The Fourth of July 2012:
On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting 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.
How Do We Know? As we celebrate this Independence Day, we reflect on how our Founding Fathers enshrined the importance of statistics in our Constitution as a vital tool for measuring our people, places and economy. Since 1790, the U.S. Census has been much more than a simple head count; it has charted the growth and composition of our nation. The questions have evolved over time to address our changing needs. Today, the Decennial Census, the Economic Census and the American Community Survey give Congress and community leaders the information they need to make informed decisions that shape our democracy. These statistics are how we know how our country is doing.
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
313.9 million: The nation's estimated population on this July Fourth.
Source: Population clock
$3.6 million: In 2011, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics
$663,071: Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2011. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $80,349 worth.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/> <http://www.usatradeonline.gov>
$302.7 million: Dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation's manufacturers in 2007, according to the latest published economic census statistics.
Source: 2007 Economic Census, Series EC0731SP1, Products and Services Code 3149998231
$223.6 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2011, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($232.5 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $15.8 million in 2011, with Australia purchasing more than any other country ($4.5 million).
$231.8 million: The value of U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007.
Source: 2007 Economic Census, Series EC0731SP1, Products and Services Code 325998J108
"I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL."
Be safe tonight my friends!