Happy Fourth of July! Gather with family, fire up the grill at home and settle in to watch the fireworks as America celebrates Independence Day. The U.S. Census Bureau offers some fun facts that you probably didn’t know about this most patriotic of U.S. holidays:

  • In July 1776, there were an estimated 2.5 million people living in the new nation
  • On this Fourth of July, the nation’s estimated population will be 311.7 million

  • 31 U.S. towns have the word “liberty” in their names (including the villages of Libertyville and Liberty, Illinois); 11 places have “independence” in their names; 9 places have “freedom” in their names; and 5 places have “America” in their names
  • $302.7 million = annual dollar value of shipments of flags, banners and similar emblems

  • 81 million = number of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the past year