In the midst of all of the anti-Washington sentiments that pour forth from the pundits and seem to be lapped up by the public, it’s good to see that the information wheels of our federal government continue to gather, interpret and ultimately spew forth immense quantities of usually essentially, sometimes just plain fun, information.
The Census Bureau, which continues to process the inestimable data collected in the 2010 Census, takes time now to share some fun facts about Halloween.
Did you know?
Some 41 million children age 5-14 hit the Trick or Treat trail in 2010 – Add to this number the 0-4 and 15+ generations who seemed be part of the crowd on my front steps particularly before and after “rush hour.” (U.S. Census Bureau)
The T or T crowd has their pick of some 116.7 occupied housing units. I have observed of late that the sophisticates – and their parents – tend to have checklists of criteria by which they judge the generous spirit of the homeowners so there are no disappointing treats. (U.S. Census Bureau)
1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins brighten the Halloween festivities; a small fraction even turn up in pies, puddings, soups and cookies. Illinois produces an estimated 427 million pounds of the gourd. California, New York and Ohio are also major pumpkin producing states. (U.S. Department of Agriculture
1,177 U.S. manufacturing establishments produce chocolate and cocoa products and employ 34, 252 people. California leads the nation with 135 followed by Pennsylvania with 111 (including Hershey which probably gives PA a leg up in the chocolate marathon)
409 U.S. establishments manufacture non-chocolate confectionary products; they employ 16,974 people. Again, California leads the sugary pack. (Note: My informed-by- consumption opinion is that some of those chocolate/cocoa manufacturers should be reclassified with this group)
24.7 pounds per capita is the rate of Americans’ candy consumption – I assume that’s an annual figure, in which case I probably should stop now…..
Where to spend the day:
The Bureau thoughtfully suggests some places around the country “that may put you in the Halloween mood.” Consider these possibilities, or add your personal favorite:
- Transylvania County, NC
- Tombstone, AZ
- Pumpkin Center, NC
- Cape Fear, NC
- Skull Creek, NE
You may want to consider including or substituting these factoids with the M&Ms and Twix – the digital data dump is pre-paid by the public, readily accessible, and clearly better than sugar for those high spirited young beggars who are already on a sugar high – or those teens who show up late after you’ve run out of candy and are desperate to give them something just to keep them at bay.
Or then again you may want to stick with the safer tradition and avoid the consequences of withholding treats. Even the President expressed his concern that the White House will be egged if Michelle insists on handing out veggies.