CBS Local– As the Fourth of July approaches many Americans are on the brink of a long weekend and fun festivities with friends and family.
On the Fourth, one may notice a proliferation of American flags. But how many citizens own at least one?
Almost two-thirds of the country, according to WalletHub, as 65 percent of the population own a flag. Imported American flags, mostly from China, is a $5.4 million/per year business.
Speaking of merchandise, 27 percent will purchase patriotic gear in preparation for the Fourth. However, the number of adults who are “extremely proud Americans” has dropped to 52 percent. It was as high as 70 percent in 2003.
This year, 84 percent of Americans will drive to where they are going. A whopping 44 million will travel more than 50 miles, and there will be 3.3 million miles traversed by plane.
Picnics are the preferred method of gathering, with 65 percent of the country planning on attending a picnic. Picnics and other gatherings can be expensive on the holiday, as the planned total spending is estimated at over $7 billion.
Chicken had a slight edge over ground beef last year at gatherings, as America spent $389 million on chicken compared to $388 million on ground beef. Next to the main meal, $318 million was spent on chips. To wash down all the chicken, burgers and chips is typically alcohol, as the Fourth of July is America’s number one drinking holiday. Last year, more than $1 billion was spent on beer and $568 million in wine.
Nearly half of the country will watch fireworks this Fourth of July, and last year fireworks saw a spike of $800 million in sales from years prior. Just as there is with flags, there is a market for imported fireworks to the tune of $308 million, also mostly from China.