America in 241 Digits

By July 4, 2017Blog

By Tim Shea

Special Contributor


It’s that time of year again: bar-b-ques, fireworks, the sweet, sweet vocals of Lee Greenwood piping into your eardrums. It’s America’s birthday, and though things may not be perfect, we still feel it’s worth taking some time to reflect on the past, present, and future of our beautiful nation. Thus, without further ado, we present to you America summed up in 241 digits, one for each year since John Hancock totally pulled a one-upper on his bros in Philadelphia. King George’s spectacles my foot, John. Anyway…

$617,054,332,797,151: The estimated value of all goods and services produced by the United States from 1776 until today. (Found using this handy site, and then extrapolating back to 1776). For perspective, the U.S. is almost 8,000 times more productive then we were at the founding.

$1,989,166,868,960,370: The estimated annual GDP of the U.S. in another 241 years, assuming an average of 2 percent yearly growth. That’s more than three times total U.S. productivity to date, and 25 times annual global productivity.

$14,300,000,000,000: Rough estimate of the Federal government’s outstanding publically held debt. The government also owes an additional $5,400,000,000,000 to itself. Good thing our country doesn’t have knee caps.

£128,936,921.96: Approximate amount of money owed by the City of Boston to the British East India Company, assuming a 4 percent rate of interest. Bloody colonists.

5,825,458: The number of businesses currently operating in the United States. That’s one for every 57 residents.

2,626,418: The number of people who died in the U.S. in 2014.

3,978,497: The number of people who were born in the U.S. in 2015.

325,364,000: The current U.S. population. Births are outpacing deaths by a rate of 3 to 2.  

20,697,103: The number of foreign-born, naturalized citizens currently living in the United States. People are still coming from all over the world to be woven into the American tapestry.

388,000: The estimated number of slaves brought against their will to North America. Unfortunately, not everyone was given a choice to come to America, a horrific legacy that still haunts us.

11: The number of times Congress has declared war.

103: The actual number of armed conflicts the U.S. has participated in. That’s, uh, quite the discrepancy.

666,441: Estimated U.S. military deaths in combat since 1775. There have been an additional 688,223 non-combat deaths and an estimated 40,917 missing.

134,400,000: The number of acres of federally-protected land in the United States. The U.S. maintains an estimated 12 percent of the total protected land in the world.

21,715: The number plant and animal species native to the U.S.

240,000,000,000: The estimated number of trees in the U.S. A recent “tree census” estimated the global tree population at 3 trillion, and the U.S. contains roughly 8 percent of all forests.

70,000: The number of bald eagles living in North America. Okay, yes, that counts Canada too, but it’s be terrible to leave out America’s top hat entirely.

$6,770,000,000: Estimated spending on food over the Fourth of July holiday. That’s a lot of hot dogs.

34,726,897,920: The estimated number of alcoholic beverages consumed by Americans each year. Gotta wash those hot dogs down with something, right?

285,300,000: The estimated weight, in pounds, of the fireworks detonated on July 4th. That amounts to about $1,090,000,000 in sales, and a priceless amount of fun. But be careful! Every year, an estimated 690 people call emergency services because of fireworks industries, and 7 people die.

312: The total number of words that comprise the Star Spangled Banner. That includes all the verses, not just the one we sing. Educate yourself.

17,619,273: The total number of views (as of writing) of that baller Lee Greenwood song on YouTube. Go ahead, click it again. You know you want to.

4,971: What does this number have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing. But I’m free to write whatever I want, and if that’s not what America’s about, then I don’t know what is.

Happy Fourth, everyone. 

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