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Release Number CB15-FF.13
Component ID: #ti433241207

June 16, 2015 — On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. This most American of holidays will be marked with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues across the country.

2.5 million

In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970
<http://www2.census.gov/prod2/statcomp/documents/HistoricalStatisticsoftheUnitedStates1789-1945.pdf>

321.2 million

The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.
Source: U.S. and World Population Clock <http://www.census.gov/popclock/>

Graphic [PDF] <1.0 MB

Component ID: #ti267024792

The Signers

56

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.

It’s also worth noting that:

  • John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer. This merchant by trade did so in an entirely blank space making it the largest and most famous  signature — hence the term John Hancock, which is still used today as a synonym for signature. In 2013, there were 7.5 million business establishments with paid employees in the U.S.; 1.1 million, like Hancock, were in the retail trade industry.
    Source: 2013 County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/>

  • Benjamin Franklin (age 70), who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers. Franklin County, Pa., had an estimated population of 152,892 as of July 1, 2014. Edward Rutledge (age 26), of South Carolina, was the youngest.
    Source: 2014 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014
    <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPANNRES/0500000US42055>

  • Two future presidents signed, John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826). There are 12 counties nationwide named Adams and 26 named Jefferson.
    Source: TIGER Shapefiles, the Census Bureau's geographic database (Place/MCD/County combined “used within name” count), unpublished

  • Robert Livingston, who represented New York, was on the Committee of Five that drafted the  Declaration of Independence but was recalled by his state before he could sign it. Livingston County, N.Y., was home to an estimated 64,586 people as of July 1, 2014.
    Source: 2014 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014
    <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPANNRES/0500000US36051>

  • Representing Georgia in 1776 were Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton. Gwinnett County, Ga. (877,922), Hall County, Ga. (190,761) and Walton County, Ga. (87,615) were named for these signers.
    Source: 2014 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014
    <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPANNRES/0500000US13135|0500000US13139|0500000US13297>

  • Charles Carroll, who represented Maryland, was the last surviving signer of the Declaration.   He died in 1832 at the age of 95. Carroll County, Md., named for him, had an estimated population of 167,830 as of July 1, 2014.
    Source: 2014 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014
    <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPANNRES/0500000US24013>

  • Roger Sherman, who worked as a land surveyor and lawyer, represented Connecticut. In 2013, there were an estimated 31,315 surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists employed full time, year-round, and 852,860 lawyers employed full time, year-round nationwide.
    Source: 2013 American Community Surey, B24124
    <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_1YR/B24124>
     
  • Nelson County, Va. (14,850) and Wythe County, Va. (29,121) were named for two of the six signers who represented the state of Virginia — Thomas Nelson Jr. and George Wythe.
    Source: 2014 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014
    <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPANNRES/0500000US51125|0500000US51197>

Component ID: #ti267024791

And the Rockets’ Red Glare

$247.1 million

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2014, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($257.8  million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $11.9 million in 2014, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($5.4 million).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, Code 360410
<https://usatrade.census.gov/>

$369.4 million

Fireworks sales by retailers in 2012.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census.
<http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ECN/2012_US/44I3//prodsvc~20874>

$508.1 million

Sales of fireworks and firecrackers by wholesalers in 2012. There were 162 wholesalers who sold these items in 2012.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census
<http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ECN/2012_US/42I3//prodsvc~12815>

Component ID: #ti267024790

You're a Grand Old Flag

$3.6 million

In 2014, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, Code 6307909825
<https://usatrade.census.gov/>

$1.8 million

Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2014. Turkey was the leading customer, purchasing $673,000 worth.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, Code 6307909825
<https://usatrade.census.gov/>

Component ID: #ti267024789

This Land Is Your Land

Fifty-nine counties and census places contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Of the 59 places, four are counties: Liberty County, Ga. (65,198), Liberty County, Fla. (8,360), Liberty County, Mont. (2,359) and Liberty County, Texas (78,117).
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, TIGER Shapefiles, the Census Bureau’s geographic database (Place/MCD/County combined “used within name” count), unpublished and Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014, Table PEPANNRES
<http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPANNRES/0500000US12077|0500000US13179|0500000US30051|0500000US48291>

Only one census place has “patriot” in its name: Patriot, Ind., has an estimated population of 205.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 Population Estimates
<http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPANNRES/1620000US1858392>

The most common patriotic sounding name used within counties and census places is “union” with 137.  Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than any other state. Other such words most commonly used in place names are Washington (127), Franklin (118) and Lincoln (95).
Sources: TIGER Shapefiles, the Census Bureau's geographic database (Place/MCD/County combined “used within name” count) and Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014, Table PEPANNRES
<http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2014/PEPANNRES/0100000US.05000.003>

Component ID: #ti267024788

The British are Coming!

$107.9 billion

Dollar value of trade in 2014 between the United States and the United Kingdom, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our seventh-leading trading partner today.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics
<http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top1412yr.html>

 

Component ID: #ti536796985

The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

African-American History Month (February)
Super Bowl
Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
Women's History Month (March)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
      St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
Earth Day (April 22)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
Older Americans Month (May)
Mother's Day
Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
Father's Day
The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
Back to School (August)
Labor Day
Grandparents Day
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Unmarried and Single Americans Week
Halloween (Oct. 31)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day
The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; or e-mail: pio@census.gov.

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