Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallows' Eve

From the ghouls at the Census BOO-REAU:

The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts, devils and hobgoblins. In the United States, the first official citywide Halloween celebration occurred in Anoka, Minn., in 1921. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, many of the young and “young-at-heart” take a more light-spirited approach. They don scary disguises or ones that may bring on smiles when they go door-to-door for treats or attend or host a Halloween party.

"Trick or Treat!"
36.1 million: The estimated number of potential "trick-or-treaters" in 2005 — 5- to 13-year-olds — across the United States, which declined by 284,000 from 2004. Of course, many other children — older than 13, and younger than age 5 — also go trick-or-treating.

108 million: Number of occupied housing units across the nation — all potential stops for "trick-or-treaters."

Jack O’ Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies
1.1 billion pounds: Total production of major pumpkin-producing states in 2005. Illinois led the country by producing 497 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, Ohio and Pennsylvania also provided lots of pumpkins: each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $106 million.

Where to Spend Halloween?
Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:
Transylvania County, N.C. (29,626 residents).
Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,569).
Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,228); and Pumpkin Bend township, Ark. (population 307).
Cape Fear township in New Hanover County, N.C.; and Cape Fear township in Chatham County, N.C. with populations of 15,711 and 1,170, respectively)
Skull Creek township, Neb. (population 285)
Press Release

Candy and Costumes

1,241: Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2004, employing 43,322 people and shipping $12.5 billion worth of goods. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 136, followed by Pennsylvania, with 122.

515: Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2004. These establishments employed 22,234 people and shipped $7.2 billion worth of goods that year. California also led the nation in this category, with 76 establishments.

26 pounds: Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2005; it is believed a large portion is consumed around Halloween.

2,497: Number of formal wear and costume rental establishments across the nation in 2004.

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