This Christmas, we took our annual look at what Americans got stuck in their butts this past year. It sure felt like a banner year for rectum accidents, but was this really this case? And the obvious followup: What does it mean for the economy?

The CPSC's emergency room database lets us search for rectal incidents as far back as 2002. The actual objects don't vary a lot from year to year (vibrators, mostly), but there were some interesting data on how often these injuries occur. The blue line in the chart above shows the incidence of "stuff in butt" accidents, by year, as a percentage of all adult injuries in the database. The red line shows U.S. unemployment, on a reverse axis, so zero percent is at the top, not the bottom.

Rectal accidents track closely with employment in the U.S. before, during, and after the recession. Because we want very badly to live in a country where shoving things up your butt is an indicator of economic health, we will choose to believe that the relationship here is causative. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.


The good news is that in 2012, approximately 24 out of every 100,000 CPSC-database injuries were people getting stuff stuck in their rectums, a 60 percent increase over 2010 (15 out of 100,000) and the highest figure since 2007 (25 out of 100,000). The economic outlook is rosy.