About 48.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of 1 million travelers compared with last year, according to AAA projections. This is a 1.9 percent increase over 2015, and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007.
Driving is the most popular method of travel for Thanksgiving, with 89 percent driving. The 43.5 million Americans planning a Thanksgiving road trip is a1.9 percent increase over last year.
Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent, with 3.69 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other methods of transportation, including cruises, trains, and buses, will increase only slightly this Thanksgiving, to 1.44 million travelers.
Thanksgiving gas prices are the second-cheapest in nearly a decade. On Nov. 15, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.16, 11 cents more than the average price on Thanksgiving last year, $2.05. Most U.S. drivers will pay the second-cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008, when the national average was $1.85.
Many travelers will go West this Thanksgiving. The top destinations, based on AAA.com bookings, are:
- Las Vegas
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- New York
- New Orleans
- Anaheim, California
- Fort Lauderdale
Many consumers are looking forward to the biggest shopping weekend of the year, with 59 percent of Americans – an estimated 137.4 million people – planning to or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to a survey prepared for the National Retail Federation. The numbers are up from 58.7 percent or 135.8 million people last year.
The survey found that 21 percent of weekend shoppers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, nearly the same as last year’s 22 percent. But, Black Friday is still the busiest day of the holiday weekend with 74 percent planning to shop that day, the same as in 2015. On Saturday, 47 percent plan to shop, with 24 percent saying they’re supporting Small Business Saturday, up from 22 percent last year. On Sunday, 24 percent expect to shop.
On Cyber Monday, 36 percent of consumers say they plan to shop online on, up from the 34 percent in 2015.
Facts and figures
Every year, the Census Bureau complies information on Thanksgiving. Here are its facts and figures for 2016.
The number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course. Turkey Creek, Louisiana had 444 residents in 2015, followed by Turkey, Texas, 396; Turkey Creek, Arizona, 351; and Turkey, North Carolina, 296.
The number of counties, places, and townships in the U.S. named Plymouth, as in Plymouth Rock, the landing site of the first Pilgrims. The two counties named Plymouth are in Massachusetts, 510,393 residents, and Iowa, 24,800 residents.
Plymouth, Minnesota, a city, has the most population, with 75,907 residents in 2015.
Pilgrim, Missouri had a population of 128, while Pilgrim, Michigan had 41. There are also Mayflower, Arkansas, with a population of 2,431, and Mayflower Village, California, with 5,779.
The number of members of the Wampanoag American Indian tribal grouping in 2010, about half of whom lived in Massachusetts. The Wampanoag were in attendance at the first Thanksgiving, playing a lead role in the historic event, and were essential to the survival of the colonists during the newcomers’ first year.
The forecasted number of turkeys raised in the U.S. in 2016. That’s up 4 percent from 2015.
The forecasted number of turkeys raised in Minnesota in 2016. Minnesota leads the states in turkey production, followed by North Carolina, 33 million; Arkansas, 26 million; Indiana, 20 million; Missouri, 19.7 million; and Virginia, 17 million.
The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys in 2015, with 99.9 percent coming from Canada and the rest from the United Kingdom. On sweet potatoes, the Dominican Republic was the source of 37.9 percent, $5.5 million, of total imports, $14.5 million.
859 million pounds
The estimated weight of cranberries produced in the U.S. in 2016. Wisconsin led with 521 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts, 207 million pounds. New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington also have substantial production, ranging from 19.4 to 58.8 million pounds.
3.1 billion pounds
The weight of sweet potatoes produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2015.