America’s Birthday By The Numbers

July 6, 2012

Every year on the same day millions of people stop working, put on anything/everything they own that is red, white and blue, fire up the grill, watch fireworks, attend parades, and celebrate America. While taking part in these wonderful traditions during my 4th of July celebration I started to think about the numbers behind celebrating the birthday of the USA.

So, two days after America’s 236th birthday I decided to break down the holiday by the numbers.

Let’s start with one of the things that America does best, food.

Nothing says the 4th of July like cooking up some hot dogs, brats and hamburgers on the grill. Smoking the record books of previous years, 160 million people planned on attending a cookout this year. That is about 68 percent of the country’s population. During these cookouts more than 40 million grills were used. Also, the total amount of money Americans spent on these cookouts was a whopping $2.4 billion.

Beer is another part of so many 4th of July celebrations. In fact, the 4th of July is the biggest beer selling holiday of the year, followed by Labor Day, Memorial Day and Father’s Day. This year there was around 68.3 million cases of beer sold throughout the country.

What is that other necessity of the 4th of July, besides food and beer? Fireworks. In my opinion there is not a better tradition than going to the nearest park, laying down a blanket and watching huge explosions in the sky.

Fireworks over the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

As it turns out, a few other Americans felt the same way. Around 115 million people said they planned to attend a fireworks show this year, which was an increase of about 10 million from last year. Going to a park wasn’t the only type of pyrotechnics people wanted, though. Americans didn’t hold back on making sure fireworks were  a part of their individual celebrations because about $649 million was spent of personal fireworks this year alone.

If you were one of the 115 million that attended a fireworks display this year, hopefully it was longer than San Diego’s. It seems that there was a technical malfunction at the beginning of the show and the 15 minutes of fireworks were set off in less than 30 seconds. Check it out: