Fourth of July 2020: Who Uses the Most Fireworks in the US?

It is hard to imagine the Fourth of July without fireworks. But with COVID-19 outbreaks all over the country celebrations this year will need to be a little different. We took a look at US trade data to gather insight on which states import the most fireworks per capita.
Kids in life jackets watch fireworks over the water

On the Fourth of July, Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and typically hold outdoor events with firework displays. Pyrotechnicians and volunteers from local fire departments work across the country to produce these spectacular festivities each year. Firework shows are strongly coupled with the Fourth of July, and it would be difficult to imagine the holiday without them. In fact, emergency room (ER) visits due to firework-related injuries peak on July Fourth, as many consumers attempt to have some fun of their own. We took a look at CPSC-NEISS injury and US trade census data to gather insight on who uses the most fireworks in the US.

Key Takeaways

  • There are an estimated 10,000 ER visits due to firework-related injuries in 2019. This is an increase of 10% from 2018 though still lower than the estimated 12,900 injuries in 2017.
  • In 2019, 25% of those injuries are estimated to occur on July fourth with around 73% occurring between mid June to Mid July.
  • Roughly 34% of injuries on July Fourth happen to children under the age of 10. Males are slightly more likely to be hurt than women, making up 57% of Fourth of July injuries.
  • In 2019, the U.S. imported 54.5 times more value in fireworks from China alone than the U.S. exported as a whole.

Consumer Fireworks Injuries Near July Fourth

DateAverage Daily Fireworks injuries
06/1929
06/2065
06/213
06/2216
06/2351
06/2441
06/25104
06/26111
06/2772
06/2829
06/2978
06/30135
07/01239
07/02295
07/03537
07/042887
07/051613
07/06399
07/07366
07/08206
07/0993
07/1075
07/1177
07/1241
07/1352
07/14109
07/1534
07/1621
07/1739
07/1859
07/1974

We looked at data from 2015 through 2019 from the Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (CPSC-NEISS) and analyzed summertime fireworks injuries. The chart above shows the estimated annual ER visits due to firework-related injuries for the days leading up to and following the holiday. We found that roughly 26.2% of all annual firework-related injuries occur on July Fourth and that, on average, injuries increase by 538% on July 4 compared to July 3.

We estimate that in 2019 42% of ER visits due to firework-related injuries on July Fourth are from consumers under the age of 20. Roughly 32% of these injuries happen to children under the age of 10. Interestingly, there's a high number of injuries on July 5 as well, after the recognized holiday is over. However, injuries fall sharply afterward. If you are planning to use fireworks this July, make sure you follow the CPSC's important safety guidelines.

Which States Spend the Most on Fireworks?

StateValue of imported fireworks per capitaImported value of Fireworks
Missouri$8.34$51,088,748
Alabama$5.80$28,353,392
Kansas$5.53$16,099,349
Wyoming$4.07$2,349,166
South Carolina$3.72$18,913,998
Nebraska$3.45$6,648,462
North Dakota$2.89$2,199,618
Montana$2.66$2,826,581
Ohio$2.60$30,444,688
Nevada$2.43$7,366,040
South Dakota$2.17$1,916,672
Indiana$2.16$14,470,363
Washington$1.41$10,587,756
Wisconsin$1.37$7,936,230
Tennessee$1.30$8,806,261
Pennsylvania$1.24$15,842,819
Arkansas$1.00$3,007,191
Utah$1.00$3,149,085
Florida$0.78$16,688,898
Michigan$0.78$7,810,634
Mississippi$0.76$42,258,550
Iowa$0.70$2,198,849
Texas$0.61$17,436,532
New Hampshire$0.52$698,641
Maine$0.50$673,825
Hawaii$0.46$655,480
California$0.45$17,732,810
Idaho$0.43$759,796
Oklahoma$0.40$1,575,292
Oregon$0.36$1,494,905
Maryland$0.32$1,957,307
Vermont$0.30$186,337
Louisiana$0.27$1,255,433
Illinois$0.24$3,097,163
New Jersey$0.22$1,981,527
Kentucky$0.19$827,564
Virginia$0.17$1,426,308
Arizona$0.15$1,042,197
Connecticut$0.14$509,653
New York$0.12$2,251,057
Colorado$0.11$650,888
Minnesota$0.11$642,277
West Virginia$0.10$180,721
New Mexico$0.05$104,134
North Carolina$0.05$513,090
Georgia$0.04$421,266
Massachusetts$0.03$207,134
Rhode Island$0.02$22,629
Puerto Rico$0.00$3,512

The table above shows which states imported the most value in fireworks last year. From all state imports data, including Washington D.C., we found that the United States imported about $319,270,828 worth of fireworks last year in total. We then took individual state populations into account to determine imports per capita values for further insights.

For imports per capita, Missouri comes out on top with a value of $8.34 per capita, or in other words, $834,000 per 100,000 state residents. Alabama and Kansas follow for second and third place with import values of $5.80 and $5.53 per capita, respectively. A complete list of all state rankings by imports per capita can be found at the end of the article. After looking at imports, we then took a look at the countries providing the most fireworks value to the U.S.

Where Do Americans Really Get Their Fireworks From?

CountryValue of imported fireworks
Total$319,270,828
China$304,453,745
Spain$4,815,684
Hong Kong$4,591,999
Thailand$1,719,052
Germany$1,448,900
Italy$832,470
United Kingdom$819,774
Japan$385,572
Mexico$85,500
Czech Republic$70,430
Portugal$47,702

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

Which States are Exporting the Most Fireworks?

StateValue of exported fireworks
New Jersey$1,905,119
Florida$1,689,421
Montana$408,122
New York$67,545
Alabama$63,432
California$53,330
New Hampshire$45,641
Nevada$34,051
Michigan$17,813
Indiana$10,278
All States$5,585,298

The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 firework displays take place every Fourth of July in the U.S., but where are the most fireworks coming from? We looked at U.S. Census data on 2019 firework imports and exports by state. The U.S. only exported $5,585,298 worth of fireworks in 2019. New Jersey took the top spot, 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 export values of $1,689,421 and $408,122, respectively.

Staying safe during this year’s Fourth of July Celebration

As the data above shows the Fourth of July celebrations can be dangerous. But in addition to the CPSC’s fireworks safety guidelines, be sure to stay distanced from the fireworks and your fellow celebrators. Cities across the country are coming up with ways to modify their celebrations to allow for safe social distancing. Furthermore, with the current COVID-19 outbreak and cancellations of local firework shows, we anticipate that many Americans will experiment more with doing their own backyard displays. This could lead to a drastic increase in injuries for the 2020 holiday.

As a precautionary measure, reviewing your health insurance can be a great idea. This will give you some peace of mind during the patriotic holiday weekend. Similarly, doing a thorough review of your home insurance could save you money in case of an emergency. Some home insurance policies will actually provide coverage since fireworks damage could be covered in the fire incidents portion of your policy.

As the fourth of July is approaching and families begin to get together, cases may begin to spike again across the country. For this reason, the CDC is emphasizing this as a time to “get back to being vigilant”.

Methodology

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.

Sterling Price

Sterling Price is a research analyst at ValuePenguin specializing in health and life insurance. He graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelors degree in Finance and Accounting and has previous experience as a licensed life insurance representative.