Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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November 23, 2011

So much turkey! Thanksgiving by the numbers

This Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will gather to eat, celebrate and give thanks. The U.S. Census Bureau has put the holiday in perspective with some key facts and figures about Turkey Day and all its trimmings.

248 million: The number of turkeys expected to be raised in the United States in 2011. That's up 2 percent from the number raised during 2010. Minnesota leads all other states in turkey production -- they're expected to raise 46.5 million this year.

750 million pounds: The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2011. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 430 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts.

2.4 billion pounds: The total weight of sweet potatoes -- another popular Thanksgiving side dish -- produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2010. North Carolina produced more sweet potatoes than any other state, with 972 million pounds.

1.1 billion pounds: Total production of pumpkins in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2010. Illinois led the country by producing 427 million pounds of the vined orange gourd.

2.01 billion bushels: The total volume of wheat -- the essential ingredient of bread, rolls and pie crust -- produced in the United States in 2011. Kansas, Montana and North Dakota accounted for about 33 percent of the nation's wheat production.

656,340 tons: The 2011 contracted production of green beans in major snap bean-producing states. Of this total, Wisconsin led all states  with 258,320 tons. Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish.

13.3 pounds: The quantity of turkey consumed by the typical American in 2009, with no doubt a hearty helping devoured at Thanksgiving time. Per capita sweet potato consumption was 5.3 pounds.

$1.38: Retail cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2010.

4: Number of places in the United States named after the holiday's traditional main course. Turkey Creek, La., was the most populous in 2010, with 441 residents, followed by Turkey, Texas (421), Turkey Creek, Ariz. (294), and Turkey, N.C. (292). There are also 11 townships around the country with Turkey in their names, including three in Kansas.

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