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States spending the most on fireworks

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Zachary Hada // U.S. Air Force

States spending the most on fireworks

Summer has arrived—and with it comes socially acceptable white pants, hordes of children unleashed from the bonds of education, and fireworks. LOTS of fireworks.

Fireworks on the Fourth of July date almost all the way back all the way to the nation's founding. The first celebration of Independence Day was held July 4, 1777, exactly one year after the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Congress actually declared its independence two days earlier, with John Adams thinking July 2 would forever be the “most memorable epoch in the History of America.” But since the Declaration of Independence was approved after some revisions on the fourth, that's the date popular history remembers. At that first Independence Day celebration in 1777, there were boats decked in red, white, and blue, 13-gun salutes (representing the 13 colonies) and, of course, fireworks.

In the modern-day U.S., consumer fireworks are a $1 billion dollar business. Most of that consumption does occur right around the Fourth of July—and in all states but one (Massachusetts), some types of fireworks are legal to buy. Several states have additional restrictions on airborne fireworks, but allow sparklers and other, less intense fireworks. Americans' love of fireworks isn't limited to Independence Day, though: “Display fireworks,” which are used in commercial displays rather than set off by consumers, are themselves a $360 million business. Thus, even in states in which consumer fireworks are tightly regulated, fireworks shows still happen regularly at sporting events, festivals, and concerts.

States which tightly regulate fireworks have a solid rationale: exploding things are dangerous. ValuePenguin reports a 325% spike in injuries between July 3 and 4, with “the majority 17.1% of these injuries happen to children ages 5 to 10 years.” Massachusetts's Office of the State Fire Marshal reminds consumers that even sparklers burn at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some key steps to keeping everyone safe: don't let kids near the fireworks, keep cold water on hand, and don't go anywhere near any airborne fireworks after they've been lit; even if they appear to be dormant, throw water on them first just in case.

Now that the party poopery is out of the way, check out our gallery of states spending the most on fireworks, ranked by imports to the state per capita based on data from the U.S. Trade Census. Delaware, which imported zero fireworks between 2017 and 2018, isn't included. Read on to find out which state spends a whopping $8.80 per person on fireworks and which states only spend pennies.

You might also like: 25 facts about fireworks

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NCSU16 // Wikimedia Commons

#49. North Carolina

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.03 (97.4% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $275,165
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.02 (97.8% below national average, Rank: #3 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $197,652

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Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism // Flickr

#48. Massachusetts

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.03 (97.4% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $185,087
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.01 (98.6% below national average, Rank: #1 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $80,953

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Jimmy Baikovicius // Flickr

#47. Georgia

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.04 (96.0% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $427,231
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.01 (98.5% below national average, Rank: #2 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $138,007

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John Fowler // Wikimedia Commons

#46. New Mexico

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.09 (91.0% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $193,637
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.11 (87.6% below national average, Rank: #6 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $223,390

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versageek // Flickr

#45. Connecticut

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.09 (90.8% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $337,954
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.12 (85.9% below national average, Rank: #8 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $432,540

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Dan // Flickr

#44. Illinois

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.11 (89.3% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $1.4 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.12 (86.1% below national average, Rank: #7 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.5 million

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jenniferlinneaphotography // Flickr

#43. Colorado

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.14 (86.5% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $789,824
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.16 (81.8% below national average, Rank: #14 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $879,850

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Mark Taylor // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Maryland

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.15 (85.4% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $903,650
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.21 (75.8% below national average, Rank: #15 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.3 million

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Mannskii // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Minnesota

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.16 (84.8% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $872,548
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.09 (89.9% below national average, Rank: #4 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $484,924

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Douglas Palmer // Flickr

#40. New York

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.16 (84.5% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $3.1 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.15 (83.2% below national average, Rank: #12 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $2.8 million

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Swimmerguy269 // Wikimedia Commons

#39. West Virginia

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.17 (83.7% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $300,653
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.10 (88.9% below national average, Rank: #5 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $173,825

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Draper // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Arizona

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.18 (82.4% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $1.3 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.15 (83.0% below national average, Rank: #13 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.0 million

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Official U.S. Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Virginia

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.19 (81.1% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $1.6 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.13 (84.7% below national average, Rank: #10 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.1 million

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Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau // Flickr

#36. Louisiana

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.23 (77.6% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $1.1 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.23 (73.1% below national average, Rank: #17 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.1 million

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Joe.webster // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Rhode Island

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.23 (77.1% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $247,992
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.13 (84.8% below national average, Rank: #9 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $138,439

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Brad Barlow // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Idaho

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.27 (73.4% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $477,691
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.34 (60.4% below national average, Rank: #20 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $585,801

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Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Alaska

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.31 (69.4% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $231,243
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.31 (64.5% below national average, Rank: #18 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $226,399

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Pixabay

#32. Oregon

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.32 (68.7% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $1.3 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.22 (75.0% below national average, Rank: #16 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $891,775

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Daniel Ramirez // Flickr

#31. Hawaii

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.40 (60.9% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $568,458
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.47 (45.1% below national average, Rank: #23 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $672,925

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Jay Huang // Wikimedia Commons

#30. California

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.47 (54.6% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $18.4 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.33 (61.7% below national average, Rank: #19 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $13.0 million

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Paul VanDerWerf // Flickr

#29. Maine

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.48 (53.4% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $638,882
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.61 (29.6% below national average, Rank: #23 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $809,437

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Poromshunno // Flickr

#28. Oklahoma

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.49 (52.1% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $1.9 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.38 (56.2% below national average, Rank: #21 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.5 million

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GPA Photo Archive // Flickr

#27. Kentucky

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.55 (46.7% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $2.4 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.54 (37.3% below national average, Rank: #24 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $2.4 million

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Joe Lin // Flickr

#26. Vermont

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.55 (45.9% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $346,753
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.57 (33.9% below national average, Rank: #25 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $355,610

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Airman 1st Class Robert L. McIlrath // U.S. Air Force

#25. Texas

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.59 (42.4% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $16.9 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.61 (29.6% below national average, Rank: #24 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $17.2 million

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Tony Alter // Flickr

#24. New Jersey

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.74 (28.2% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $6.6 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.14 (83.7% below national average, Rank: #11 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.2 million

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Andre’ Askew // U.S. Air Force

#23. Mississippi

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.75 (27.2% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $2.2 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.69 (19.6% below national average, Rank: #21 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $2.1 million

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Gregory Urbano // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Florida

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.75 (26.8% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $16.0 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.86 (0.0% above national average, Rank: #18 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $18.1 million

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Vito Palmisano // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Michigan

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.75 (26.8% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $7.5 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.73 (15.8% below national average, Rank: #20 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $7.2 million

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Phil Roeder // Flickr

#20. Iowa

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $0.83 (19.2% below national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $2.6 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.41 (51.8% below national average, Rank: #22 lowest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.3 million

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Pixabay

#19. Tennessee

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $1.03 (1.1% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $7.0 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $1.00 (15.8% above national average, Rank: #16 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $6.7 million

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Btezra // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Pennsylvania

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $1.14 (10.9% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $14.5 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.67 (22.8% below national average, Rank: #22 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $8.5 million

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Ken Lund // Flickr

#17. Utah

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $1.20 (16.7% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $3.8 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.86 (0.0% below national average, Rank: #19 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $2.7 million

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FortSmithNPS // Flickr

#16. Arkansas

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $1.31 (28.3% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $4.0 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $0.88 (1.6% above national average, Rank: #17 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $2.6 million

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Andrew Smith // Flickr

#15. Washington

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $1.43 (39.2% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $10.7 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $1.26 (46.1% above national average, Rank: #14 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $9.3 million

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Šarūnas Burdulis // Flickr

#14. New Hampshire

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $1.46 (42.5% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $2.0 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $1.55 (80.4% above national average, Rank: #12 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $2.1 million

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Senior Airman Marc I. Lane // U.S. Air Force

#13. South Dakota

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $1.51 (47.5% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $1.3 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $1.05 (21.6% above national average, Rank: #15 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $914,388

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Sulfur // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Wisconsin

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $1.86 (81.9% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $10.8 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $1.39 (61.5% above national average, Rank: #13 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $8.1 million

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U.S. Air Force

#11. Ohio

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $2.08 (103.4% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $24.3 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $2.27 (164.0% above national average, Rank: #10 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $26.5 million

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Fargo-Moorhead CVB // Flickr

#10. North Dakota

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $2.21 (116.0% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $1.7 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $2.53 (194.3% above national average, Rank: #8 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.9 million

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dr-scott // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Montana

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $2.31 (125.5% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $2.5 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $1.55 (80.5% above national average, Rank: #11 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.6 million

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Erik Drost // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Indiana

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $2.73 (166.3% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $18.2 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $2.46 (185.5% above national average, Rank: #9 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $16.4 million

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Tydence Davis // Flickr

#7. Nevada

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $2.94 (187.2% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $8.9 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $2.54 (194.9% above national average, Rank: #7 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $7.5 million

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Zachary Hada // U.S. Air Force

#6. Nebraska

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $4.06 (296.2% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $7.8 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $5.83 (577.3% above national average, Rank: #2 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $11.2 million

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James St. John // Flickr

#5. Wyoming

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $4.51 (340.8% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $2.6 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $3.20 (271.9% above national average, Rank: #6 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $1.9 million

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Jerry Hughes // Wikimedia Commons

#4. South Carolina

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $4.83 (372.0% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $24.6 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $3.78 (339.5% above national average, Rank: #5 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $19.0 million

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Lisa Nail // Flickr

#3. Alabama

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $5.40 (427.6% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $26.4 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $3.98 (362.1% above national average, Rank: #4 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $19.4 million

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Lane Pearman // Flickr

#2. Kansas

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $6.39 (524.4% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $18.6 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $4.21 (388.7% above national average, Rank: #3 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $12.2 million

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Airman 1st Class Taylor Phifer // U.S. Air Force

#1. Missouri

- Fireworks imported per capita in 2018: $8.80 (759.8% above national average)
- Total imported in 2018: $53.9 million
- Fireworks imported per capita in 2017: $6.92 (703.7% above national average, Rank: #1 highest of all states)
- Total imported in 2017: $42.3 million

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