U.S. Census numbers continue to astound

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The population of the United States approached 298 million as of New Year&8217;s Day – Sunday, Jan. 1, 2006.

That number is up from the 281 million recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2000 and up from 296 million just this past July.

That jump is a .9 percent increase since Jan. 1, 2005.

According to the census bureau, the U.S. is expected to register one birth every eight seconds and one death every 12 seconds during January.

Meanwhile, international migration is expected to add one person every 31 seconds, resulting in a total population increase of one person every 14 seconds.

The U.S. consists of about 3 1/2 million square miles, so that&8217;s 84.2 people per square mile and increasing every 14 seconds apparently.

Wow. That&8217;s amazing to think about.

These census numbers are great. You can find anything. I can&8217;t wait for the next update in 2010.

Here are some other interesting facts I found about the recent holiday season while doing a little research at www.census.gov.

– 1.9 billion – number of Christmas cards sent to friends and loved ones every year, making Christmas the largest card-sending occasion in the U.S. The second largest is Valentine&8217;s Day, with about 192 million cards being given.

– 20.8 million – number of Christmas trees cut around the country in 2002. These trees were located on 21,904 farms spread out across 447,000 acres.

– 6.5 million – number of Christmas trees cut in Oregon in 2002, making the Beaver State the nation&8217;s leader. (There were 2.6 million trees cut in Clackamas County, Ore., alone.) Also topping the 1-million mark among states were Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin.

Pennsylvania led the nation in the number of Christmas tree farms, with 2,164; and Oregon was tops in acreage devoted to Christmas tree production, at 67,800.

– 1,162 – population of Christmas, Fla., an unincorporated town. Other places whose names are associated with the holiday season include North Pole, Alaska (population 1,659 in 2004); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,201); Santa Claus, Ga. (238); Noel, Mo. (1,476); and the village of Rudolph, Wis. (418). On top of that there is Snowflake, Ariz. (4,836); Dasher, Ga. (822); and a dozen places named Holly, including Holly Springs, Miss., and Mount Holly, N.C.

– 124 – number of establishments around the country that primarily manufactured dolls and stuffed toys in 2003; they employed 2,123 people. California led the nation with 19 such locations, and Vermont employed the most, 670.

– 733 – the number of locations that primarily produced games, toys and children&8217;s vehicles in 2003; they employed 16,996 workers. California led the nation with 118 establishments and in the number of people they employed, 2,581.

– 47,835 – the number of malls and shopping centers dotting the U.S. landscape as of 2004, a total that had increased by about 10,000 since 1990.

– 6.8 million – the number of Americans who say they downhill-ski more than once a year. Other popular winter sports are cross-country skiing (1.9 million), ice hockey (1.8 million) and snowboarding (6.3 million)