Research Takes Cents

Research!America's signature Research Takes Cents compare selected consumer spending to the costs associated with conducting research. Research Takes Cents examples are easy to drop into a conversation, and they are particularly effective when used in presentations with images.

Examples:

General Topics

Athletes

The combined salaries of the top ten highest-paid athletes in 2014 totaled more than $640 million - enough to fund all NIH-sponsored head and spine injury research for more than 3 years.

Sources: Forbes, NIH

 

Bathing Suits

Annual U.S. spending on women’s two-piece bathing suits is $8 billion, which could fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s breast and cervical cancer prevention and control program for 40 years.

 

Sources: Statistic Brain , CDC 

Coffee

In 2014, Americans spent $48 billion on coffee, which is enough money to fund all NIH-sponsored sleep research for over 200 years.

Sources: Food Navigator, NIH

 

Cosmetic Surgery

In 2014, Americans spent $14 billion on elective cosmetic surgeries, which could fund the National Institute on Aging for more than 11 years.

Sources: IBIS World, NIA

 

Disney Parks

Disney’s U.S. theme parks revenues in 2015 are estimated to be over $11 billion, which is more than double the budget for the National Science Foundation for all research and related activities in FY 15. 

Sources: Forbes, NSF 

Football

In 2014, the National Football League’s revenue was estimated to be $9.5 billion, or about 1.7 times the amount of funding that NIH-sponsored Neuroscience research received that year.

Sources: Bloomberg, NIH

 

Home Entertainment

Americans spent $17.8 billion on home entertainment in 2014, an amount that could fund the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for 54 years.

Sources: Statista, NIH

 

Ice Cream

In 2014, spending on ice cream was $8 billion - five times the total funding for NIH-sponsored nutrition research in the U.S. in FY14.

Sources: IBIS World, NIH

Lotteries

Americans spent $70 billion on lotteries in 2014, which could fund all NIH-sponsored clinical research for more than 6 years.

Sources: North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, NIH

Movies

In 2014, the profits of the top 10 grossing movies totaled $2.5 billion – which could fund NIH-sponsored research for eye disease and vision disorders for 3 years.  

Sources: The Numbers, NIH

 

Spending on Electronics

The highest valued American company, Apple, is estimated at nearly $700 billion – enough money to fund all NIH-sponsored cancer research for 130 years.

Sources: The Guardian, NIH

 

Sporting Goods

In 2014, Americans spent $48 billion on sporting goods, more than the combined budgets for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, and the Food and Drug Administration.

Sources: IBIS World, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Super Bowl

In 2015, Americans spent $14.3 billion on Super Bowl-related purchases, which could fund the Food and Drug Administration for 3 years. 

Sources: National Retail Federation, FDA

Tobacco

The estimated value of the tobacco market is more than $40 billion, enough to fund NIH-sponsored research on lung cancer for more than 190 years.

Sources: IBIS World, NIH

 

Video Games

The $4 billion Americans spent on video game rentals in 2014 could fund all of the NIH sponsored research on depression, suicide and violence for more than 6 years.

Sources: IBIS World, NIH

 

Women's Clothes

The $48 billion Americans spent in one year on women’s clothes could fund all of the NIH-sponsored research for women’s health for more than 12 years.

Sources: IBIS World, NIH

 

Seasonal

4th of July

The $675 million spent on consumer fireworks in 2014 could fund all of the NIH’s childhood injury study programs for more than 17 years.

Sources: American Pyrotechnic Association, NIH

Back to School

In 2014, Americans spent $74.9 billion for back-to-school and college shopping, which could fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 7 years. 

Sources: National Retail Federation, CDC 

Father's Day

In 2014, Americans spent $12.5 billion on gifts for Father’s Day – which could fund all NIH-sponsored prostate and colorectal cancer research for 21 years. 

Sources: National Retail Federation, NIH

 

Halloween

Americans spent $7.4 billion on Halloween products in 2014, equivalent to the FY15 budget for the National Science Foundation.

Sources: National Retail Federation, NSF

Mother's Day

In 2015, Americans spent $21.2 billion on Mother’s Day, enough money to fund rare diseases research at NIH for 6 years.

Sources: National Retail Federation, NIH

St. Patrick's Day

In 2015, Americans spent $4.6 billion for St. Patrick’s Day, enough to fund the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s research on patient safety for 63 years.

Sources: US News & World Report, AHRQ 

 

 

Summer Camp

Last summer more than $3 billion was spent on summer camp for children - the amount needed to support the NIH’s pediatric research program for a full year.

Sources: IBIS World, NIH

 

Summer Vacation

Americans spent $100 billion on summer vacation in 2014, enough money to fund all NIH-sponsored pediatric research for nearly 30 years.

Sources: Market Wired, NIH 

Thanksgiving

In 2014, an estimated $2.4 billion was spent on food for Thanksgiving, an amount that could fund food safety monitoring activities at the Food and Drug Administration for 3 years.

Sources: Statistic Brain, FDA

 

Valentine's Day

In 2014, Americans spent an estimated $37 billion on Valentine’s Day – an amount that could fund NIH-sponsored research on heart disease for 22 years.

Sources: American Express, NIH

 

Winter Weather

Americans spent enough money on snowplow services in 2014 to fund all NIH-sponsored research on Pneumonia and Influenza for 42 years.

Sources: IBIS World, NIH

You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter