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Release Number CB17-FF.06
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April 22, 2017, marks the 47th anniversary of Earth Day ― a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Organizers started Earth Day in response to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. In honor of Earth Day ― and Earth Week (April 18-22) ― this edition of Profile America Facts for Features includes examples of Census Bureau statistics pertaining to energy and the environment.

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Renewable Energy

$9.7 billion

The total of revenues in 2012 for electric power generation industries that use renewable energy resources, such as hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and other electric power generation.

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1,183

The number of hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and other electric power generation business establishments in 2014.

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12,456

The number of employees in hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and other electric power generation business establishments in 2014.

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$5.1 billion

The total of revenues in 2012 for the wind electric power generation industry, the highest among the industries using renewable energy resources. Hydroelectric power generation followed with revenues of $2.5 billion. Geothermal electric power generation had revenues of just under $1 billion ($981.2 million), followed by biomass electric power generation with $721.5 million in revenues; solar electric power generation with $427.6 million; and other electric power generation with $43.4 million.

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2.4 million

The estimated number of occupied housing units across the country primarily heated by wood in 2015, which is 2.0 percent of all homes.

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106,737

The estimated number of occupied housing units across the country using solar energy in 2015 as their primary source of heat, which is 0.1 percent of all homes.

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57.0 million

The estimated number of occupied housing units across the country primarily heated by utility gas in 2015, which is 48.2 percent of all homes.

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93%

The estimated percentage of newly-built single-family homes across the country with air conditioning in 2015.

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Commuting to Work

26.4 minutes

The estimated average time workers age 16 and older across the country spent getting to work in 2015, up from 26 minutes in 2014 and 25.8 in 2013.

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33.1 and 32.6 minutes

The estimated average time workers age 16 and older in New York and Maryland spent getting to work in 2015, the longest one-way commute times in the nation.

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16.9 and 16.6 minutes

The estimated average time workers age 16 and older in South Dakota and North Dakota spent getting to work in 2015, the shortest one-way commute times in the nation. The estimates for North Dakota and South Dakota are not significantly different.

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885,188

The estimated number of people who rode a bicycle to work in 2015. This comes out to about 0.6 percent of the American workforce.

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4,114,125

The estimated number of people who walked to work in 2015. This comes out to about 2.8 percent of the American workforce.

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Working in the Nuclear and Forestry Fields

54,183

The number of workers employed in forestry and logging establishments across the United States in 2014.

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48,602

The number of workers employed in nuclear electric power generation establishments across the United States in 2014.

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109.9%​

The percentage increase in the number of nuclear electric power generation establishments across the United States from 2005 to 2014, going from 68 establishments to 149 establishments, respectively. 

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Using Energy

18,817 trillion Btu

The energy consumption in the U.S. manufacturing sector in 2010, down 17 percent from the 22,576 trillion Btu (British thermal units) consumed in 2002.

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-32%

The percentage drop in the consumption of coal in the U.S. manufacturing sector from 2002 to 2010, going from 1,956 trillion Btu to 1,328 trillion Btu, respectively.

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Building a House

2,467 square feet

The median size of a single-family home completed in 2015.

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648,000

The number of single-family homes completed in 2015. Of these, 66,000 had two or fewer bedrooms and 307,000 had four bedrooms or more.

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$360,600

The average sales price of a new single-family home sold in 2015.

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14,000

The number of multifamily buildings built across the United States in 2015. Of these, 8,000 used electricity as the primary heating fuel.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

113,090

The number of employees working in recyclable material merchant wholesale establishments in 2014.

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$95.8 billion

The total sales for recyclable material merchant wholesale establishments in 2012, up 19.6 percent from $80.1 billion in 2007. Total sales in 2012 for recyclable paper and paperboard products were $9.8 billion; recyclable plastics products were $2.5 billion; and recyclable glass products were $560.9 million.

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$8.4 billion

The product shipments value for recycled paperboard in 2015.

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Collecting Revenue

$2.1 billion

The estimated revenue for hazardous waste management collection services in 2015 for U.S. waste collection employer firms.

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$5.2 billion

The estimated revenue for hazardous waste treatment and disposal services in 2015 for U.S. waste treatment and disposal employer firms.

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$14.9 billion

The estimated revenue for local, fixed-route passenger transportation, by road and transit rail in 2014 for U.S. transit and ground passenger transportation employer firms.

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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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