Weather Report

Readers of The Atlantic, Harper’s, and the New Yorker are among the most informed when it comes to national news; Rush Limbaugh and NPR listeners are close behind. So says the latest Pew survey on news interest and knowledge. But the most exciting piece of news in the report? Get this unpredictable trend:

Nearly half of Americans (48%) say they follow weather news very closely, which is largely unchanged from 2006 (50%). No other topic generates close to this level of interest. Crime is the next highest-rated topic, but just 28% say they follow crime news very closely.

While more women than men say they are very interested in weather news—and more older people than younger people—interest in weather news is broadly shared. For instance, half of those with family incomes of $150,000 a year or more say they follow weather news very closely, as do about the same proportion of those with incomes of less than $30,000 (47%).

Where was this choice morsel when Rick Warren was crafting his questions? “How closely would you say you follow the weather?” would have made for great, um, context before the Definition of Rich question.

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Jane Kim is a writer in New York.