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Marking your Fourth with flags, fireworks, parades and backyard barbecues? There are some interesting, little-known Census numbers behind Independence Day.

The Players

  • Benjamin Franklin, 70, from Pennsylvania, was the oldest person who signed the Declaration of Independence. Edward Rutledge, 26, South Carolina, was the youngest.
  • John Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration. Because he was working with a blank space, his signature is the largest -- and therefore the most famous. That's also why his name is often a synonym for signature.
  • Two future presidents also signed it: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Interestingly, both died on the 50th anniversary of the signing on July 4, 1826.
  • Charles Carroll, from Maryland, was the last surviving signer. He died in 1832 at 95.

1. Population

  • In July 1776, 2.5 million people were living in the newly independent nation.
  • It's estimated that 318.4 million people now live in the United States.
Population graphic(Photo: Haoyun Su)

2. Fireworks and flags

  • $203.6 million worth of fireworks were imported from China in 2013 -- which makes up 95 percent of the United States' fireworks.
  • That same year, $3.9 million dollars in American flags came from China. That's 97 percent of the flags imported to the United States.
Fireworks and flags graphic(Photo: Haoyun Su)

3. Patriotic towns

  • Just one place (it's not quite a town) in the country has patriot in its name: Patriot, Ind. Patriot's estimated population is 205.
  • 59 places contain liberty in the name. Eleven of them are in Pennsylvania.
  • 136 places have union in the name. Pennsylvania, again, has more of them than any other state.
  • The country's early leaders are also among the most commonly used words in place names: Washington (127 places),Franklin (118 places), and Lincoln (95 places).
Patriotism graphic(Photo: Haoyun Su)

4. No love lost

  • Although they were our foe in 1776, the British is now our seventh-leading trading partner today.
  • In 2013, $100 billion was traded between the United States and the United Kingdom.
The British graphic(Photo: Haoyun Su)

5. On your grill

  • Chances are, the hot dogs and sausages you'll eat on the Fourth of July come from Iowa. It's home to an estimated 19.8 million hogs and pigs.
  • Steaks and burgers, however, likely come from Texas. It's estimated that Texas produced 6.1 billion pounds of cattle in 2013.
Cookouts graphic(Photo: Haoyun Su)

For more photos, videos, and interactive content, follow us on Twitter at @IndyStarVisuals.

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Read or Share this story: http://www.wcnc.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/07/21/11816480/