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Fun Facts: Happy Fourth of July!

Carrie Coppernoll Modified: July 4, 2013 at 11:45 am •  Published: July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day! In case you aren’t celebrating by watching the Will Smith movie “Independence Day,” I’ve got the next best thing: statistics from the Census! You’re welcome.

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

316.2 million: The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.

56: Numbers 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.

$218.2 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2012, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($227.3 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $11.7 million in 2012, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($2.5 million).

$231.8 million: The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007.

$3.8 million: In 2012, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.6 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.

$614,115: Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2012. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $188,824 worth.

$302.7 million: Dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers in 2007, according to the latest published economic census statistics.

59: places contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Of the 59 places nationwide containing “liberty” in the name, four are counties: Liberty County, Ga. (65,471), Liberty County, Fla. (8,276), Liberty County, Mont. (2,392) and Liberty County, Texas (76,571). One place has “patriot” in its name. Patriot, Ind., has an estimated population of 209. The most common patriotic-sounding word used within place names is “union” with 136. Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than any other state. Other words most commonly used in place names are Washington (127), Franklin (118), Jackson (96) and Lincoln (95).

$109.8 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.

65.9 million: Number of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2013. Chances are that the pork hot dogs and sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 20.3 million hogs and pigs. North Carolina (8.9 million) and Minnesota (7.8 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.

6.3 billion pounds: Total estimated production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2012. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for nearly 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 (estimated at5.1 billion pounds) or Kansas (estimated at 3.8 billion pounds).

6: Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was estimated at $1 billion or greater between December 2011 and November 2012. 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.

345 million: Acreage planted of potatoes in Idaho in 2012, the most in the nation. Washington followed with 165 million acres. The total 2012 potato crop is forecast to exceed 467 million hundredweight (cwt), the highest level since 2000 when 523 million cwt was produced. Potato salad is a popular food item at Fourth of July barbecues.