Homeowners Insurance

Fourth of July: Who Uses the Most Fireworks in the US?

Fourth of July: Who Uses the Most Fireworks in the US?

It's hard to imagine the Fourth of July without fireworks. While this tradition is nation-wide, the sale and consumption of fireworks varies by state, and so does the incidence of fireworks-related injuries. We took a look at US trade data to gather insight on how firework use varies across the U.S.
Kids in life jackets watch fireworks over the water
Kids in life jackets watch fireworks over the water Source: Getty Images

Many Americans celebrate the Fourth of July by socializing outdoors and setting off firework displays. Food, music, and colorful pyrotechnic displays are a tradition all over the country.

While many celebrations go incident free, emergency room (ER) visits peak on July Fourth, due to firework-related incidents. We took a look at CPSC-NEISS injury and US trade census data to gather insight on nation-wide firework consumption and safety around the holiday.

Key Takeaways

  • There were an estimated 10,000 ER visits due to firework-related injuries in 2019, up 10% from 2018.
  • An estimated 25% of those injuries occurred on July 4th, but roughly 73% occurred from mid June to mid July.
  • Roughly 34% of injuries on July 4th are sustained by children under the age of 10.
  • Males are slightly more likely to be hurt than women, making up 57% of all injuries.
  • In 2019, the U.S. imported 54.5 times more value in fireworks from China than the U.S. exported as a whole.

Fireworks Injuries Spike Around July Fourth

The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 firework displays take place every Fourth of July in the U.S. We looked at data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (CPSC-NEISS) for 2015 through 2019, to analyze summertime fireworks injuries related to this major event.

The chart below shows the estimated annual ER visits due to firework-related injuries aren't isolated to July fourth. Roughly 26.2% of all annual firework-related injuries occur on July Fourth, and on average, injuries increase by 538% on July 4 compared to July 3. But the weeks surrounding the holiday are also hazardous.

Average Daily Fireworks injuries
Show All Rows

There's a high number of injuries on July fifth as well — many are potentially sustained during late night/early morning celebrations or by individuals who don't receive treatment until after-hours. However, injuries fall sharply after the fifth.

In terms of age, we estimate that in 2019, 42% of ER visits due to firework-related injuries on July Fourth are from consumers under 20 years old, and roughly 32% of these injuries happen to children under the age of 10.

If you're are planning to use fireworks this July, make sure you follow the CPSC's Firework Safety Tips, which include never allowing children to play with or ignite fireworks.

Which States Import the Most Fireworks?

We analyzed import data for all 50 states and Washington D.C. In our analysis, we found that the U.S. imported about $319,270,828 worth of fireworks last year. The table below breaks that data down further, revealing per capita imports for each state.

Value of imported fireworks per capita
Imported value of Fireworks
South Carolina$3.72$18,913,998
North Dakota$2.89$2,199,618
South Dakota$2.17$1,916,672
Show All Rows

Missouri ranks first for most spending on imported fireworks, with a value of $8.34 spent per capita, or $834,000 for every 100,000 residents. Alabama and Kansas follow in second and third place, with import values of $5.80 and $5.53 per capita, respectively.

Where Do Americans Buy Their Fireworks?

In addition to analyzing the volume of imports, we took a look at the countries providing the highest dollar value of fireworks to the U.S.

Value of imported fireworks
Hong Kong$4,591,999
United Kingdom$819,774
Czech Republic$70,430

The United States imports most of its fireworks from China, which accounted for nearly 96% of all fireworks imports last year. In total, the U.S. imported 40 times more fireworks value than it exported to China. The next highest import values came from Spain, followed by Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Which States Export the Most Fireworks?

The U.S. only exported $5,585,298 worth of fireworks in 2019. While this is relatively minimal in comparison to imports, we looked at the U.S. Census data for 2019, to further analyze these exports by state.

Value of exported fireworks
New Jersey$1,905,119
New York$67,545
New Hampshire$45,641
All States$5,585,298

New Jersey took the top spot for fireworks exports in the U.S., accounting for 34.1% of the total, with a firework export value of $0.21 per capita. North Dakota and Montana were the next two highest, with total export values of $1,689,421 and $408,122, respectively.

Staying safe during the Fourth of July Celebration

As the data above shows, Fourth of July celebrations can be dangerous. In past years, the concern of Covid may have added to some of the dangers associated with this holiday, as many Americans may have experimented with their own fireworks displays while social distancing.

For those who plan to handle fireworks, be aware that safe handling requires knowledge and preparation. Per the CPSC's guidelines, that includes the following:

  • Never pick up, handle or re-light fireworks that have not ignited correctly
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly
  • Never light fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs

As a precautionary measure, reviewing your health insurance plan can be a great idea, and could give you some peace of mind during the patriotic holiday weekend.

Similarly, doing a thorough review of your homeowners insurance could save you money in the event of an emergency. Some home insurance policies may even provide coverage for firework damage, since it could be covered in the fire incidents portion of your policy.


We looked at data from 2015 through 2019 from the Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (CPSC-NEISS) and analyzed summer fireworks injuries to show injury trends surrounding the Fourth of July.

Reported ER visits were averaged from 2015 through 2019 from the CPSC-NEISS data in order to calculate sampled ER visits per summer. A fractional weight (total hospitals divided by sampled hospitals) was used as a multiplier to estimate total ER visit values.

Firework imports and exports data were pulled from the U.S. trade census using HTS code 3604.10. U.S. population values were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 population estimates in order to calculate per capita dollar amounts.