Holiday Census Facts

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

From the U.S. Census Bureau


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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.

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.


The estimated percentage of total 2015 sales for department stores (including leased departments) in December. For bookstores, the estimated percentage was 12.4 percent.


The estimated increase in the end-of-month inventories by our nation's department stores (excluding leased departments) between August and November 2015.

$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.

$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.

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.

$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.

Where Toys Are Made


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.

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).

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.

$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.

Information Please. Database, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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