Census Bureau shares holiday facts, figures

The holiday season traditionally 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 shares holiday-related facts and figures from its collection of statistics.

The following facts are made possible by responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys. 

Rush to the Stores

$22.7 billion

The estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2016.

This is a decrease of $1 billion in retail sales from December of the previous year.

19.7 percent

The estimated percentage for total sales in December 2016 for jewelry stores.

18.9 percent

The December sales accounted for hobby, toy and game stores in 2016.

21.9 percent

The estimated increase in the end-of-month inventories by our nation’s department stores (excluding leased departments) between August and November 2016.

$61.4 billion

The estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2016, an increase of 9.8 percent from the previous year and the highest estimated total for any month last year.

$30.6 billion

The fourth quarter 2016 after-tax profits for all retail trade corporations with assets of $50 million and over, up from $21.7 billion in the third quarter of 2016.

Christmas Tree Decorations, Candles

$1.5 billion

The value of U.S. imports of Christmas ornaments from China for 2016. 

China led the way with 92 percent of the U.S. total imports of Christmas ornaments.

$463.2 million

The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree lights from China for 2016. 

China led the way with 88.1 percent of the total U.S. imports of Christmas tree lights.

$401.4 million

The value of U.S. imports of tapered candles in 2016. 

Most of these came from Vietnam, representing more than 41 percent of America’s imported tapered candles, followed by Canada with more than 21 percent.

Where Toys Are Made


The number of locations nationwide that primarily produced dolls, toys and games in 2015, an increase of 12 locations from 2014 (560); they employed 6,394 workers in the pay period including March 12, an increase of 179 employees from 2014 (6,215). California led the nation with 90 establishments.

Holiday Names

Some names of places associated with the holiday season include a dozen places named Holly, including Mount Holly, N.C. (population 14,495), and Holly Springs, Miss. (7,682). 

There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,764); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,463); North Pole, Alaska (2,232); Noel, Mo. (1,816); and, if you know about reindeer, Dasher, Ga. (979), and Rudolph, Wis. (430). 

The Gazette-Democrat

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Anna, Illinois 62906
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