Thanksgiving by the numbers
Credit: GMVozd/Getty Images

This Thanksgiving is no different from all those that have preceded it.

Americans will travel to be with friends and family, they will sit down to a Thanksgiving spread (preferably with turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie) and invariably afterwards fall into tryptophan-induced food comas.

What does change over the years is the numbers. Whether that’s the falling cost of gas to get from Atlantic to Pacific (gee, the traffic is terrific) or the number of Americans piling onto airplanes, here is this Thanksgiving’s travel in numbers.

48.7 Million

The number of Americans expected to travel over 50 miles in the days ahead of Thanksgiving, according to AAA. That’s the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2007.

43.5 Million

Almost 90 percent of Thanksgiving travelers—43.5 million—will choose to hit the road over another form of transportation. It’s a 2 percent increase from last year.

27 Million

The amount of flights U.S. travelers will take between November 18 and November 29. Los Angeles Airport is expected to have the most Thanksgiving passengers: An estimated 2.3 million passengers will depart or arrive at LAX during that time.

3.5 Million

The number of people who will line the streets of Manhattan to watch the 90th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Another 50 million people are expected to watch the parade live on TV.


The average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. right now, according to AAA. The price of gas has been dropping over the past year. Last Thanksgiving, Americans paid $2.26 per gallon of gas.


The percent increase in traffic jams reported the Sunday after Thanksgiving, according to data from Waze. Those looking to avoid sitting still on the road should avoid driving from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. when the highways are most crowded.


The number of drivers who will need assistance while driving during Thanksgiving travel—whether that’s due to a dead battery, flat tire or lockout.


The percent worse traffic will be around Thanksgiving in cities with major airports, according to Google.


The number of years that Thanksgiving has been officially celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. In 1941, Congress declared the day a federal holiday.

137.4 Million

The number of shoppers expected to hit the stores Thanksgiving weekend—and half of them have already started their holiday shopping.

46 Million

The number of turkeys that Americans will eat for Thanksgiving. Almost 80% of Americans agree that Thanksgiving leftovers are better than the actual meal itself—so at least none of that meat will go to waste.