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Opinion: Happy July 4, by the numbers

We celebrate Independence Day this week, always an especially big celebration in Detroit Lakes.  Here, courtesy of the US Census Bureau, is July 4, by the numbers:

2.5 million

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

316 million

The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.


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 million

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2012, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($227 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $12 million in 2012, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($2.5 million).

$4 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. 


Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2012. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $189,000 worth.

Patriotic place names

Fifty-nine 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).

$110 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. 

66 million

Number of all hogs and pigs on March 1. 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 million hogs and pigs. North Carolina (9 million) and Minnesota (8 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs. 6.3 billion pounds  


Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was estimated at $1 billion or greater between December 2011 and November 2012. Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas is likely 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.