Skip Header

Release Number CB17-FF.10
Component ID: #ti1370952874

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. This most American of holidays will be marked with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues across the country. As we celebrate this Independence Day, we reflect on how our Founding Fathers enshrined the importance of statistics in our Constitution as a vital tool for measuring our people, places and economy.

Component ID: #ti447350963

2.5 million

In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.

Component ID: #ti397460675

323.1 million

The nation’s estimated population on July 4, 2016.

Component ID: #ti790618993

The Signers

Component ID: #ti2092452064


The number of signers to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the declaration. Jefferson, regarded as the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document.

It is also worth noting that:

  • John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer, and a merchant by trade. In 2015, there were 7.7 million business establishments with paid employees in the United States; 1.1 million, like Hancock, were in the retail trade industry.

Component ID: #ti2111103599

  • Benjamin Franklin, who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers at age 70. Franklin County, Pa., had an estimated population of 153,851 as of July 1, 2016. Edward Rutledge, of South Carolina, was the youngest at age 26.

Component ID: #ti850383933

  • Two future presidents signed, John Adams (second president) and Thomas Jefferson (third president). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the declaration (July 4, 1826). There are 12 counties nationwide named Adams and 26 named Jefferson.

Component ID: #ti1024063214

  • Robert Livingston, who represented New York, was on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence but was recalled by his state before he could sign it. Livingston County, N.Y., was home to an estimated 64,257 people as of July 1, 2016.

Component ID: #ti301841814

  • Representing Georgia in 1776 were Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton. Gwinnett County, Ga. (907,135); Hall County, Ga. (196,637); and Walton County, Ga. (90,184), were named for these signers

Component ID: #ti445969594

  • Charles Carroll, who represented Maryland, was the last surviving signer of the declaration. He died in 1832 at the age of 95. Carroll County, Md., named for him, had an estimated population of 167,656 as of July 1, 2016.

Component ID: #ti2140292994

  • Roger Sherman, who worked as a land surveyor and lawyer, represented Connecticut. In 2015, there were an estimated 25,698 surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists employed full time, year-round, and 879,090 lawyers employed full time, year-round nationwide.

Component ID: #ti1520733247

  • Nelson County, Va. (14,869), and Wythe County, Va. (29,016), were named for two of the six signers who represented the state of Virginia — Thomas Nelson Jr. and George Wythe.

Component ID: #ti865003253

The Bombs Bursting in Air

Component ID: #ti1916847226

$296.2 million

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2016, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($307.8 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $10.0 million in the same year.

Component ID: #ti2001034531

$368.6 million

The value of fireworks sales by retailers in 2012.

Component ID: #ti76851964

$482.6 million

The value of fireworks and firecrackers sales by wholesalers in 2012. There were 172 wholesalers who sold these items in 2012.

Component ID: #ti1047500032

You’re a Grand Old Flag

Component ID: #ti1524150791

$5.4 million

The value of U.S. imports of American flags in 2016. The vast majority of this amount ($5.3 million) was imported from China.

Component ID: #ti415794700

$27.8 million

The value of U.S. flags exported in 2016. Mexico accounted for the vast majority of U.S. flags exported ($26.1 million).

Component ID: #ti948758710

This Land Is Your Land

Component ID: #ti438157522


The number of counties and census incorporated places that contain the word “Liberty” in the name. Of the 33 areas, four are counties: Liberty County, Texas (81,704); Liberty County, Ga. (62,570); Liberty County, Fla. (8,202); and Liberty County, Mont. (2,409).

Component ID: #ti351220004


The number of incorporated places that has “Patriot” in its name: Patriot town, Ind., has an estimated population of 208.

Component ID: #ti128344143


The number of counties that have “Union” in the name. Of the 18 counties, the three largest in population are: Union County, N.J. (555,630); Union County, N.C. (226,606); and Union County, Ohio (55,457).

Component ID: #ti984388386

The British Are Coming!

Component ID: #ti1099981583

$109.7 billion

The value of trade between the United States and the United Kingdom in 2016, making the British our adversary in 1776, the seventh-leading trading partner today.

Component ID: #ti1845980132


The number of people reporting English ancestry in the United States. People claiming English ancestry ranked third behind those claiming German (45,526,331) and Irish ancestry (32,713,324).

Component ID: #ti536796985

The 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)
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; or e-mail:

Back to Header