Thanksgiving By The Numbers: Turkey, Travel And Tradition
How does 2012’s Thanksgiving menu compare with what was served in 1631? Which airports see the most traffic every Thanksgiving season? How does one compare the weight of turkeys raised to the Empire State Building?
These are the hot questions that Nationwide Bank has refused to put on the backburner, as they’ve cooked up an infographic for all to enjoy this Thanksgiving day. In this hard-hitting edition of PYMNTS.com’s Data Point, we offer some numbers to gobble down as a little Thanksgiving appetizer.
We hope everyone enjoys the holiday!
Comparing Thanksgiving Menus
The survey notes that Thanksgiving wasn’t made a national holiday until 1863 – yet another solid decision by Abraham Lincoln – and the first Thanksgiving was held in 1621. What are some menu differences we see then and now? At the first Thanksgiving, goose, duck and deer accompanied wild turkey as the main meet dishes, while fish, shellfish and eels rounded out the protein offerings. Today, we see turkey accompanied by mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy at most meals. One item that’s been able to bridge the nearly four-century gap? Corn.
Weighing In On The Turkey Industry
The total weight of the turkeys raised in the U.S. in 2010 equaled 7 billion pounds, which the study equates to the weight of 10 Empire State Buildings. In 2011, 248 million turkeys were raised in the U.S., and in 2009 the average American ate 13.3 pounds of turkey – although no word on what percentage of poundage is consumed on Thanksgiving itself. Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia and Indiana are responsible for about two-third of the turkey in the U.S., and the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people is just $49.20, making it surprisingly affordable.
Turkey Day Travels
Thanksgiving is well known (perhaps infamously so) as one of America’s busiest traveling days of the year. In 2010, 24 million people traveled by air during the Thanksgiving season, but 91 percent of all Thanksgiving trips take place via car. O’Hare, LAX, Logan, LaGuardia, and San Francisco International airports are the U.S.’ five busiest during the November holiday, even though business travel tapers off. Work-related journeys typically account for about 17 percent of all travel during the year, but accounts for only 7 percent of Thanksgiving trips.
Want to stuff yourself with more Thanksgiving stats? View Nationwide’s full infographic below.
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