6 Interesting Financial Facts About Thanksgiving

1. $50.11

Country Living

The average cost of a 10-person Thanksgiving meal.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the typical cost of hosting a Thanksgiving feast for 10 costs just over $50 each year. 


The meal doesn’t just include turkey and a couple of skimpy sides — we’re talking 16-pound turkeys, stuffing, sweet potatoes, bread, dessert - the whole feast - for just around $5 per person.

What the figure doesn’t include is any alcohol, which could easily double or triple to cost of a large meal (not just on Thanksgiving).

2. $670 Million


The value of turkeys killed and sold for Thanksgiving every year.

This figure is based off the estimated 46 million turkeys killed annually, each one averaging 16 pounds. 

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that whole, frozen turkeys sell for 91 cents per pound.

Interestingly enough, it also includes the Thanksgiving turkey (or sometimes two turkeys) pardoned by the White House each year (since 1989). This year marks President Obama’s eighth and final turkey pardoning.

3. $48,052

American Profile

The average household income in the four US towns that have ‘Turkey’ in their names.

According to the US Census Bureau, these four towns average just over $48,000 in household income each year: 

- Turkey Creek, Arizona

- Turkey Town, North Carolina

- Turkey Creek Village, Louisiana

- Turkey City, Texas

That’s 36% less than the average American household that makes $74,596 per year.

Another interesting fact is the median house in the towns above are only worth half as much (around $78,800) as the median house nationwide (around $175,500).

4. $299.60

ABC News

The average amount spent by shoppers on Thanksgiving weekend last year.

According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers who braved the stores on Thanksgiving weekend were motivated to spend one-third of their entire holiday budget ($953) in just one weekend. 

Must’ve been some incredible Black Friday sales and promotions!

It’s worth noting that despite the excitement of getting a good deal and buying for ourselves and others, we should keep our spending under control during the holiday shopping season. 

Last year, Americans managed to rack up $52 billion in the last three months of the year — that’s incredibly fast!

5. $2.06


The average cost per gallon of gas last Thanksgiving.

Nearly 90% of Americans traveled at least 50 miles away from home to their Thanksgiving destinations, according to AAA. 

This marks the seventh year in a row that the distance of holiday travel has grown. People are traveling further and more frequently to be with friends and family on Thanksgiving.

This year will likely have similar travel patterns since the average price per gallon of gas is currently $2.13. 

6. $28 Million

Bon appetit

The amount of property losses caused by home cooking fires each Thanksgiving.

This somehow comes as no surprise. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, home cooking fires are three times more likely to happen on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. 

What does that say about how often we’re cooking meals for ourselves at home?

The average person spent an estimated $7,023 on food last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 43% of that was coded as “food away from home.”  

Whew — that’s a lot of money!

Did these facts surprise you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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