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The Fourth of July: 2019

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. As we celebrate this Independence Day, we reflect on how our Founding Fathers enshrined in our Constitution the importance of statistics as a vital tool for measuring our people, places and economy.

The following facts are made possible by the invaluable responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.

Did You Know?

2.5 million

The estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation in July 1776.

327 million

The nation’s estimated population on July 1, 2018.


The number of signers to the Declaration of Independence. It is also worth noting that:

  • John Hancock was the first signer, and a merchant by trade. In 2016, 1.1 million business establishments with paid employees, like Hancock, were in the retail trade industry.
  • Benjamin Franklin, who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers at age 70. Pennsylvania had an estimated population 12,807,060 as of July 1, 2018. Franklin County, Pa., had an estimated population of 154,835 as of July 1, 2018. Edward Rutledge of South Carolina, was the youngest at age 26. South Carolina had an estimated population 5,084,127 as of July 1, 2018.

$368.6 million

The value of fireworks sales by establishments classified as NAICS 453998, all other miscellaneous store retailers (except tobacco stores) in 2012.