Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

World languages

With a world population of about 7.1 billion people, there are 7,102 living languages. About 578 of these are classified as “institutional,” meaning they are in vigorous usage and used and sustained by institutions beyond the home and community. About 2,447 languages are dying or in trouble.

M. Paul Lewis, Gary F. Simons, and Charles D. Fennig (eds.), 2015, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Eighteenth edition (Dallas, Texas: SIL International), online version: (retrieved August 11, 2015).

Higher ed students

Of the roughly 3.2 million students receiving degrees at four-year Title IV institutions, 58 percent received a bachelor’s degree. This percentage varied by type of institution, with 65 percent at public institutions receiving a bachelor’s degree, 53 percent at private nonprofit institutions receiving a bachelor’s degree, and 39 percent at private for-profit institutions receiving a bachelor’s degree. Institutions reported a 12-month unduplicated headcount enrollment totaling about 27.8 million individual students. Of these, about 24.1 million were undergraduates and approximately 3.8 million were graduate students.

S. A. Ginder, J. E. Kelly-Reid, and F. B. Mann, “Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2014–15; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred, 2013–14; and 12–Month Enrollment, 2013–14: First Look (Preliminary Data) (NCES 2015–097),” U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, (retrieved August 4, 2015).

Right to be forgotten

Since May 2015, about 280,000 Europeans have requested Google to remove web pages about them from its search results. Google granted the requests in 46 percent of the cases and rejected 38 percent of the requests. The other cases are still pending.

Mona Chalabi and Rachel Martin, “More Than A Quarter-Million Ask Google To Be Forgotten,” July 19, 2015, National Public Radio, (retrieved August 4, 2015).

Preference for print

A study of 400 students at Brigham Young University revealed 65 percent prefer print course materials over electronic. “When asked if they learn better from print or digital course materials, 74 reported print. When asked if they read digital files or printed them, 72 percent said they printed some or all of the materials.”

Howie Fenton, “BYU Finds Students Prefer Printed Course Materials,” July 8, 2014, Digital Printing Hot Spot blog, Xerox, (retrieved August 11, 2015).

Mobile phone etiquette

A recent study found about 75 percent of mobile phone users say they have “mobile boundaries”—recognizing some places are not appropriate for mobile phone use. About 12 percent feel they should be able to use their device anytime, anywhere. Respondents ranked the movie theater as the most irritating place people use their smartphones, followed by religious institutions and restaurants.

Bank of America, “Trends in consumer mobility report,” 2015, (retrieved August 10, 2015).

Copyright 2015© American Library Association

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