This Thanksgiving, pass the gravy and dig into a visual feast of government numbers. Get a slice of pie (charts) filled with data, figures, and metrics on the United States.
Data for your dinner table
This year’s Thanksgiving tables are reflecting a more diverse America than over a decade ago. In 2022, the white, non-Hispanic group made up 58.9% of the population compared with 63.8% in 2010. The Hispanic/Latino group grew the most, increasing 2.7 percentage points to 19.1% in 2022.
2. Nine of the top 10 most educated states are on the East Coast. Massachusetts leads the pack with 46.6% of the population 25 years and older earning at least a bachelor's degree as of 2021. Outside the East Coast, Colorado closely follows with 45.9% of its population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.
3. As Thanksgiving feasts unfold across tables, what’s likely to be paired with your turkey? There’s a good chance it’s water. Americans are quenching their thirst with water more than any other drink. Water accounted for half of the overall beverage consumption, outpacing other popular beverages such as coffee (14%), soft drinks (10%), milk (7%), and tea (7%).
4. Driving home for the holidays? Electric cars release half as much greenhouse gas emissions as gas-powered cars on average. But while all-electric vehicles produce less life cycle emissions, about 35% of greenhouse gas emissions for all-electric vehicles come from either battery or car manufacturing. This is because more greenhouse gases are created when mining for the lithium used in electric vehicle batteries. The remaining 65% of emissions are from electricity.
Pie chart comparing electric and gas vehicle emissions.
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5. Over 70% of total crude oil production came from five states in 2022: Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Alaska, and Colorado. Here's a breakdown:
Texas: More than 1.8 billion barrels of crude oil produced, or 42.5% of total US production
New Mexico: More than 579 million barrels of crude oil produced, or 13.3%
North Dakota: More than 386 million barrels of crude oil produced, or 8.9%
Alaska: More than 159 million barrels of crude oil produced, or 3.7%
Colorado: More than 160 million barrels of crude oil produced, or 3.7%
6. This Thanksgiving, consider toasting the hardworking dogs serving America. At the top of the government dog job world, the Department of Homeland Security leads the pack with 2,943 canine employees. Hot on their tails is the Defense Department with 1,808 furry colleagues, followed by the State Department and the Department of Agriculture with 204 and 148, respectively.
7. America is getting older. Between 2010 and 2022, the 65 and older population increased by 43%, making it the fastest-growing age group. The 0 to 4 age group declined the most, dropping 8.2% between 2010 and 2022. This coincides with declining birth rates and women choosing to have children later in life.
Is Thanksgiving becoming more expensive?
October 2023 food prices were up 3.3% from a year before. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ October Consumer Price Index report shows data on food staples for an overview of how much more Americans might spend on meals this holiday season.
The category of “other uncooked poultry including turkey” increased 7.2% from a year ago.
It's not all bad news for home cooks, though. Butter and potatoes are down by 3.7% and 3.3% respectively, making that creamy mashed potato dish a more budget-friendly delight.
There is good news for those planning to visit loved ones: airline fares have dropped by 13.2%. Costs associated with hitting the road dropped as well, with gasoline prices down by 5.3%, and car and truck rental prices down by 9.6%.
The US produced just over 752 million gallons in 2022, with 92% of that coming from California, Washington, New York, and Oregon vineyards. According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, it is the lowest output in a decade. Domestic wine production peaked at 889.6 million gallons in 2017 before declining by about 10% between 2019 and 2020. It has yet to recover, mainly due to wildfires impacting the Western states, where most American wine producers are based.
Where does Thanksgiving dinner come from? In 2021, Minnesota took the lead, producing 40.5 million turkeys, accounting for 18.7% of the national total. Click to discover more about state production of Thanksgiving staples including sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin.
November marks Native American Heritage Month. Census figures from 2020 show an increase in people identifying as Native American compared to a decade prior. The Census Bureau attributes this rise to changes in question design and new procedures, implemented after an undercount on reservations in 2010. The comprehensive reporting shows a more than twofold increase in the native population in 20 states, with over a million people claiming some Cherokee heritage.