Thanksgiving: Fun facts by the numbers

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If you would have asked me how I was going to spend my morning, I wouldn’t have answered, “Doing an in-depth analysis of U.S. Census reports.” That is indeed how I spent my morning, however (and fair warning – I found you can easily fall into a deep, dark interweb hole while spending your entire day reading fascinating census facts and statistics). I did manage to reign myself in and focus on this year’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday statistics to bring you a few fun facts to not only keep the dinner conversation flowing, but also spark the excitement and anticipation for one of the busiest holidays of the year.

244 million

The number of turkeys raised in the United States and an impressive 51,650,000 turkeys will be consumed on Thanksgiving. Wear your stretchy pants people.  

44.5 million

The number of turkeys raised in our lovely state of Minnesota. We won’t have to travel far for the holiday main course as we are the largest producer of turkeys in the country.

3.1 billion

Yes, billion. This is the weight of sweet potatoes produced in the U.S. We are most definitely a nation who loves sweet potatoes, though I won’t get into the argument of whether they are better with or without marshmallows…

859 million

Not seemingly as popular as the sweet potato, perhaps because it’s usually seen in the form of a jiggly log waiting for its big break in a Flubber sequel, 859 million is the weight of cranberries produced. Our neighboring state of Wisconsin leads all states in cranberry production producing an astonishing 521 million pounds.

23.8 million

The number of U.S. residents of English ancestry who could be true descendants of the Plymouth colonists who celebrated the first Thanksgiving back in November 1621.

6,500

The number of members of the Wampanoag American Indian tribal group. The Wampanoag attended the first Thanksgiving playing the crucial role in the colonists survival. Today, roughly half of the Wampanoag tribe still resides in Massachusetts, the state of the first celebrated Thanksgiving. 

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The number of places in the U.S. named after Thanksgiving’s main course: Turkey Creek, Arizona, Turkey City, Texas, Turkey Creek, Louisiana, and Turkey Town, North Carolina.

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The number of locations in the U.S. named Plymouth. Incidentally, our very own city of Plymouth, Minnesota is in fact the most populous with 77,216 residents.

50 million

More than 50 million people are estimated to travel more than 50 miles this year for the holiday, though the delicious feast is well worth the trip.

$159.55

This is the average amount a person will spend on internet purchases alone, with the overall average spending on Black Friday, in stores and online together, totaling around $400. It may be in your interest to avoid the crowds and shop online, as over 133 million people will be searching for the best deals on Black Friday. Not surprisingly, the top internet retailers people flock to are Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Apple.

Happy Thanksgiving.