and fourth place to Bridgestone’s Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head ad.

Both lists agree that Doritos’ other user-generated add, “Power of the Crunch,” hit fifth place.

“Free Doritos” and “Power of the Crunch” aren’t the only Doritos winners that will see the light of day. In fact, the two popular ads merely kicked off Doritos’ latest campaign wherein the five best user-generated ads will all get some TV time.

Most Popular NBA Jerseys

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Most Popular NBA Jersey - Kobe Bryant's No. 24 Lakers jersey

One of the most important questions facing NBA fans today is “Whose jersey is the most popular?” Last year, the answer would have been Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 Boston Celtics jersey. This year the answer is the jersey worn by none other than the Los Angeles Lakers’ 11-time All-Star—Kobe Bryant.

Bryant’s No. 24 jersey dominated sales in the 2008-09 season, regaining the popularity they held before Garnett’s jerseys overtook them last year. One reason for their popularity may be Bryant’s switch, two seasons ago, from No. 8 to No. 24. Another possible factor is that people just like him.

Third and fourth place were held by LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. Fifth place was held by Allen Iverson of the Detroit Pistons

NBA jerseys are made by Adidas AG.

Most Popular Birth Control

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Most Popular Birth Control

Condoms are one of the oldest of prophylactics with usage (debatably) dating back to ancient civilizations. Prior to the fifteenth century, glans condoms, which covered only the head of the penis, were used in Asia. They were usually made of oiled silk or lamb intestines.

That’s right—lamb intestines. History is disgusting.

Of course, the oldest method of birth control isn’t the most popular. Today, the pill is the most popular form of birth control in the US.

There are two different kinds of birth control pills in widespread use. Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills (COCP) contain both progestin and estrogen while Progestin Only Pills (POP) only have… I forget which one. Ask me again later.

POP pills are less likely than their more robust cousins to cause weight gain and they’re not associated with DVT or heart disease. However, they do tend to cause regular “light spotting,” mastalgia and mood swings.

Okay, maybe history wasn’t so bad after all.

The most popular birth control is used by 28% of women, according to a recent study, with condoms only being used by 24%. All things considered, I feel that these statistics are better than those in a 2000 study that found that the most popular form of birth control was the surgical approach.

Most Popular Halloween Costumes

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Most Popular Halloween Costume - Joker
The Joker

Halloween is just around the corner and costume shop owners couldn’t be happier as this year’s blockbusters drive costume sales. So what are this year’s most popular Halloween costumes?

Most Popular Halloween Costume - Rainbow Brite
“Sexy” Rainbow Brite

For men, the most popular costume is from the hit movie Dark Knight—but it isn’t Batman. Instead, the late Heath Ledger’s ghoulish portrayal of the Joker has inspired many of this year’s costumed partygoers. His henchmen from the movie’s opening sequence are also a popular choice.

The most popular costume for women is somewhat more retro (and surprising to this particular writer). It’s Rainbow Brite. Apparently, Playmates and United Media have decided to relaunch the popular girls’ cartoon and the costumiers were ready for it.

Of course, there are always the old standbys. Couples costumes will always be popular. Then, of course, there’s my personal favorite costume concept—anything that starts with “Sexy.”

Most Popular International Vacation Spots for Americans

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

America's Most Popular Vacation Spots

In general, Americans aren’t a particularly worldly people. In fact, most estimates place the number of US citizens with passports somewhere around 20%. It should be no surprise, then, that according to a recent survey of our most popular international destinations we generally stick close to home.

TNS, a respected market research organization, recently conducted their American Traveler Study, asking 8,000 respondents where they had vacationed in the past year and which they liked best among those places they’d been in the last three years.

The results indicate that the most popular destination for Americans is Canada. Of course, the price of gas and other economic factors are a likely reason both for Canada’s popularity as a vacation spot and an overall decrease in international travel. Other popular destinations include the Caribbean and Bermuda, Mexico, the British Isles and France.

The TNS Traveler Satisfaction Index tells another tale. According to the survey, American travelers found Australia to be the best vacation spot. Australia was followed on the Index by London, Ireland, Scotland and British Columbia.

America’s Most Popular Magazines

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

If the most popular magazines are anything to judge by, then there are a couple of rules to abide by if you want to make your own successful magazine. First, your magazine should be family-safe. Second, it should appeal to women.

Don’t believe me? Check out the list of America’s most popular magazines.

Most Popular Magazines - Family Circle

Family Circle

Published by the Meredith Corporation, Family Circle has been called the most popular women’s magazine in America at times. It was originally published in 1932 by the New York Times and now reaches 20 million readers monthly. It’s considered one of the “seven sisters,” a group of women’s magazines also consisting of Ladies’ Home Journal, McCall’s, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Garden, Woman’s Day and Redbook.

Most Popular Magazines - Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping

Another of the “sisters,” currently owned by the Hearst Corporation, Good Housekeeping was originally published in 1885 by Clark W. Bryan in Holyoke, Massachussetts. It was acquired by the Hearst Corporation, still run by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, in 1911. The popular women’s magazine is well known for the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

Most Popular Magazines - National Geographic

National Geographic

The National Geographic Society first convened in Washington, DC’s Cosmos Club in 1888. At the time, it consisted of thirty-three explorers and scientists. Now, the society is 8 million members strong. The magazine was first published nine months after that initial meeting and has been published monthly ever since. It is now delivered to 9 million readers every month and read by over 50 million. Its popularity most likely doesn’t stem from the occasional booby that graces its pages.

Most Popular Magazines - Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

The third, and most popular “sister” on the list, this monthly magazine needs no introduction—the name kind of says it all anyway. Better Homes and Garden has spawned numerous home economics books, including the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.

Most Popular Magazines - Reader's Digest

Reader’s Digest

Co-founded in 1922 by Lila Bell and DeWitt Wallace, America’s most popular magazine is available monthly in thirty-five languages. Published in a pocket-sized format, Reader’s Digest bore the tag “America in your pocket” from 2005 to 2008. The magazine’s popularity is no doubt due to both its general-interest nature and the fifty-two editions that are available worldwide. The publication even goes through a rigorous “localization” process to make sure that international readers aren’t threatened by our dirty American memes. All told, the magazine is read by 100 million people globally, which also makes it the world’s most popular magazine.

Most Popular Board Game

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

World's Most Popular Board Game

Parker Brothers’ famous game of economics, Monopoly, has been called “the most played board game in the world.” It’s certainly a believable title when you consider that, according to Hasbro, the game has been played by over 750 million people since Parker Brothers originally published it in 1935.

Monopoly is actually based on a game patented by Elizabeth J. Magie in 1906. The Quaker woman hoped to use The Landlord’s Game to explain Henry George’s single tax theory. Despite Magie’s original and renewed patents of the world’s most popular game, several versions of the game were created in the years before it was published by Parker Brothers. The name “Monopoly” was first applied to the game in 1910 when a shortened version called “Auction Monopoly,” which had eliminated the Georgist elements of the game, became popular.

In 1933, Charles Darrow copyrighted his own version of the game, simply called “Monopoly,” and began shopping for publishers. Despite having rejected Magie’s original Landlord’s Game twice and Darrow’s Monopoly once, Parker Brothers eventually elected to publish the game in 1935. Officially, neither Parker Brothers nor Hasbro, their parent company, acknowledge the history of the game prior to Charles Darrow’s version. They have, however, acquired Magie’s original patent.

The board as most players know it features locations in and around Atlantic City, New Jersey. A multitude of alternate editions, however, replace these properties with others more appropriate to the theme. Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition, for instance, replaces the two utilities in the game with solar and wind energy. Localized versions also exist for countries outside of the US.

Then, of course, there’s the game’s official mascot, Mr. Monopoly—known as Rich Uncle Pennybags until he was renamed by Hasbro in 1998. The character is loosely based on John Pierpont Morgan, billionaire and founder of J. P. Morgan & Co.

Most Popular Truck Color

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

We’ve told you about the most popular car color, but what about the most popular truck color? Are truck owners buying white in droves as much as car owners are? According to DuPont’s 55th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, they certainly are. As you can see from the chart below, 24% of truck owners purchased white in 2008—more than vehicle owners in any other category!

Most Popular Truck Color in North America

Most Popular Car Color in America

Thursday, August 21st, 2008


Cars have been available in a range of colors since the first Model T rolled onto the market. It was only later, from 1914 to 1926, that the Model T was available in just one color—black. Henry Ford is often quoted as proclaiming that “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Supposedly, black paint dried faster than any other paint of the time and thus led to cars roll.

Most Popular Car Color
Before it was cool.

Of course, the full range of colors is available today. In fact, a couple of urban legends have been spawned by the idea that a car’s color is indicative of the owner’s personality. While there is no evidence that insurance companies use automobiles’ colors to determine insurance quotes, it’s still a common assumption along with the idea that red cars are more likely to get ticketed by police officers.

You may be wondering, what is the most popular car color? For seven years, silver was the most popular car color. It was seen as both a high-tech color and one that was safe for resell—not as many people would be turned off by a silver car as would be turned off by, say, a green car.

Buyers in 2007, however, broke the mold by buying more white cars than cars in any other color. Why? Well, it’s been said that a high-tech color like silver isn’t popular anymore. I disagree. I don’t think silver is a high-tech color anymore. Looking at the popularity of iPods, iPhones and other Apple products, I’d say white is going to be the color of technology for some time.

In 2007, nineteen percent of cars manufactured were white. Twenty-two percent of luxury cars were white. Eighteen percent of all cars were silver and sixteen percent were black.

Of course, given years of popularity, silver cars will still outnumber autos of other colors for awhile.

2007 Most Popular Car Colors
Source: DuPont 2007 Global Automotive Color Popularity Report

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Most Popular Television Show

Friday, August 1st, 2008

World's Most Popular Television Show - CSI: Crime Scene Investigations

The most recent Nielsen report places the national average television viewing time between three and just over five hours per day, depending on both gender and age. That means we spend roughly three percent of our lives glued to the TV. So what, exactly, are we watching? What is the most popular television show?

A new study tells us that the most watched television show on Earth is “CSI: Crime Scene Investigations.” The crime drama boasted more than 84 million viewers around the world in 2007, beating sibling show “CSI: Miami” and hospital drama “House.”

America's Most Popular Television Show - American Idol

It wasn’t the most popular show in America, though. That honor belongs to “American Idol,” which may have netted the global top spot if different countries didn’t have their own versions of the show.

“CSI” debuted in 2000, spawning its Miami spin-off in 2002 and “CSI: NY” in 2004. It is currently scheduled for its ninth season. “American Idol” debuted in 2002 and will begin its 8th season in 2009.

Most Popular College in the US

Friday, August 1st, 2008


Every year, millions of high school students in the United States start the process of applying for secondary education. Of course, some schools have more applicants than others. What, then, is the most popular college in the United States?

For the school year beginning in the Fall of 2007, the University of California, Los Angeles received over 50,000 applications from high school seniors. UCLA is considered one of the best five universities in the nation, among such Ivy League schools as Princeton and Harvard. Part of that rank is due to the institution’s Athletics program; UCLA has won multiple NCAA championships. It’s also considered one of the best public research institutions in the nation; UCLA ranked 11th in the nation for research leading to a Nobel Prize.

Of course, the most popular university can’t accept all 50,000 of those applicants—that’s nearly twice the size of the school’s entire undergraduate class. Instead, they’ve instituted a new “holistic approach” to acceptance, starting in 2006, where each application is reviewed by two readers rather than three. In 2007, UCLA admitted just over a fifth of their applicants.

Most popular university in the US - UCLA

Most Popular Dog Names

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

by Hunter Davis

A lot of thought is required when it comes to choosing the perfect name for your dog. You’ll want to choose a name that fits the dog’s personality and appearance. To help you with this decision, every year the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company combs through its list of policyholders’ pet names and publishes the most popular dog names (and other pets’ names) online. People that can afford pet insurance will probably name their dogs the same popular names as pet owner’s who do not have insurance.

While comparing the list from 2005 with lists from previous years, there hasn’t been a lot of change to the most popular dog name list. You won’t hear names like “Fido” or “Spot” anymore. Instead, names like “Max”, “Buddy”, “Molly” and “Lucy” are more likely to be shouted out at the dog park these days. Animal experts warn not to name your pet a name that sounds too closely to a command you will use. This could potentially lead to a lot of confusion. You might also want to save your favorite name for your baby so it won’t seem like you named your kid after your pet.

The 2005 list probably includes your dog’s name, or at least the dog of someone you know. For male dogs the top ten most popular names are as follows: Max, Buddy, Jake, Rocky, Bailey, Buster, Cody, Charlie, Bear, and Jack. The top ten most popular female dog names in 2005 are: Molly, Maggie, Daisy, Lucy, Sadie, Ginger, Chloe, Bailey, Sophie, and Zoe.

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Most Popular Car in America

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

To be the most popular car in America, a model has to posses a wealth of features- reliability, safety, inoffensive yet attractive styling, power, and good gas mileage. Considering these design features, what is the most popular car? These desirable traits come together in the Toyota Camry, making it the highest selling and most popular car in America since 2002.

Launched in limited numbers in America in 1982, the first Camry was compact cars available in hatchback and sedan body styles. A second generation model followed in 1987, upgrading available engine power and offering new safety features such as anti-lock breaks and all-wheel drive. The hatchback model would vanish, replaced by the wagon body style. First sold in America in 1992, the third generation of the Toyota Camry ditched its compact roots to become a mid-size family sedan. 1997 saw the debut of the restyled fourth generation Camry, followed by the introduction of the Camry Solara coupe in 1999. Available as both a hardtop and a convertible, the Solara was built with more graceful and youth-oriented styling than the Camry. In 2000, the Camry became the highest selling car in America for the first time in its history, with reported figures of 422,930 sold. The next timely iteration to the Camry occurred in 2001, when America’s most popular car became much taller and roomier. The wagon body style was dumped for the fifth generation Camry. The sixth generation, launching in 2006, marked a decided change in the Camry’s styling. The aggressive front fascia compliments the available 3.5L V6, giving the new Camry much more power than any of the previous versions. America’s most popular car is now also available as a hybrid, using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology.

most popular car, Toyota Camry
Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Toyota Camry classically performs well in crash safety tests, with all models since 1997 receiving a “Good” frontal crash rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Strangely, the fifth generation Camry receives a “Poor” rating in side impact tests from the IIHS when not equipped with side-impact airbags. The side airbag option, introduced in 2004, improves the side impact rating to “Good”.

Sales of the Camry in America peaked in 2006, with the nation’s most popular family sedan selling 448,445 units. The Camry’s future includes a foray into the increasingly popular NASCAR Nextel Cup, making it the first non-domestic car to compete in NASCAR in recent years. 2007 also expects to see the Camry produced in America for the first time, finally bringing America’s most popular car a little closer to home.

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