4th of July By the Numbers

Fireworks and flaming grills are in high demand this Independence Day.

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Sure it's one of our nation's most important and historic events, but Independence Day is also a day of eating, drinking, and, of course, blowing up stuff.

Amateur pyros shelled out a smoking $649 million for their own personal fireworks shows last year, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association, and Executive Director Julie Heckman only expects that figure to grow this year.

"We have found during the tough economic climate, the industry has not only survived, it's thriving," she says, also crediting the relaxation of many states' consumer fireworks laws for increased revenue.

And let's not forget the all-important Independence Day cookout—160 million Americans will be firing up 40 million grills, cranking out millions of hot dogs, brats, veggie burgers, and…tofu kabobs?

Here's a look at more Independence Day festivities by the numbers:

160 million. The number of people who plan to cook out to celebrate Independence Day. That's about 68 percent of the population—up from about 64 percent last year—and the most in the survey's history.

115 million. The number of people who say they'll be attending a fireworks display, up from 105 million in 2011. Don't like crowds? Try your town's local parade—only about 36 million of your neighbors will be setting up lawn chairs on Main Street to watch the patriotic floats.

$649 million. The amount spent by at-home pyros for their backyard fireworks display. Another $318 million or so is spent for the professional shows put on by cities and municipalities.

$3.33. The average price for a gallon of gas, according to AAA. Lower prices at the pump means more consumers—30 million strong, according to some estimates—will pile into the family car to enjoy the holiday elsewhere.

$2.4 billion. The total amount the nation will spend at the grocery story for Independence Day cookouts.

$59.14. The average price of an 4th of July picnic. Despite growing concerns about rising food costs, the grocery bill for this year's picnic is actually a bit cheaper. Last year, revelers spent $61.16 for their cookouts.

$3.6 million. The dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags in 2011. The vast majority—$3.3 million worth—were made in China.

$663,071. The dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2011. The primary customer? Our neighbor to the south, Mexico, which spent more than $80,000 on the old stars and stripes.

1 in 3. The chance that the three hot dogs and two brats you're going to eat at the family cookout came from Iowa. That's because the Hawkeye state is home to almost 20 million hogs and pigs, about a third of the nation's estimated total. The runners up? North Carolina and Minnesota, which are also home to many millions of swine.

7.2 billion. The weight in pounds of all the cattle and calves in Texas in 2011. That means there's about a 1 in 6 chance that burger you'll bite into came from the Lone Star state.

Sources: BIGinsight, Census Bureau, AAA, American Pyrotechnics Association

Meg Handley is a business reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can reach her at mhandley@usnews.com and follow her on Twitter.