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.
The following are some numbers behind the holiday and its history, compiled by the U.S. Census.
2.5 million | In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
313.9 million | The nation's estimated population on this July Fourth.
$3.6 million | In 2011, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
$663,071 Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2011. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $80,349 worth.
$302.7 million | Dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation's manufacturers in 2007, according to the latest published economic census statistics.
$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).
$231.8 million | The value of U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007.
Patriotic-Sounding Place Names
31 | Number of places that 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.
35 | Number of places that have “eagle” in their names. The most populous one is Eagle Pass, Texas, with a population of 26,248.
11 | Number of places with “independence” in their names. The most populous one is Independence, Mo., with a population of 116,830.
9 | Number of places with “freedom” in their names. The most populous one is New Freedom, Pa., with a population of 4,464.
1 | Only place that has “patriot” in its name is Patriot, Ind., with a population of 209.
5 | Number of places with “America” in their names. The most populous is American Fork, Utah, with a population of 26,263.