Tuesday, June 28, 2022
June 28, 2022

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From the Newsroom: A desktop full of trivia

By , Columbian Editor

By the time you read this, I’ll be on a cruise! Because I am a neat-desk person, I tidied up before I left. I found a whole bunch of trivia that various publicists had emailed to me recently, hoping to draw attention for their clients.

Usually I don’t bother to share these, but as I was sorting through the items I thought of the longtime syndicated newspaper columnist L.M. Boyd. Boyd was a Spokane native who turned his love of trivia into a quirky daily column that eventually ran in some 400 newspapers, including The Columbian. For me it was a must-read. Boyd retired in 2000 and died in 2007, but I am guessing many readers still remember him.

Here’s what I found in my inbox:


  • 32.9 percent of adults in Vancouver get less than seven hours of sleep per night, according to HotDog.com. Those sleep-deprived folks run greater risks of health problems. The good news? We’re slightly more rested than the U.S. as a whole, where 35.7 percent of adults don’t get enough sleep.
  • Portland-Vancouver has the 15th fewest female homebuyers in America, according to Inspection Support Network. Only 20.8 percent of home purchase loans are taken out by women in the metro area, compared with 21.4 percent nationwide. My guess is it has to do with expensive homes and wage inequality, as the average woman in this market took a $325,000 loan, compared with the national average loan of $215,000.
  • Only 2.7 percent of Portland-area families are military families. That’s a half-percentage point less than the national average, according to Filterbuy. Since we lack large bases (the study says the Coast Guard is the largest local active-duty force), that shouldn’t be a surprise, although Vancouver Barracks can claim it was home to the military’s first Post Exchange, or PX!


  • Did you drink green beer this month? Doubtful. Vancouver ranks as only the 171st best place in America to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, according to Wallethub.com. We ranked 60th for traditions, maybe because of the always-cute Paddy Hough Parade, but tumbled down the list due to high costs of celebrating and the Irish-like local weather.
  • Clark County residents are the fourth-most generous in Washington, according to SmartAsset.com, which looked at how much money people donate to charity as a percentage of net income, as well as the proportion of residents who donate. Collectively we donate 1.64 percent of our incomes, with 9.83 percent of local people donating enough to itemize it on their federal tax returns. King, San Juan and Snohomish counties outranked us.
  • Wallethub.com also looked at states with the lowest personal tax rates. Washington had the 37th lowest tax rate; Oregon was 12th. If you hate paying taxes, move to Alaska, according to Wallethub.com, where the personal tax burden is lowest.


  • About 6.2 percent of Portland-Vancouver’s total workforce works the night shift, according to Porch. That’s an estimated 80,351 workers, who earn a median annual wage of $32,000, compared with $41,000 for all local workers. The study mentions disc jockeys, gambling service workers, postal employees, respiratory therapists and locomotive engineers as occupations where a lot of people work nights. I would have mentioned newspaper delivery workers.
  • Portland-area masons earn an average $47,001 per year, also according to Porch. That puts our masons’ pay about $1,000 per year more than the national average. I wasn’t sure what a mason does, but the study helpfully explains these are “construction professionals tasked with pouring, strengthening, smoothing and finishing concrete.” L.M. Boyd probably would have known that.

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