Useless but Interesting 4th of July Facts

4 07 2008

Today is just like any other day at the world headquarters of Mid-Michigan Dining.  I’m sitting on the couch watching a King of the Hill marathon on FX.  I almost forgot today was actually a holiday.  I was forwarded the following press release from the U.S. Census Bureau just in case you’re at all curious about the chances of your side dish coming from North Dakota or how much it costs Americans to import.  I actually find it very disturbing that we import $4.3 million worth of flags from China.

The Fourth of July 2008

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>

304 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 17.6 million market hogs and pigs on March 1, 2008. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s total. North Carolina (9 million) and Minnesota (6.7 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>! ;< /o:p>

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 42 percent of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2007. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia and New York together accounted for 60 percent of the sweet corn produced nationally in 2007.
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. More than half (52 percent) of the nation’s spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2007.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <
http://www.nass.usda.gov>

More than three-fourths
Amount of the nation’s head lettuce production in 2007 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>

Nearly 3 in 4
The chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 73 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 processed tomato production in 2007.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <
http://www.nass.usda.gov>

Georgia
The state that led the nation in watermelon production last year (1 billion pounds). Other leading producers of this popular Fourth of July dessert included California, Florida and Texas, each with more than 400 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <
http://www.nass.usda.gov>

More than 74 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: 2008, Table 1213 <
http://www.census.gov/prod/www/statistical-abstract.html>

Fireworks

$207 million
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2007, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $14.9 million in 2007, with Japan purchasing more than any other country ($3.8 million).
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>

$17.3 million
The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks in 2002.
Source: 2002 Economic Census <
http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/ec0231i325998t.pdf>

Flags

$4.7 million
In 2007, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($4.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>

$2.4 million
Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2007. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $1.2 million worth.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>

$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, 2006, is Liberty, Mo. (29,581). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

  • Thirty-one places are named “eagle” — 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 26,401 residents.
  • Twelve places have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 109,400 residents.
  • Nine 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 192.
  • 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 25,596.

Sources: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/010315.html> and
American FactFinder <
www.census.gov>

The British are Coming!

$107.2 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/top0712.html>
<http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>

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