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Facts for Features
CB09-FF.12
May 4, 2009

The Fourth of July 2009

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.

2.5 million

In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970 <http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/statab.html>

307 million

The nation's population on this July Fourth.
Source: Population clock <http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html>

Fourth of July Cookouts

More than 1 in 4

The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.3 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2009. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation's total. North Carolina (9.4 million) and Minnesota (7.3 million) were the runners-up.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov>

6.8 billion pounds

Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2007. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation's total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.7 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.1 billion pounds).
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov>

6

Number of states in which the revenue from broiler chickens was $1 billion or greater between December 2006 and November 2007. There is a good chance that one of these states -- Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas -- is the source of your barbecued chicken.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov>

About 4 in 10

The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 39 percent of the nation's dry, edible beans in 2008. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia and New York together accounted for 61 percent of the sweet corn produced nationally in 2008.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov>

Please Pass the Potato Salad

Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. Half of the nation's spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2008.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov>

More than three-fourths

Amount of the nation's head lettuce production in 2008 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your burger.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov>

More than 7 in 10

The chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from California or Florida, which combined accounted for 71 percent of U.S. tomato production last year. The ketchup on your burger or hot dog probably came from California, which accounted for 96 percent of forecasted processed tomato production in 2008.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov>

Florida

The state that led the nation in watermelon production last year (861 million pounds). Other leading producers of this popular fruit included California, Texas and Georgia, each with more than 500 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov>

78 million

Number of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It's probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 1200 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

Fireworks

$193 million

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2008, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($202 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $28.1 million in 2008, with Australia purchasing more than any other country ($5.8 million).
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/>

$17.3 billion

The value of U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks in 2002.
Source: 2002 Economic Census <http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/ec0231i325998t.pdf>

Flags

$3.4 million

In 2008, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.0 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/>

$569,400

Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2008. Belgium was the leading customer, purchasing $186,400 worth.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/>

$349.2 million

Annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation's manufacturers, according to the latest published economic census data.
Source: 2002 Economic Census <http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/ec0231i314999t.pdf>

Patriotic-Sounding Names

31

Number of places nationwide with "liberty" in their name. The most populous one as of July 1, 2007, is Liberty, Mo. (29,993). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

  • Thirty-one places have "eagle" in their name -- after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. (Places include cities, towns, villages and census-designated places.) The most populous such place is Eagle Pass, Texas, with 26,285 residents.
  • >Eleven places have "independence" in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 110,704 residents.
  • Five places adopted the name "freedom." Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.
  • There is one place named "patriot" -- Patriot, Ind., with a population of 190.
  • And what could be more fitting than spending the Fourth of July in a place called "America"? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, population 26,472.

Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb08-106.html> and American FactFinder <www.census.gov>

The British are Coming!

$112.4 billion

Dollar value of trade last year between the United States and the United Kingdom, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our sixth-leading trading partner today.
Sources: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top0812yr.html>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: July 15, 2014