Fascinating Fourth of July facts

Published 10:34 am Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Fourth of July Weekend is upon us, so we’d like to share some interesting facts from the U.S. Census Bureau’s website related to the holiday.

* 2.5 million — In July 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, that was the estimated number of people living in the 13 colonies.

* 309.6 million — The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.

* $3 million —In 2009, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount — $2.5 million — was for U.S. flags made in China.

* $920,277— Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2009. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $333,882 worth.

* $301.5 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.

* $209 million—The value of fireworks imported from China in 2009, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported. U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to $42.9 million in 2009, with the United Arab Emirates purchasing more than any other country.

* $331.4 million—The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics, including flares, igniters and more, in 2007.

* 31—Number of places nationwide with “liberty” in their name. The most populous one as of July 1, 2008, is Liberty, Mo., population 30,568. Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

* 30—Number of places with “eagle” in their name after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. The most populous such place is Eagle Pass, Texas, with 26,668 residents.

* 11—Places having “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 110,440 residents.

* 5—Places that adopted the name “freedom.” Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.

* 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 18.9 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2010. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s total. North Carolina (9.1 million) and Minnesota (7.2 million) were the runners-up.

n About 1 in 3—The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 34 percent of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2009. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and New York together accounted for 66 percent of the fresh market sweet corn produced nationally in 2009.