In just a few days, Americans will both settle into the swing of summer and celebrate the 241st anniversary of the day the Founding Fathers declared the 13 colonies would be known as the United States of America, complete with an official Declaration of Independence.
Not surprisingly, the British did not initially agree, and though six years of fighting their soon-to-be former colonists did not persuade them those colonists had the right to leave the British Empire, it did convince them it wasn’t worth the fight.
And so the United States was born.
As such, We The People annually celebrate in the most American ways possible: colorful explosions, baseball games, large portions of food cooked over a backyard’s open flame, “salads” made with lots of mayonnaise, parades and shopping.
Americans will spend approximately $71 per family on 4th of July BBQs alone — yes, that does add up to a staggering number of hot dogs and hamburgers.
How staggering? Oh, we’re so glad you asked.
While the 4th of July is known for its extreme patriotism, it is not known as much of a spending holiday, mainly because most people don’t exchange gifts for it. We should — the PYMNTS staff is always open to the idea of adding gifting to any holiday — but that is not currently part of the festivities. And yet, Americans find ways to spend during any season of celebration, and America’s birthday has some staggering numbers all of its own.
$6.8 billion: How much Americans plan to spend celebrating July 4th in 2017 — a slight 1.4 percent increase from last year. This is money that will mostly be spent stocking up for BBQs.
700 million: The number of pounds of chicken Americans purchase before the holiday each year. It is the most popular meat on the grill, with red meat and pork clocking in a distant second at approximately 190 million pounds.
$750 million: The approximate worth of the fireworks detonated during the holiday celebration by everyday pyrotechnic enthusiasts in their backyards. Of that amount, $247 million are imported from China and $231 million are sold by American manufacturers.
214 million: The number of Americans that will be celebrating the 4th of July this year. As a point of comparison, the population of the whole 13 colonies in 1776 was 2.5 million people. That is slightly less than the number of people living in Brooklyn today (though still more than the approximately 700,000 people currently living in Boston).
200 million: The number of pounds of gunpowder we collectively detonate at the nation’s approximately 14,000 annual 4th of July fireworks displays. That is also the approximate weight of the U.S.S. Intrepid. Nearly 25 percent of Americans will set off fireworks at home, and about 12,000 of those home pyrotechnics engineers will find themselves in an emergency room this holiday season.
150 million: The number of hot dogs Americans will consume on July 4th. You may be wondering why we didn’t include that with the stats about chicken, pork and beef above, but we think if you search your feelings you’ll find you know why.
31 million: The number of Americans who say they will be traveling this 4th of July weekend, citing record low gas prices (the national average is $2.23, with some regions averaging below $2).
2.3 million: The number of New Englanders who will be traveling this 4th of July weekend. For those of you driving in Boston for the first time, well, buckle up and good luck.
65 percent: The number of Americans planning to go to a BBQ, because people have to go somewhere to eat that literal billion pounds of meat they just bought.
33 percent: The number of Americans who already own “patriotic paraphernalia.” Of that number, 25 percent plan to purchase more this year. Americans annually purchase around $5 million worth the American flags manufactured in China.
12 percent: Percentage of Americans who will be going to 4th of July parades.
1: Nation. Under God. Indivisible. With Liberty and Justice For All. Just like the founders intended when they declared independence 241 years ago.
Happy July 4th!