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Matthew Kinghorn
Indiana Business Research Center

Molly Manns
Indiana Business Research Center

Last modified: Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving in Indiana: A menu of fun facts and figures

Some statistics from the Indiana Business Research Center

Nov. 24, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Just in time for Thanksgiving Day on Thursday (Nov. 27), the Indiana Business Research Center in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business has offered a menu of interesting statistics:

Thanksgiving Dinner

  • 15.1 million turkeys were produced in Indiana in 2007. The Hoosier state is ranked seventh nationally and accounted for 5.6 percent of national turkey production. This output was less than one-third of Minnesota's leading production of 48 million turkeys.
  • The value of Indiana's 2007 turkey production totalled $249.8 million. This amount represented 6.7 percent of the total value of U.S. turkey production. Indiana had the sixth largest value of turkey production behind Minnesota, North Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas and Virginia.
  • Dubois County accounted for 36 percent of of Indiana's turkey inventory, and is the state's top turkey-raising county, according the most recent data available. Dubois County ranked 13th nationally in turkey inventories in 2002. Southwest Indiana is the center of Indiana's turkey industry as the top four counties in 2002 -- Dubois, Daviess, Martin and Greene -- accounted for 70 percent of the state's inventories.

Side Dishes

  • Indiana's 2007 production of snap, or green, beans for processing (as opposed to sold fresh) weighed in at 15.7 tons. Indiana was the nation's sixth largest producer of green beans for processing and its output accounted for 2 percent of the total.
  • Indiana's share of U.S. fresh sweet corn production was 1.6 percent, with an output of 459,000 hundredweight in 2007. (Note that a hundredweight is equal to 100 pounds).
  • There were 495 farms in Indiana that produced pumpkins in 2002. These farms harvested 4,242 acres of pumpkins that year, which accounted for 4.4 percent of the total harvested acres in the United States.
  • It is unlikely that your Thanksgiving Day helpings of potatoes, sweet potatoes or cranberries were produced in Indiana, as a tiny amount of state's agricultural acres relative to other states are dedicated to these crops.


  • The estimated annual economic contribution of volunteerism in Indiana amounted to $4.2 billion. Indiana's volunteer rate in 2007 was 30.6 percent -- greater than the national average of 26.2 percent.
  • The share of Indiana's volunteerism that was dedicated to the collection and distribution of food, a common activity on Thanksgiving Day, was 26.5 percent.

Kickoff to the Holiday Shopping

Indiana retail employment from October to November of 2007 grew by 3.3 percent. The average growth between 2001 and 2007 was 3 percent.

The Indiana Business Research Center is part of a national network of State Data Centers and acts as the official state representative to the Census Bureau on matters relating to the census and population estimates. The IBRC also develops and maintains STATS Indiana, the award winning, state-supported Web service (