Independence Day in the United States, also known as the Fourth of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress ratified what is now known as the Declaration of Independence. As John Adams, one of the signers of the Declaration and the second president of the United States wrote to his wife, Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
Adams mentioned the second of July because that is when the Continental Congress initially voted to approve the resolution for independence. The final version of the document was approved two days later, and may have been signed on a date other than July fourth. But the birthday of the United States has always been celebrated on the fourth of July.
The U.S. Census Bureau compiles data on numerous aspects of life in the U.S. They do not ask any direct questions about Independence Day, but there are certain industries, such those involving fireworks and party supplies, that the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics collect data on. Below are some of their statistics, and you can check out the entire list here.
Fourth of July Statistics
- There were approximately 2.5 million people living in the colonies in July of 1776. For comparison, that is the population of the city of Chicago in 2012 is around 2.7 million.
- The projected U.S. population in July of 2012 is approximately 314 million. This means the population has grown by a factor of nearly 126 in 236 years.
- U.S. Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826. James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.
- U.S. President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872.
- In 2011 a total value of $3.6 million consisted of imports of American flags. $3.3 million, or nearly 92% of this amount came from China.
- Mexico purchased $80,349 worth of American flags exported from the U.S. in 2011.
- Just more that $232 million worth of fireworks was imported in 2011. The majority of these fireworks came from China.
- There are numerous locations in the United States with names of a patriotic flavor:
- Eagle occurs in the names of 35 towns and cities in the U.S.
- Liberty occurs in the names of 31 towns and cities in the U.S.
- Independence occurs in the names of eleven towns and cities in the U.S.
- Freedom occurs in the names of nine towns and cities in the U.S.
- America occurs in the names of five towns and cities in the U.S.
- Of all surnames on the 2000 Census, Washington was the 138 most frequent. The surname of Founding Father John Adams occurred more frequently at 39th place on the list.
- Tensions have settled between the U.S. and the British. Once Revolutionary era foes, they are now allies in a number of ways. Last year slightly over $107 billion in trade was done between the United States and the United Kingdom.
- There is almost 33% probability that the hotdog you eat at a Fourth of July cookout came from Iowa. Nearly one third of all hogs and pigs are from this state. If your hotdog wasn’t from Iowa, it could have come from North Carolina and Minnesota. These states also have large swine populations.