Business

238 years later on the Fourth of July: China sells us most of our fireworks and American flags

Oil the grill, sunblock the children, make sure the potato salad is refrigerated and give the dog a tranquilizer, because it’s time for the Fourth of July..

Thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Retail Federation, here’s how it looks, by the numbers.

238: Happy Birthday, America. It was that many years ago when the Continental Congress (a Congress that actually got something done) approved the Declaration of Independence.

2.5 million: That many people lived in our newly independent nation in July 1776.

318.4 million: That many people live here today.

56: Persons signed the Declaration of Independence.

70: The age of (the oldest) signer, Benjamin Franklin.

26: The age of (the youngest) signer, Edward Rutledge.

Exactly 50: Years passed until the death – on July 4, 1826 – of the two signers who went on to become presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

$203.6 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2013.

$10.2 million: The value of U.S. exports of fireworks in 2013, with Israel the greatest national consumer at $2.7 million.

$4.0 million: In 2013, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags, the majority coming from China.

$781,222: Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2013, with the Dominican Republic as the leading customer at $160,000.

$100 billion: Value of trade in 2013 between the U.S. and (our colonial overseers) the U.K.

$6.285 billion: Estimated amount Americans will spend on barbecues, picnics and other food events during the holiday.

$68.16: Average the average U.S. adult will spend.

64 percent: Of Americans will attend a picnic, barbecue or other event to gather and eat on the holiday.

11.5 percent: Will not observe the holiday.

60.2 percent: Of Americans own a U.S. flag.

70.1 percent: Of Americans say high gas prices will not affect their celebrations.

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