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Your Valentine’s Day plans are like that totally crazy dream you had last night where your boss was in front of you on a water slide, but then your boss turned into Dick Cheney and when you reached the bottom he captured you and tried to waterboard you, but then a dragon came down and brought you out for Mexican and that kid you had a crush on from high school physics was there: I’m sure it was great for you, but fuck, man, I don’t really care.
Now, the U.S. Census Bureau has chimed in to make Valentine’s Day even more boring with a special press release full of boring numbers. Did you know that in 2006, 1,170 locations produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2006? Or that in the same year, 473 locations produced “nonchocolate confectionary products”? And that there were 3,563 “confectionery and nut stores” in the United States Alone? How about the “total value of shipments in 2006 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products”—-$13.9 billion! Fuck, I can’t take this anymore. Below, the full census presser.
Valentine’s Day 2009: Feb. 14
Opinions abound as to who was the original Valentine, with the most popular theory that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome in spite of Emperor Claudius II, who felt that marriage weakened his soldiers. In any event, in A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day. Through the centuries, the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages, and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. The spirit of love continues today as valentines are sent with sentimental verses, from and to young and old romantics. Candy is Dandy
1,170 Number of locations producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2006. These establishments employed 39,457 people. California led the nation in the number of such establishments with 128, followed by Pennsylvania with 116. Source: County Business Patterns < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/012181.html >
473 Number of locations that produced nonchocolate confectionary products in 2006. These establishments employed 18,733 people. Source: County Business Patterns < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/012181.html >
$13.9 billion Total value of shipments in 2006 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $7.2 billion industry. Source: Annual Survey of Manufactures < http://factfinder.census.gov/>
3,563 Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2006. Source: County Business Patterns < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/012181.html >
24.5 pounds Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2007. Source: Current Industrial Reports < http://www.census.gov/cir/www/311/ma311d.html>
$416 million The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2007 for all flower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for about three-quarters of this amount ($320 million). Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
$29 million The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2007 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service < http://www.nass.usda.gov>
20,227 The number of florists nationwide in 2006. These businesses employed 98,373 people. Source: County Business Patterns < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/012181.html >
28,300 Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2006. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to lovers of all ages. In February 2008, these stores sold $2.6 billion in merchandise. Source: County Business Patterns < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/012181.html > and Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services < http://www.census.gov/mrts/www/mrts.html>
The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation’s 1,777 jewelry manufacturing establishments. Source: County Business Patterns < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/012181.html >
2.2 million The number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2007. That breaks down to a little more than 6,000 a day. Source: National Center for Health Statistics < http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/nvsr/nvsr.htm>
126,354 The number of marriages performed in Nevada during 2007. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked fifth nationally in marriages, even though its total population that year among states was 35th. (California ranked first in marriages.) Source: National Center for Health Statistics < http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/nvsr/nvsr.htm> and population estimates, < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/007910.html >
57% and 60% The percentages of American women and men, respectively, who are 18 or older and married (includes those who are separated). Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2007 < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/marital_status_living_arrangements/012437.html >
72% Percentage of people 30 to 34 in 2007 who had been married at some point in their lives — either currently or formerly. Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2007 < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/marital_status_living_arrangements/012437.html >
73% Among women who married for the first time between 1985 and 1989, the percentage who marked their 10th anniversary. This compares with 87 percent of women who married for the first time between 1955 and 1959. Source: Marriage and Divorce: 2004 www/releases/archives/marital_status_living_arrangements/010624.html>
6% The percentage of currently married women who have been married for at least 50 years. A little more than half of currently married women have been married for at least 15 years. Source: Marriage and Divorce: 2004 www/releases/archives/marital_status_living_arrangements/010624.html>
*The Census Bureau data in this section do not include same-sex marriages; the National Center for Health Statistics data do. Looking for Love
904 The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 4,300 people and pulled in $489 million in revenue. Source: 2002 Economic Census < http://www.census.gov/econ/census02/guide/SUBSUMM.HTM>
Try Looking Here . . .
Romantic-sounding places to spend Valentine’s Day:
Roseville, Calif. Rose City, Mich. South Heart, N.D. Loveland, Colo. Darling township, Minn. Loveland, Ohio Romeo, Colo. Sacred Heart, Minn. Loveland Park, Ohio Lovejoy, Ga. Heart Butte, Mont. Love County, Okla. Loves Park, Ill. Valentine, Neb. Loveland, Okla. Lovington, Ill. Lovelock, Nev. Lovelady, Texas Romeoville, Ill. Loving, N.M. Loving County, Texas Rosemont, Ill. Lovington, N.M. Valentine, Texas Romeo, Mich. Love Valley, N.C. Rose Hill Acres, Texas Rose Hill, N.C. Rose Hill, Va.
Giving Love a Second Chance
8 Average length, in years, of first marriages ending in divorce.
3 1/2 The median time in years between divorce and a second marriage.
12% and 13% Percentage of men and women, respectively, 15 and older who have married twice. Three percent each have married three or more times. By comparison, 54 percent of men and 58 percent of women have made only one trip down the aisle.
52% and 44% Among adults 25 and older who have ever divorced, the percentage of men and women, respectively, who were currently married.
Source for the data in this section: Marriage and Divorce: 2004 < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/marital_status_living_arrangements/010624.html >
Photo by Sister72.