10 Truths and A Lie about the Fourth of July

The U.S. Census Bureau offers a roundup facts about Independence Day 2012—can you spot the one that isn't true?

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.

Here are some more interesting numbers about the Fourth of July. Use the comments below to guess the one that isn't true. 

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 

$232.3 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2011, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($223.4 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). Source: Foreign Trade Statistics 

Thirty-one places have “liberty” in their names. The most populous one as of April 1, 2010, was Liberty, Mo. (29,149). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

Eleven places have “independence” in their names. The most populous one is Independence, Mo., with a population of 116,830.

Nine places have “freedom” in their names. The most populous one is New Freedom, Pa., with a population of 4,464.

Five places have “America” in their names. The most populous is American Fork, Utah, with a population of 26,263. Source: American FactFinder

Almost 1 in 3: The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.7 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2012. This estimate represents almost one-third of the nation's estimated total. North Carolina (8.6 million) and Minnesota (7.6 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

7.2 billion pounds: Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2011. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation's total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.6 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.0 billion pounds). Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Jell-O Molds: Melting all of the Jell-O molds in America would produce enough plastic to cover the country 2.5 times. 

Please Pass the Potato: Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. Approximately half of the nation's spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2011. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service 

Scott Gurley July 04, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Jell-o molds can't be true... just the way it is written... "cover the country 2.5 times" - what thickness? an atom?
Sarah Flagg July 05, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Ha, you're right, Scott. I just wanted Jell-O to be represented on the list. Nice spot!


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