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Some holiday numbers

We are in the middle of the run-up to Monday’s July 4 holiday, a day when just about everyone wants to show off their patriotism.

Which raises a question — where does our Tri-State Area fall when it comes to being patriotic? The answer might come as a bit of a surprise.

According to information compiled by WalletHub, our region doesn’t rate that highly. Ohio, for instance, comes in at 29th, while West Virginia is 40th and Pennsylvania 42nd, the Washington, D.C.-based personal financial Website explains.

The rankings were determined by looking at 13 key indicators, including the number of military enlistees and veterans from each state to the share of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita. When all of the numbers were crunched, Alaska finished as the most patriotic, followed by Montana, Virginia, North Dakota and Oregon. The bottom five were Massachusetts, Florida, Rhode Island, New York and Arkansas.

Blue states finished as being more patriotic than red states, the survey showed, and Alaska, with 137, has the most veterans per 1,000 civilian adults, and New York, with 51, has the least. Utah, meanwhile, has the highest volunteer rate at 51.2 percent, while New York has the lowest at 25 percent.

When it comes to being independent, our region doesn’t fare that much better, WalletHub said in a separate report. Pennsylvania tops the region at 30th, while Ohio is 39th and West Virginia 45th. There were 39 metrics used to build the list, including how dependent a state’s citizens are on the government and others for their finances and personal vices.

Utah tops the list, followed by Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia and Nebraska. The bottom five were South Carolina, Alaska, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky.

West Virginia ranks lowest in the percentage of households that have a rainy-day fund and in median household income adjusted by the cost of living, 47th when it comes to being federally dependent and 46th in terms of percentage of households receiving public assistance and SNAP benefits. Pennsylvania was tied for 45th with New Mexico for the highest unemployment rate.

Which brings us to how we will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

Not surprisingly, 57 percent of Americans said that inflation is affecting their holiday plans, with two-thirds of Americans planning to spend less on the holiday than they did last year. With that in mind, 64 percent said that saving money was more patriotic than spending it — in fact, 23 percent said saving money is the most patriotic financial activity, just ahead of giving to charity and paying taxes (which each finished at 20 percent.)

But celebrate we will, just as Americans have been doing for the past 246 years. And, the best city in which to enjoy the holiday is, WalletHub says, San Francisco. That’s after crunching 21 metrics that include the Fourth of July weather forecast, the duration of a city’s fireworks display and the average price of beer and wine.

Pittsburgh ranks just 27th this year. That’s not as good as Cleveland, which is 25th, but better than Columbus, which is 36th.

The lowest prices for beer and wine can be found in Durham, N.C., the survey says, while the highest prices are in Atlanta. When it comes to the lowest number of DUI-related fatalities per capita, there’s a six-way tie among San Francisco; Boise, Idaho; Virginia Beach, Va.; Greensboro, N.C.; Newark, N.J.; and Laredo, Texas. Toledo and St. Louis are tied for the highest number.

The best weather forecast? Again, it’s a six-way tie, only this time it’s among San Francisco; Boise; Seattle; Freemason, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; and North Las Vegas. Expect the worst weather in Newark, N.J.

Of course, the flag is one of the first things that comes to mind on the Fourth of July, but WalletHub says only 57 percent of Americans own one. The value of imported American flags in 2021 was $6.9 million. Maybe that’s because only 43 percent of U.S. adults are extremely proud to be Americans — a number that’s down from 69 percent in 2003.

No matter what, though, we always make plans for the day, and 44 percent said they will be having a cookout with family and friends, and 38 percent will either attend a fireworks show or set off some of their own.

When it comes to eating, Americans spent $675 million on beef for the Fourth of July last year and $281 million on 750 million pounds of chicken last year. We spent $172 million on pork, $171 million on berries, $153 million on salad, $149 million on sausages and $137 million on bacon. On hot dogs? We spent $76 million.

And we wash it down with more than $1.1 billion worth of beer and $450 million worth of wine.

All of that partying can come at a cost, though. The numbers show that 66 percent of annual fireworks injuries take place within a month of the Fourth of July and 1,030 people go to an emergency room every Fourth of July to be treated for fireworks-related injuries. Sadly, 493 people are killed in Fourth of July car crashes each year, and 201 people died in 2020 in crashes involving a driver with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher. The good news is that 303 lives could be saved during the holiday if you will just wear your seat belt.

Those are some numbers to think about as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

We are in the middle of the run-up to Monday’s July 4 holiday, a day when just about everyone wants to show off their patriotism.

Which raises a question — where does our Tri-State Area fall when it comes to being patriotic? The answer might come as a bit of a surprise.

According to information compiled by WalletHub, our region doesn’t rate that highly. Ohio, for instance, comes in at 29th, while West Virginia is 40th and Pennsylvania 42nd, the Washington, D.C.-based personal financial Website explains.

The rankings were determined by looking at 13 key indicators, including the number of military enlistees and veterans from each state to the share of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita. When all of the numbers were crunched, Alaska finished as the most patriotic, followed by Montana, Virginia, North Dakota and Oregon. The bottom five were Massachusetts, Florida, Rhode Island, New York and Arkansas.

Blue states finished as being more patriotic than red states, the survey showed, and Alaska, with 137, has the most veterans per 1,000 civilian adults, and New York, with 51, has the least. Utah, meanwhile, has the highest volunteer rate at 51.2 percent, while New York has the lowest at 25 percent.

When it comes to being independent, our region doesn’t fare that much better, WalletHub said in a separate report. Pennsylvania tops the region at 30th, while Ohio is 39th and West Virginia 45th. There were 39 metrics used to build the list, including how dependent a state’s citizens are on the government and others for their finances and personal vices.

Utah tops the list, followed by Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia and Nebraska. The bottom five were South Carolina, Alaska, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky.

West Virginia ranks lowest in the percentage of households that have a rainy-day fund and in median household income adjusted by the cost of living, 47th when it comes to being federally dependent and 46th in terms of percentage of households receiving public assistance and SNAP benefits. Pennsylvania was tied for 45th with New Mexico for the highest unemployment rate.

Which brings us to how we will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

Not surprisingly, 57 percent of Americans said that inflation is affecting their holiday plans, with two-thirds of Americans planning to spend less on the holiday than they did last year. With that in mind, 64 percent said that saving money was more patriotic than spending it — in fact, 23 percent said saving money is the most patriotic financial activity, just ahead of giving to charity and paying taxes (which each finished at 20 percent.)

But celebrate we will, just as Americans have been doing for the past 246 years. And, the best city in which to enjoy the holiday is, WalletHub says, San Francisco. That’s after crunching 21 metrics that include the Fourth of July weather forecast, the duration of a city’s fireworks display and the average price of beer and wine.

Pittsburgh ranks just 27th this year. That’s not as good as Cleveland, which is 25th, but better than Columbus, which is 36th.

The lowest prices for beer and wine can be found in Durham, N.C., the survey says, while the highest prices are in Atlanta. When it comes to the lowest number of DUI-related fatalities per capita, there’s a six-way tie among San Francisco; Boise, Idaho; Virginia Beach, Va.; Greensboro, N.C.; Newark, N.J.; and Laredo, Texas. Toledo and St. Louis are tied for the highest number.

The best weather forecast? Again, it’s a six-way tie, only this time it’s among San Francisco; Boise; Seattle; Freemason, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; and North Las Vegas. Expect the worst weather in Newark, N.J.

Of course, the flag is one of the first things that comes to mind on the Fourth of July, but WalletHub says only 57 percent of Americans own one. The value of imported American flags in 2021 was $6.9 million. Maybe that’s because only 43 percent of U.S. adults are extremely proud to be Americans — a number that’s down from 69 percent in 2003.

No matter what, though, we always make plans for the day, and 44 percent said they will be having a cookout with family and friends, and 38 percent will either attend a fireworks show or set off some of their own.

When it comes to eating, Americans spent $675 million on beef for the Fourth of July last year and $281 million on 750 million pounds of chicken last year. We spent $172 million on pork, $171 million on berries, $153 million on salad, $149 million on sausages and $137 million on bacon. On hot dogs? We spent $76 million.

And we wash it down with more than $1.1 billion worth of beer and $450 million worth of wine.

All of that partying can come at a cost, though. The numbers show that 66 percent of annual fireworks injuries take place within a month of the Fourth of July and 1,030 people go to an emergency room every Fourth of July to be treated for fireworks-related injuries. Sadly, 493 people are killed in Fourth of July car crashes each year, and 201 people died in 2020 in crashes involving a driver with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher. The good news is that 303 lives could be saved during the holiday if you will just wear your seat belt.

Those are some numbers to think about as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

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