Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Newsroom

Skip top of page navigation
Facts for Features
CB14-FF.06
March 12, 2014

PDF Version [80K]
Graphic: [JPG | PDF]

Earth Day: April 22, 2014

Earth Day

April 22, 2014, marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day — a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. The day came from reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. In honor of Earth Day — and Earth Week (April 16-22) — this edition of Profile America Facts for Features includes examples of Census Bureau statistics pertaining to energy and the environment.

Heating and Cooling the Home

2.4 million

Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by wood in 2012, which is 2.1 percent of all homes.

42,747

Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country totally heated by solar energy in 2012.

57.0 million

Estimated number of occupied housing units across the country heated by utility gas in 2012, which is 49.4 percent of all homes.
Source: 2008-2012 American Community Survey five-year estimates, Table B25040.
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml>

89%

Estimated percent of newly built single-family homes across the country with air-conditioning in 2012. In 1973, it was 49 percent.
Source: 2012 Characteristics of New Housing <http://www.census.gov/construction/chars/highlights.html>
Presence of Air-Conditioning in New Single-Family Houses Completed <http://www.census.gov/construction/chars/pdf/aircond.pdf>

Commuting to Work

25.7 minutes

Estimated average time for workers age 16 and older across the country spent getting to work in 2012, up from 25.5 minutes in 2011 and 25.3 minutes in 2010.

31.9 and 31.8 minutes

Estimated average time for workers age 16 and older in Maryland and New York spent getting to work in 2012, the longest commute time in the nation. (The two times are not statistically different.) Maryland's time is down from 32.2 minutes in 2011.

16.7 and 17.4 minutes

Estimated average time workers age 16 and older in South Dakota and North Dakota spent getting to work in 2012, the shortest one-way commute times in the nation. (The two times are not statistically different.)

864,883

Estimated number of people who rode a bicycle to work in 2012. This comes out to about 0.6 percent of the American workforce.

3,969,058

Estimated number of people who walked to work in 2012. This comes out to about 2.8 percent of the American workforce.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb13-167.html>

Working in the Nuclear and Forestry Fields

50,778

Number of workers employed in nuclear electric power generation (NAICS 221113) across the U.S. in 2011, up from 49,174 in 2010. They had an average salary of $111,750, up from $109,021 in 2010.

53,034

Number of workers employed in forestry and logging (NAICS 113) across the U.S. in 2011, down from 53,525 in 2010. They had an average salary of $37,986, up from $37,215 in 2010.
Source: 2011 County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp>

Using Energy

18,817 trillion Btu

The energy consumption in the U.S. manufacturing sector in 2010, down 17 percent from the 22,576 trillion Btu (British thermal units) consumed in 2002.

-32%

The drop in the consumption of coal in the U.S. manufacturing sector from 2002 to 2010, going from 1,956 trillion Btu in 2002 down to 1,328 trillion Btu consumed in 2010.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2010 Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey
<http://www.eia.gov/consumption/manufacturing/index.cfm>

Building a House

2,505 square feet

The average size of a single-family home completed in 2012; 63,000 had two or fewer bedrooms and 198,000 had four bedrooms or more.

$292,200

The average sales price of a new single-family home sold in 2012. In 2011, the average sales price of a single-family home sold was $267,900.

9,000

The number of multifamily buildings built across the U.S. in 2012. Of these, 6,000 used electricity as the primary heating fuel.
Source: 2012 Characteristics of New Housing
<http://www.census.gov/construction/chars/highlights.html>

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

$7.6 billion

Product shipments value of recycled paperboard in 2011. This is up from $7.2 billion in 2010.
Source: 2010 and 2011 Annual Survey of Manufactures
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ASM_2011_31VS201&prodType=table>

Collecting Revenue

$1.2 billion

Estimated revenue for "waste collection - hazardous waste management collection services" in 2012 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms. This was down 13.1 percent from 2011.

$5.7 billion

Estimated revenue for "waste treatment and disposal - hazardous waste treatment and disposal services" in 2012 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms. This was down 5.1 percent from 2011.

$8.2 billion

Estimated revenue for "waste collection - hazardous waste management collection services" in 2012 for estimated sources of revenue for U.S. employer firms. This was down 13.1 percent from 2011.
Source: 2012 Service Annual Survey, Table 4 <http://www.census.gov/services/>

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)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • 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>.

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: July 15, 2014