Thanksgiving Day by the numbers: 10 mind-stuffing facts

Data from the Census and other sources provide some numerical insights into Thanksgiving, arguably the most cherished national holiday.

46 million birds

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    Free-range turkeys roam around on Don Blake's Rennck West Virginia farm this month. The US Department of Agriculture estimates that 254 million turkeys are being raised by US farmers this year
    Craig Cunningham/Charleston Daily Mail/AP
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That's the estimated number of turkeys raised this year in Minnesota, the top turkey-producing state in the country. In all, the US Department of Agriculture estimates, 254 million turkeys are being raised by US farmers this year, up 2 percent from 2011. A substantial share of them will show up on dining tables this week.

After Minnesota, the highest-producing states are North Carolina (36 million), Arkansas (29 million), Missouri (18 million), Virginia (17 million), and Indiana (17 million). The six states together account for about two-thirds of US turkeys.

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