The Fourth of July and the Census

Posted on July 1, 2020

by Jennifer Bissonnette

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. 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 possible thanks to responses to U.S. Census Bureau surveys. Per, “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.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: 1789-1945


328 million

The nation’s estimated population on July 1, 2019.
Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates



The number of signers of the Declaration of Independence.

It is also worth noting that:

  • John Hancock, a merchant by trade, was the first signer. In 2017, 1.1 million business establishments with paid employees like Hancock were in the retail trade industry.
    Source: 2017 Geography Area Series: County Business Patterns, Table CB1600A11
  • Benjamin Franklin, who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers at age 70. Pennsylvania had an estimated population 12,801,989, and Franklin County, Pa., an estimated population of 155,027 as of July 1, 2019. Edward Rutledge of South Carolina was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence at age 26. South Carolina had an estimated population of 5,148,714 as of July 1, 2019.
    Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates

$368.6 million

The value of fireworks sales by establishments classified as NAICS 453998, all other miscellaneous store retailers (except tobacco stores) in 2012.
Source: 2012 Economic Census, Table EC1244SLLS1, NAICS 453998

For more information or to complete the US Census, visit:

Jennifer Bissonnette

Jennifer Bissonnette

Jennifer enjoys reading, writing to-do lists, and giving both of her dogs belly rubs. She has a weak spot for tasty sweets and is on a mission to find Northwest Indiana’s best cinnamon roll. She often over analyzes things but tries to use that to her advantage in her work at the library.
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