The States That Grow The Most Pumpkins & Fun Facts

By Kathy Morris - Oct. 22, 2020

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October means Halloween, pumpkins, and fall-delights.

Americans spend big every year on fall festivities, from costumes to candy to other spooky trappings. And who can forget the star of fall, the pumpkin? Almost 1-in-2 Americans will carve a Jack O’Lantern this year (with more digging into a delicious pumpkin pie or sipping on a Pumpkin spice latte.)

For many Americans, pumpkins are not just a seasonal treat, but a way of life and how they make a living. Over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin are produced in the US, on over 15,214 farms.

With those whopping numbers, we set out to find the states who grow the most pumpkins and other fun, festive facts.

10 States That Grow The Most Pumpkins

  1. Illinois
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. New York
  4. Indiana
  5. Michigan
  6. California
  7. Texas
  8. Ohio
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Virginia

Fun Facts

  • 80% of pumpkins are picked in October.
  • 62 percent of pumpkin acres were grown in only ten States.
  • Illinois is the nation’s largest producer of pumpkins.
  • The average pumpkin cost is $2.60, but a big carving pumpkin will set you back more.
  • 44% of Americans plan to carve a Jack-O-Lantern.
  • Jack-o’-lanterns were made out of turnips or potatoes, until Irish immigrants arrived in America and discovered pumpkins were better for carving.
  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was grown in Minnesota.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever made was 20 feet in diameter and weighed 3,699 pounds. Hope they had plenty of forks!
  • Antarctica is the only continent pumpkins don’t grow
  • Pumpkin-flavored yearly sales total over $414 million- from coffee, beers, baked goods, Oreos and more.Pennsylvania and California.
  • Morton, Illinois, is the self-proclaimed “pumpkin capital”, producing 85% of the world’s canned pumpkin.
  • More than 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin are produced in the U.S. on over 15,214 farms.

How We Figured This Out

To find the number of acres and farms used for pumpkin production, we turned to the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture. Sadly, data was not available yet for beyond 2017. From there we ranked each state based on its pumpkin acerage to determine where is growing the most pumpkins (and seeing the boon of all those pumpkin bucks.)

From there, we looked to sources such as Nielsen Retail Measurement Services, Finder, and others for the fun facts throughout the article.

Pumpkins Own The Season

Sure, other produce might try and steal pumpkins’ thunder (cough, apples, cough.) However, we all know pumpkins are the pinnacle of fall.

You might bob for apples (gross-wouldn’t recommend), or drink some apple cider, but can you carve a spooky ghost face in one? Are 80% of them picked in October? I think not.

So sit back, pop open a pumpkin beer and accept pumpkins’ dominance. If that’s not enough, try a pumpkin doughnut, cookie, cake, cereal, or anything other product that is pumpkined up. Still don’t believe me? Just ask Illinois, or the other states that grow the whopping 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin we demand.

The Most Pumpkin Growing State

Rank State Farms Acres
1 Illinois 572 17,399
2 Pennsylvania 1,305 6,871
3 New York 1,234 5,592
4 Indiana 432 5,330
5 Michigan 983 5,123
6 California 643 4,386
7 Texas 154 3,742
8 Ohio 887 3,454
9 Wisconsin 823 3,401
10 Virginia 384 3,184
11 North Carolina 411 2,715
12 Oregon 413 2,655
13 Washington 573 2,591
14 New Jersey 410 2,224
15 New Mexico 143 2,223
16 Colorado 242 2,010
17 Minnesota 569 1,827
18 Massachusetts 403 1,735
19 Kentucky 618 1,637
20 Utah 212 1,415
21 Tennessee 322 1,393
22 Missouri 334 1,257
23 Idaho 176 1,243
24 Connecticut 267 1,127
25 Maryland 205 1,022
26 Nebraska 141 1,015
27 Iowa 355 919
28 Delaware 35 897
29 Kansas 139 750
30 Maine 375 673
31 New Hampshire 169 489
32 Vermont 170 437
33 Arkansas 87 363
34 Hawaii 76 275
35 Alabama 53 272
36 Oklahoma 61 268
37 Mississippi 50 262
38 Arizona 114 241
39 West Virginia 148 191
40 Nevada 34 173
41 South Dakota 78 158
42 Montana 65 118
43 Rhode Island 66 110
44 South Carolina 61 109
45 Florida 73 91
46 Georgia 59 74
47 North Dakota 36 66
48 Louisiana 24 45
49 Wyoming 9 10
50 Alaska 21 4

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Author

Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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