I regularly sing the praises of the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics, so forgive me if you've heard this song before. The latest data release from the SRC has a couple interesting tidbits profiling the newly minted PhDs in physics and astronomy.
First of all, the number of PhDs awarded continued its decade-long rise since the low of the late 90's dot-com boom. The last time the US produced this many PhDs in physics was the mid-1960's when the space race, the nuclear arms race, and dozen of other defense-related Cold War initiatives drove hoards of students into PhD programs.
The second interesting tidbit is the distribution of time-to-PhD for recent graduates. I have seen averages previously, but it's great to see the histogram. It's clear that the "5-year PhD" model is really a myth more than anything at this point.
Finally, the last tidbit is a fun little question that the AIP asked.