Facts and figures for the fourth Thursday in November...
AND AWAY WE GO!
43.6 million Americans (about 14 percent of the total US population) will travel at least 50 miles from home over Thanksgiving weekend. This represents just under a 1 percent increase in total holiday weekend trips, compared with 2011, and is the fourth consecutive year of increasing holiday travel, according to a report released by AAA.
Auto travel accounts for the lion's share (90 percent) of those trips. Despite notoriously long lines at the airport, only 8 percent of holiday travelers plan to fly, and the remaining 2 percent will travel via train, bus, or other mode.
About half of long-distance travelers (those going 50 miles or more) will make a day trip of it. The other half will spend an average of three nights away from home.
Despite increased travel, people plan to spend less, with estimated travel costs ringing in just under $500 per traveler in 2012 compared with just over $550 the prior year.
FACTS ABOUT THE FEAST:
U.S. Census Bureau.
American farmers have raised about 250 million turkeys in 2012, with six top turkey-producing states accounting for nearly two thirds of the total.
With respect to traditional American Thanksgiving side dishes, U.S. growers produced more than 384,000 tons of cranberries, 550,000 tons of pumpkins, 672,000 tons of green beans, and a whopping 1,350,000 tons of sweet potatoes in the past year.
That said, even with a large domestic crop of sweet potatoes, the United States still imports $5.6 million dollars worth, or nearly half of all imported sweet potatoes, from the Dominican Republic.