Americans Spend An Astounding Amount Of Money On Fireworks

With the Fourth of July a week away, many Americans are preparing for the quintessential long summer weekend. Perhaps you're attending or hosting a backyard cookout to celebrate? Or enjoying a patriotic parade? Whatever your plans are for the day, Americans can count on the fact that when the sun dips down below the horizon, the sky will fill with the sights and sounds of fireworks.


To cater to that market, a motley assortment of tents and trailers will pop up on vacant lots by the side of the road or in a forlorn corner of your local big-box store's parking lot (by the way, is Sam's Club better than Costco?). Inside, consumers can buy everything from innocent sparklers to giant reloadable mortars with daunting names likeĀ "Death Shell" and "Mother of all Bombs."

At the risk of mucking up a fun tradition with some financial facts and figures, have you ever wondered exactly how much Americans spend every year on fireworks? In 2022, that amount was an explosive (pun intended) $2.3 billion.

Pro displays are less popular post-COVID

To put that $2.3 billion in perspective, that's approximately $7 spent for every man, woman, and child in the United States. It's also $100 million more than was spent in 2021 and a whopping 3.6 times more than was spent on fireworks in 2010, which was $636 million, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. So, what does $2.3 billion worth of fireworks look like? The combined weight of professional- and consumer-grade fireworks sold in 2023 equals a hefty 273.6 million pounds.


As with many of the changes in living, spending, and working habits over the past few years (like the emergence of the four-day workweek), the COVID-19 pandemic is held partly responsible for the recent splurge on fireworks in the country. That is, Americans may be more likely to hold private celebrations featuring home-brewed pyrotechnic displays rather than attending public gatherings that are sometimes sponsored by cities, towns, and businesses. Indeed, per the American Pyrotechnics Association, the Fourth of July in 2020 saw the sale of fireworks for professional shows plummet some 75% while sales for home use popped 90%.

Some regions like fireworks more than others

Interestingly, the region of the United States where you live can have an outsized impact on the quantity of fireworks purchased. A few states don't want you celebrating with fireworks at home on July Fourth at all. Illinois and Vermont, for example, only permit the sale of sparklers to consumers, while Massachusetts enforces a total ban on all consumer fireworks. Illinois aside, Midwestern states are crazy for fireworks, as are most Southern states. Together, those two regions spend more than double that of their western and northern neighbors.


Regardless of their final destination, over 97% of all fireworks are manufactured overseas in China (which sparks the question if investing works the same in China as it does here). That only stands to reason since it's widely accepted that fireworks were invented in that country sometime between theĀ 7th and 10th centuries, during the Tang Dynasty. After China, Spain is the next largest exporter of fireworks, with 1.4% of the market.

With this said, however you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July, be sure to stay safe. One statistical group where you don't want to find yourself is among the 10,163 Americans that were injured by fireworks in 2022.