Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 23, 2011

So much turkey! Thanksgiving by the numbers


CNHI News Service

— 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.

9: Number of places and townships in the United States that are named Cranberry or some spelling variation of the acidic red berry (e.g., Cranbury, N.J.), a popular side dish at Thanksgiving. Cranberry township in Butler County, Pa., was the most populous of these places in 2010, with 28,098 residents.

37: Number of places and townships in the United States named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. Plymouth, Minn., is the most populous, with 70,576 residents in 2010; Plymouth, Mass., had 56,468. There is just one township in the United States named Pilgrim. Located in Dade County, Mo., its population was 132 in 2010. And then there is Mayflower, Ark., whose population was 2,234 in 2010, and Mayflower Village, Calif., whose population was 5,515 in 2010.

116.7 million: Number of households across the nation -- all potential gathering places for people to celebrate the holiday.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Department of Agriculture; USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service; U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics