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By the Numbers: Independence Day

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On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. This most American of holidays will be marked with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues across the country.

2.5 million: In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation. 
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: 1789-1945 

321.4 million: The nation's estimated population on July 4 last year. 
Source: U.S. and World Population Clock 

The Signers

56: The number of signers to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration. Jefferson, regarded as the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document.

It is also worth noting that:

  • John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer, and a merchant by trade. In 2014, there were 7.6 million business establishments with paid employees in the U.S.; 1.1 million, like Hancock, were in the retail trade industry.
    Source: 2014 County Business Patterns 
  • Benjamin Franklin, who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers at age 70. Franklin County, Pennsylvania, had an estimated population of 153,638 as of July 1, 2015. Edward Rutledge, of South Carolina, was the youngest at age 26.
    Source: 2015 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015 

  • Two future presidents signed, John Adams (second president) and Thomas Jefferson (third president). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826). There are 12 counties nationwide named Adams and 26 named Jefferson.
    Source: 2015 U.S. Gazetteer Files

  • Robert Livingston, who represented New York, was on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence but was recalled by his state before he could sign it. Livingston County, New York was home to an estimated 64,717 people as of July 1, 2015. 
    Source: 2015 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015 

  • Representing Georgia in 1776 were Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton. Gwinnett County, Georgia (895,823); Hall County, Georgia (193,535); and Walton County, Georgia (88,399) were named for these signers. 
    Source: 2015 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015

  • Charles Carroll, who represented Maryland, was the last surviving signer of the Declaration. He died in 1832 at the age of 95. Carroll County, Maryland, named for him, had an estimated population of 167,627 as of July 1, 2015.
    Source: 2015 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015       

  • Roger Sherman, who worked as a land surveyor and lawyer, represented Connecticut. In 2014, there were an estimated 30,688 surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists employed full time, year-round, and 861,223 lawyers employed full time, year-round nationwide.
    Source: 2014 American Community Survey, B24124

  • Nelson County, Va. (14,785) and Wythe County, Va. (29,119) were named for two of the six signers who represented the state of Virginia — Thomas Nelson Jr. and George Wythe. 
    Source: 2015 Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015

And the Rockets' Red Glare

$311.7 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2015, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($324.8 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $12.7 million in 2015, with Singapore purchasing more than any other country ($4.6 million). 
Source: International Trade Statistics, Code 360410 

$368.6 million: The dollar value of fireworks sales by retailers in 2012. 
Source: 2012 Economic Census

$482.6 million: The dollar value of fireworks and firecrackers sales by wholesalers in 2012. There were 172 wholesalers who sold these items in 2012.
Source: 2012 Economic Census 

You're a Grand Old Flag

$4.4 million: The dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags in 2015. The vast majority of this amount ($4.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China. 

$3.1 million: The dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2015. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $2.4 million worth.
Source: International Trade Statistics, Code 6307909825 

This Land Is Your Land

33: The number of counties and census incorporated places that contain the word "liberty" in the name. Of the 33 places, four are counties: Liberty County, Georgia (62,467); Liberty County, Florida (8,331); Liberty County, Montana.(2,408); and Liberty County, Texas (79,654).
Sources: 2015 U.S. Gazetteer Files and Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015, Table PEPANNRES

1: The number of incorporated places that has "patriot" in its name: Patriot, Indiana, has an estimated population of 208.
Source: 2015 Population Estimates

54: The number of counties and census incorporated places that have "union" in the name. In total, there are 204 places with active governments that contain "union."  
Sources: Source: 2015 U.S. Gazetteer Files

The British Are Coming!

$114.1 billion: The dollar value of trade in 2015 between the U.S. and the United Kingdom, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our eighth-leading trading partner today. 
Source: International Trade Statistics 

24,382,182: The number of people reporting English ancestry in the U.S. In addition, there were 1,326,960 people who reported British ancestry in 2014.

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