Fourth of July: By the Numbers
Business + Economy

Fourth of July: By the Numbers

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Fire up that grill and start flipping those beef patties, Americans! Your annual Fourth of July cookout will cost you about three percent less compared to one year ago, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The average cost for one cookout guest is less than six dollars. A crucial reason for the decline is the lower fuel and energy prices this year compared to last year. Lower energy prices keep the costs of the processed foods in your shopping cart down.

In preparation for the number one grilling holiday of the year, 190 million pounds of beef is purchased two weeks before the big day; 700 million pounds of chicken is bought one week prior; and 150 million hot dogs are consumed the day of the feast. According to an Instantly poll, Americans’ top three favorite side dishes to go along with their grilled fare are baked beans (51 percent), corn on the cob (60 percent), and potato salad (61 percent).

July 4th isn’t just a holiday about food; it’s also the top selling beer holiday in the U.S. Each year the two weeks surrounding Independence Day rank the highest for two-week beer sales in America.

Here are some other Fourth of July figures to quiz your friends with while sipping on that cold brew, courtesy of the Census Bureau.

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

The nation’s estimated population on July 4, 2015.

$247.1 million
Value of fireworks imported from China in 2014, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($257.8 million). By comparison, U.S. fireworks exports totaled a mere $11.9 million in 2014, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($5.4 million).

$369.4 million
Fireworks sales by retailers in 2012.

1,800 degrees Fahrenheit
The temperature innocent looking sparklers can actually reach, and the reason they’re the main cause of injury in firework related incidents.

$3.6 million
In 2014, the value of U.S. imports of American flags. Interestingly, 97 percent of this amount ($3.5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.

$1.8 million
The value of U.S. flags exported in 2014. Turkey was the leading customer, spending $673,000.

Number of places that contain the word “liberty” in the name; Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state.

Just one lone place has “patriot” in its name: Patriot, Ind., has an estimated population of 205.

The number of places that contain the name “union,” making it the most common patriotic sounding name used. Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than any other state.

The year Congress made Independence Day a paid federal holiday.

$107.9 billion
Dollar value of trade in 2014 between the United States and the United Kingdom, making the British, our arch enemy in 1776, our seventh-leading trading partner today.

150 million
The minimum number of hot dogs Americans are expected to consume on the Fourth of July. Comparatively, that’s enough hot dogs to stretch from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles more than five times.

6.1 billion pounds
Total estimated production of calves and cattle in Texas in 2013, meaning the chances are pretty high that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers you’re grilling on Saturday came from the Lone Star State.

The year Congress declared Seward, Nebraska, “American’s Official Fourth of July City-Small Town USA.” While the town’s population is 6,000, over 40,000 people participate in the town’s Fourth of July celebration. 

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