U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: The 2016 Holiday Season

This festive season, or simply the holidays, is a time for gathering and celebrating with family and friends, gift giving, reflection and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, the U.S. Census Bureau presents the following holiday-related facts and figures from its collection of statistics. 

Rush to the Stores

$23.8 billion
The estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2015. A decrease of $0.4 billion in retail sales from December of the previous year.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade Survey

Note: Leased departments are separately owned businesses operated as departments or concessions of other service establishments or of retail businesses, such as a separately owned shoeshine parlor in a barbershop, or a beauty shop in a department store. Also, retail sales and inventory estimates have not been adjusted to account for seasonal or pricing variations.

14.3%
The estimated percentage of total 2015 sales for department stores (including leased departments) in December. For bookstores, the estimated percentage was 12.4 percent.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade Survey

23.7%
The estimated increase in the end-of-month inventories by our nation’s department stores (excluding leased departments) between August and November 2015.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade Survey

$55.7 billion
The estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2015 — the highest estimated total for any month last year. 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade Survey

$27.1 billion
The fourth quarter 2015 after-tax profits for all retail trade corporations with assets of $50.0 million and over, up from $18.3 billion in the third quarter of 2015. 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Quarterly Financial Report 

Christmas Tree Decorations                        

$1.1 billion
The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2016. Imports from China led the way with 92.0 percent of the total imports of Christmas tree ornaments.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics

$346.0 million
The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree lights from China between January and September 2016. Christmas tree lights imported from China accounted for 87.0 percent of the total imports for that product.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics

Where Toys Are Made

560
The number of locations nationwide that primarily produced dolls, toys and games in 2014, an increase of 15 locations from 2013 (545); they employed 6,215 workers in the pay period including March 12, a decrease of 323 employees from 2013 (6,538). California led the nation with 93 establishments.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns

Holiday Names

Some names of places associated with the holiday season consist of a dozen places named Holly, including Mount Holly, N.C. (population 14,176), and Holly Springs, Miss. (7,610). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,666); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,474); North Pole, Alaska (2,189); Noel, Mo. (1,824); and — if you know about reindeer — Dasher, Ga. (963), and Rudolph, Wis. (432). There is also Unity, N.H. (1,603), and Peace, N.D. (28).  
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates 

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa

23.6 million
The estimated number of young domestic turkeys hatched during September of this year in the United States, up 21.0 percent from September 2015.
Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service

$392.0 million
The value of U.S. imports of tapered candles in 2015. Most of these came from Vietnam, representing more than 35.0 percent of America’s imported tapered candles, followed by Canada with 24.0 percent. Many of these candles are lit during Diwali (Nov. 11), Hanukkah (Dec. 6-14) and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) celebrations. 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Trade Statistics

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

African-American History Month (February) 

Labor Day (1st Monday in September)

Super Bowl (1st Sunday in February) 

Grandparents Day (1st Sunday after Labor Day)

Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) 

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)

Women’s History Month (March)  

Unmarried and Single Americans Week (3rd week of September)

Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/ 

Halloween (Oct. 31)

  St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) 

American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month

Earth Day (April 22)

(November) 

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)

Veterans Day (Nov. 11)      

Older Americans Month (May) 

Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)

Mother’s Day (2nd Sunday in May)

The Holiday Season (December)    

Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)  

 

Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June) 

 

The Fourth of July (July 4)

 

Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26)

 

Back to School (August)

 

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