Looking for some fun facts and stats about America?
You’ve come to the right place.
At Passport Photo Online, we’ve dived into the depths of the internet to give you the quirkiest and most fascinating tidbits about the US they probably didn’t teach you in class.
Top 10 Facts and Stats about North America
- The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the US from France to commemorate 100 years of Franco-American friendship.
- The Liberty Bell was cast in London, England, and shipped to Pennsylvania. Soon after it arrived, the Bell cracked.
- The deadliest job in the US is that of the president: of 46 presidents, four were assassinated.
- The average American throws away 4.9 pounds (2.2 kg) of trash daily.
- The average US household with debt owes $155.6K (or $15T+ collectively), including debt from mortgages, student loans, and credit cards—up 6.2% from 2021.
- The happiest state in America in 2022 was Hawaii, followed by Maryland and Minnesota.
- The $10K bill was the largest currency denomination circulated in the United States. It was first printed in 1918 and was part of the 1969 purge of large currencies. Today, only 700 authenticated samples have survived.
- 41.9% of adults in the US are obese.
- There are ~61K people in American airspace at any given time.
- The US has 42K ZIP codes, and you can look up all but one: the president’s secret ZIP code. The US Postal Service comes up with a new personal ZIP code for each new president to help them manage correspondence and ensure only essential mail reaches the head of state.
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Quirky and Unusual Facts about the US
- There have been 27 different flag versions featuring the stars and stripes since the founding of the United States in 1776. Each new flag represented the addition of one or several more states as the US grew westward.
- Once the Constitution was ratified, New York City became America’s first capital (1785–1790).
- New York was originally called New Amsterdam after a Dutch settlement decided to settle in Manhattan in the 17th century.
- Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s bourbon. Interestingly, there are 4.7M barrels of bourbon in the state and just 4.3M people.
- There’s a city named “Boring” in Clackamas County, Oregon.
- The United States of America doesn’t have an official language, even though English is the de facto national language spoken by ~78% of the population.
- In Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Idaho, Iowa, and Oklahoma, cattle outnumber humans.
- Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest college in the US.
- Oregon is the fastest-speaking state in the country. Most people in Oregon speak six words in the time it takes the rest of America to say five words.
- Hawaii and Arizona are the only states that don’t observe daylight saving time.
- Ohio is home to America’s worst drivers.
- The Empire State Building has its own zip code: 10188.
- In Michigan, it’s possible to get a unicorn hunting license.
- Americans eat 100+ acres of pizza every day.
- St. Augustine, FL (1565) is the oldest city in the US.
- Robert G. Heft designed today’s official flag of the United States while he was still a high school junior. Surprisingly, he got a B- as a grade for his work back in 1958.
- Enslaved people helped build the White House.
- The United States has won the highest number of Nobel Prizes: 400.
- By 2045, the US will likely become a “minority white” country (at 49.7%).
- The three colors in the American flag—red, white, and blue—represent different meanings. The red stands for courage and resilience; the white symbolizes innocence, and the blue represents justice and perseverance.
- Alaska once belonged to Russia, but in 1867, the United States purchased the territory for $7.2M. In other words, for less than two cents per acre, America acquired ~600,000 square miles (1,553,990 km2).
- San Francisco banned burials in the city in 1900 because the cemeteries were out of space, imposed health risks, and sat on prime real estate.
- American women were allowed vote in 1920.
- California’s official state animal is the grizzly bear. Yet, no grizzly bears have been spotted in the state since 1922.
- The Pentagon is the world’s largest office building with over 6,500,000 square feet of space (6,038 sq m) and 7,754 windows.
- The first zoo to open in the US was in Philadelphia, PA, in 1874.
- About three in 10 US adults (29%) are atheists or agnostics.
- 35% of Americans aren’t very superstitious, and 31% aren’t superstitious at all. Just 9% of US adults say they are very superstitious.
- The Gateway Arch—a monument in St. Louis, MO—is the tallest monument in the US: 630 feet tall (192 m).
- There’s a field filled with 43 giant heads of US presidents in the farmland of Croaker, Virginia.
Stacking It All Up
There you have it.
A comprehensive list of fun facts and statistics about the United States of America to spice up your knowledge.
Let us know in the comments if there are any other facts and stats about the US you’d like to see.
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Max Woolf is a writer and travel lover at Passport Photo Online. His insights, advice, and commentary have been featured in Forbes, Inc., Business Insider, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, BBC, MSN, NBC, Yahoo, USA Today, Fox News, AOL, The Ladders, TechRepublic, Reader’s Digest, Glassdoor, Stanford, G2, and 300+ other outlets.