Independence Day Facts for Ultra-Patriotic Small Talk

Tomorrow marks the 238th birthday of our nation. And so with Independence Day upon us, it’s a good time to remember the blessings of living in such a robust land. For so much of the year Americans find themselves divided by politics, grousing about taxes or worrying about the future of the place we all call home. But, Independence Day gives us a chance to look back at the sacrifices our founding fathers made, even as we look forward to the festive spreads, the fun road trips and the fireworks spangling the sky.

Here at Umbel, we hold these truths to be self-evident: life, liberty, and the pursuit of data. So whether you’re lighting a few sparklers on the front lawn, heading to the nearest beach or buying flags for the local parade, here’s the rundown on stats, fun facts and trivia surrounding the Fourth of July.

1. Americans eat around 150 million hot dogs on July 4th. That’s enough hot dogs to stretch from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. more than five times.

Furthermore, Americans will spend $92 million on chips and $60.3 million on dip. They’ll drop $193.6 million on hamburger patties, $70.4 million on buns and $86.2 million on cheese. And they’ll pay $203 million for mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup, and $161.5 million for lettuce, tomatoes, relish and onions.

Americans will eat enough hot dogs to stretch from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. more than five times.

What about dessert? Watermelon will cost the nation $167.5 million, and popsicle revenues will total $107.7 million.

2. Consumers will spend $600 million on fireworks for the Fourth of July. Two-thirds of that will be spent on backyard fireworks, but there will also be 14,000 organized local displays. The average family will spend around $20-$30 on fireworks.

Interestingly, the vast majority of fireworks purchased for the Fourth of July aren’t American made. $218.2 million was spent on fireworks imported from China in 2012, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($227.3 million).

3. Percent of American households with a grill: 87 – and Fourth of July is the most popular day to use them, with 71% of us assuming the grill position. Gas or charcoal? 50% of Americans own a gas grill, 36% prefer the charcoal variety.

Grilling all that food costs almost as much as buying it. Americans will spend $111.1 million on charcoal and another $94.3 million on lighter fluid.

4. 150 million: the number of US flags sold each year in America. There was some controversy a while back about some of our all-American flags being manufactured in China. Fortunately, that’s been cleared up and when you’re buying flags for the Fourth, you can rest assured that most American flags are manufactured right here in the USA.

5. The number of people living in America on July 4, 1776: 2.5 million. The number of people living in America this year: more than 318 million.

6. 59 places in the U.S. contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state.

In addition, the most common patriotic-sounding word used within place names is “union,” with 136 total uses. 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).

7. 68.3 million cases of beer are sold on Independence Day – that’s $341 million.

Montana has the highest per capita beer consumption. Each Montanan drinks an average of 43.7 gallons of beer a year. 

68.3 million cases of beer are sold on Independence Day – that’s $341 million.

8. 26% of Americans don’t know from which country the United States won its independence (awkward).

9. Last year, New York City had the largest Fourth of July fireworks display in the country, sponsored by Macy’s, where over 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploded. That’s the same weight as five and a half adult elephants.

Other must-see firework spectaculars can be seen in Atlantic City, NJ and Addison, TX

10. Between June 22, 2013 and July 22, 2013, more than 5,000 consumers were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4th holiday. More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.

Please light responsibly!

11. In a bizarre, though perhaps apt, twist of fate, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826.

James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

12. 40.8 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles during the Independence Day holiday.

Fortunately, gas prices won’t be too high for all those drivers. AAA forecasts that over the holiday weekend, the national average price of self-serve regular gasoline will be between $2.70 and $2.80 per gallon, down from $4.11 in 2008. That’s good news for the 90 percent of this year’s travelers who will reach their destinations by car.

Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826.

13. Number of Americans who will spend the holiday at someone else’s home: 41 million

14. Number of Americans with the last name “Washington:” 163,036

15. 42% of Americans are country music fans. The other 58% tolerate it on the Fourth of July

Here at Umbel, we love data and we love the U.S. No matter what’s in your holiday picture, don’t forget to paint it red, white, and blue.

Happy Fourth of July!