July Fourth: By the Numbers

Happy Birthday, America!

July-4thThe Fourth of July has become a date synonymous with America—a time to celebrate our nation and the principles on which it was founded, and spend time with family and friends. Then there are the fireworks, a tradition stretching all the way back to 1777, when they were included in July 4th celebrations in Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

We hope you enjoy what we think are some interesting and fun stats about this most American of holidays. May you have a fun and safe Fourth of July!                        

Important dates

  • July 2, 1776: The day the Declaration of Independence was actually approved
  • July 4, 1776: The date when it was printed (the printer put July 4 at the top of the document, which is why we celebrate on July 4 instead of July 2)
  • 1941: Year the Fourth of July became an official federal holiday

My how we've grown

  • 2.5 million: Estimated U.S. population in 1776
  • 318 million: Approximate U.S. population as of June 23, 2014

The stars and stripes

  • $4 million: The value of U.S. flags imported in 2012 (almost all of which came from China)
  • $781,222: The value of flags the U.S. exports (Mexico was the biggest customer)

Patriotic locales

  • 136: Number of places with the word "union" in their name (Pennsylvania has most, with 33)
  • 127: Number of places with the word "Washington" in their name
  • 59: Number of places with the word  "liberty" in the name (Pennsylvania again has the most with 11)
  • 16: Number of cities named "Independence"
  • 1: Number of places with "Patriot" in its name (Patriot, Ind., population 209)

Things that go boom

  • 255 million pounds: The amount of fireworks purchased in 2005, an all-time high
  • 163.3 million pounds: The amount of consumer fireworks purchased in 2013 (the decrease is mainly due to drought-based limits imposed on fireworks)
  • 6.7 million pounds: Total amount of fireworks produced in the U.S. in 2010-2012
  • 4: Number of states that ban all types of consumer fireworks (Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York)
  • 100: Percentage of states banning consumer fireworks that were original colonies

Good friends

  • 40 million: Approximate number of people who will travel more than 50 miles for the Fourth of July
  • 2.7 billion: The approximate number of miles those people will drive (or roughly the distance between the Earth and the planet Neptune)
  • $3.65: Average price for a gallon of regular unleaded (as of late June)
  • 50%: Those who are travelling to see family or friends
  • 25%: Those travelling who will visit a national or historic park over the holiday

Good eats

  • 78 million: Number of Americans attending a cookout on July 4
  • 155 million: Estimated number of hot dogs eaten on July 4, 2013
  • 13,345 miles: Distance those hot dogs would stretch if laid end to end
  • 25: Percentage of Iowans who have a hot dog or sausage on July 4, the highest percentage of any state


American Pyrotechnics Association

U.S. Census Bureau


Mark Dye

About the author: Mark Dye

Mark Dye has been writing articles, recording podcasts, and putting together books on personal finance for nearly a decade. His work has been recognized by the American Bankers Association and the Institute for Financial Literacy, and received an 2011 APEX Grand Award for Writing. Follow Mark on Google+.

Contact: Mark Dye


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