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Notes, comments and observations from the Lifestyle and Entertainment desk by Lifestyle Editor Aixa Torregrosa-Vazquez.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A July 4th look at Pennsylvania

As we celebrate our independence this weekend, here's some food for thought from the Pennsylvania State Data Center:

An Independence Day Look at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

PENN STATE HARRISBURG – On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be commemorated by Pennsylvania and the rest of the country with parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues.

The Name Game
There are many patriotically-named cities, towns, and villages across the commonwealth. Washington tops the list of municipal names in Pennsylvania for having the most places include that name at 27. Franklin is the next most-common name for cities, boroughs and townships in Pennsylvania, with 25 variations of the Franklin name. Jefferson follows with 13 municipalities, followed by Liberty (11), Adams (7) and Freedom (4).

Population Growth Since the First Independence Day
Pennsylvania, as one of the original 13 states, has been around for every Decennial Census, including the first, in 1790. Thomas Jefferson oversaw the first American census, which enumerated Pennsylvania’s population at 434,373 people. Since then, Pennsylvania has grown by 2,801.8 percent (to 12,604,767 on July 1, 2009), and has never shown a decline in population according to Decennial Census counts.

Fourth of July Cookouts
Many Independence Day picnics include traditional favorites such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and ribs. In 2007, Commonwealth farmers had 1.62 million cattle and calves. The average price per 100 pounds in 2009 for beef cattle was $71.10. There were 1.18 million hogs in Pennsylvania in 2009. The average price per 100 pounds of pork in 2009 was $40.00.

Nationwide, food and beverage stores saw large increases in their sales during the month of July 2009. Retail trade increased by 1.0 percent between June and July 2009, while food and beverage stores jumped by 4.1 percent; grocery stores saw a 3.9 percent increase, and supermarket sales were up 4.0 percent. Beer, wine, and liquor stores, however, saw an even bigger increase: 7.4 percent.


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