Independence Day

Some fun facts:
On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, starting 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 number of people living in the colonies. (1776 population from Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970.)

300 million
On this July 4th, the population milestone our nation soon will be closing in on.

Fourth of July Cookouts
150 million

Number of hot dogs (all varieties) expected to be consumed by Americans on this holiday. (That’s one frankfurter for every two people.) There’s more than a 1-in-4 chance that the hot dogs made of pork originated in Iowa, as the Hawkeye State had a total inventory of 15.2 million market hogs and pigs on March 1, 2006. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s total. North Carolina (8.5 million) and Minnesota (5.8 million) were the runners-up.

Some sad facts:
$201.9 million

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2005, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($211 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $14.9 million in 2005, with Australia purchasing more than any other country ($4.4 million).

$17.3 millionThe value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks in 2002.

$5.5 million
In 2005, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags; the vast majority of this amount $5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.

Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2005. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $529,000 worth.

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