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Thanksgiving by the numbers: How many calories are in an average meal? Where do people celebrate?

Thanksgiving is the time of year where you can gather with family and friends and enjoy a big meal.

Here are the stats to know for Thanksgiving, from turkey to tabletops.

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Talkin' Turkey

- 46+ million: The amount of turkeys eaten on Thanksgiving

- 100,000: Turkey-related questions answered by the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line each November and December.

- 4,500: The average amount of calories consumed with an average Thanksgiving meal with appetizers and dessert. (This is the equivalent to 14 pieces of pumpkin pie).

88%: The percentage of Americans that eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

- $48.91: The average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10

- 16: Number of minutes spent eating

- 7: Number of hours spent cooking on Thanksgiving

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Where people celebrate

57% at home

38% at a relative's home

16% at a friend's home

6% don't know 

5% at a parade

4% at a restaurant

4% are not celebrating

2% helping out at a homeless shelter

1% other 


Where meals are cooked by generation

Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 73):

  • Entire meal cooked at home: 87%
  • Some dishes purchased fully cooked: 11%

Generation X (ages 39 to 54):

  • Entire meal cooked at home: 85%
  • Some dishes purchased fully cooked: 12%

Millennials (ages 23 to 38):

  • Entire meal cooked at home: 78%
  • Some dishes purchased fully cooked: 19%

Generation Z (ages 18 to 22):

  • Entire meal cooked at home: 81%
  • Some dishes purchased fully cooked: 18%
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How many people are usually at your table?

16%: Less than 4

31%: 4 to 8

25%: 8 to 12

28%: More than 12


Thanksgiving meal times

12%: Noon to 1 p.m.

42%: 1 to 3 p.m.

29%: 4 to 5 p.m.

14%: 5 to 7 p.m.

4%: 8 p.m. or later


Sources: Statista, Calorie Control Council, National Turkey Federation, American Farm Bureau Federation, Butterball