We know, we know—it seems way too soon to be talking about Halloween already. But guess what? Halloween is the second-highest grossing holiday in the U.S.—and it’s just around the corner!
We’ve all got Halloween on the brain. To help you get a better idea of what your customers are thinking and doing this Halloween season, we’ve put together a list of fascinating statistics about Halloween spending.
Celebrating Halloween stateside dates back to the 19th century, with its popularity showing consistently growing trends ever since. This is also reflected in the economy considering the vast amounts of money that consumers budget for the holiday. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, caused substantial, never-before-seen shifts into Halloween spending.
Read on to discover the latest Halloween spending statistics covering data on individual and total consumer spending, purchasing plans and locations, consumer demographics, and more!
Per-Person and Total Halloween Spending Statistics
Figures revealing the historical trends of average Halloween spending budgets per person as well as the total spending of consumers who celebrated the holiday.
1. 65% of consumers celebrated Halloween in 2021.
The average estimated spending per person stood at $102.74, while the total spending of this portion of consumers was estimated at around $10 billion.
2. In 2021, each person spent an estimated $102.74 on Halloween.
In fact, per-person spending hasn’t even come close to the $100-benchmark since 2005, and the only time it exceeded $90 was in 2020 ($92.12).
The years between 2017 and 2019 all showed similar figures, at $86.13, $86.79, and $86.27, respectively.
3. The lowest per-person Halloween spending was recorded in 2005, when consumers spent $48.48.
After a gradual increase to $66.54 recorded in 2008, this figure dropped to $56.31 the following year. This was followed by another three-year growth trend peaking at $79.82 in 2012.
The period between 2013 and 2016 recorded alternating trends with the respective per-person spending estimates being as follows: $75.03, $77.52, $74.34, and $82.93.
4. Halloween spending reached an estimated $10.1 billion in 2021, the highest ever recorded.
While 2020 recorded the second-highest per-person spend estimate, that’s not the case when it comes to the total spending estimate for the year. Standing at $8.8 billion, 2020’s total was exceeded between 2016 and 2019, which recorded the following respective total spend estimates: $8.4 billion, $9.1 billion, $9.0 billion, and $8.8 billion.
The discrepancy between the per-person and total Halloween spending in 2020 could be attributed to the lower number of consumers actually celebrating the holiday.
5. At $3.3 billion, 2005 recorded the lowest total Halloween spend estimate.
Following an over 50% increase to $5 billion recorded in 2006, this figure recorded an upward trend until peaking at $5.8 billion in 2008.
As the case was with per-person spending estimates, a notable drop was recorded in 2009, when the total Halloween spending dropped to $4.7 billion. This figure was followed by a consistent recovery to a peak of $8 billion in 2021.
The period between 2013 and 2015 recorded alternating trends—similar to the ones observed with per-person spending—with the respective figures being as follows: $7 billion, $7.4 billion, and $6.9 billion.
Halloween Purchasing Plans Statistics
Figures revealing Halloween spending distribution by purchasing plans on a per-person and total consumer level.
6. Almost all consumers celebrating Halloween budgeted for candy in 2021.
The latest recorded portion of those who purchased candy for the holiday stood at 96%. This is a consistent trend since 2005, with minor drops to 95% or 94% throughout the years.
7. The average consumer spent $30.40 on Halloween candy in 2021.
While this was not the most expensive Halloween spending category in 2021, it reached a peak exceeding the $30-mark for the first time since 2005.
The second-highest amount consumers have spent on Halloween candy was recorded in 2020 at $27.55. On the other hand, the lowest per-person Halloween candy spending was recorded in 2005 and 2009, at $17.09 and $17.99, respectively.
The average Halloween candy spending per person between 2005 and 2021 stood at $22.70.
8. Total Halloween candy spending peaked at $3 billion in 2021.
Prior 2021, the highest this figure has reached since 2005 was $2.7 billion, as recorded in 2017, while the lowest was $1.2 billion, as recorded in 2005.
Since then, there was a steady increase in total Halloween candy spending with the first notable peak being recorded in 2012 at $2.3 billion and a single drop to $1.5 billion in 2009.
Ranging between $2.1 billion and $2.5 billion, the average total Halloween candy spending between 2013 and 2020 stood at $2.4 billion.
9. Halloween decorations were part of the budget of 78% of consumers in 2021.
This is the highest recorded figure since 2005 which was the year when the smallest portion of consumers budgeted for Halloween decorations (60%). The following years recorded a steady increase to 68% in 2008, which was followed by a drop to 62% in 2009.
The next peak of consumers who reported decoration spending was in 2012 at 73%. After shifts between 67% and 72% from 2013 to 2017, the next spike was recorded in 2018 at 74%.
Followed by a minor drop to 72% in 2019, the portion of consumers who budgeted for Halloween decorations surged again to 75% in 2020.
10. Decorations, at $32.10 per person, were the second-most expensive Halloween spending category in 2021.
As the case was with candy, this category also peaked at over $30 for the first time since 2005. The second-highest amount consumers have spent on Halloween decorations was recorded in 2020 at $29.63.
On the other side of the spectrum, the lowest per-person Halloween decoration spending was recorded in 2005 and 2009, at $12.35 and $14.54, respectively.
The average Halloween decoration spending per person between 2005 and 2021 stood at $21.52.
11. At $3.2 billion in 2021, decorations also ranked second among total Halloween spending per category.
This is the only time this figure exceeded the $3 billion benchmark since 2005 when it stood at a mere $0.8 billion.
2012 was the first year pointing to a notable peak of total Halloween decoration spending at $2.4 billion, with the period between 2006 and 2011 averaging $1.5 billion.
On the other side of the scale, the period between 2013 and 2020 reported an average of $2.4 billion in total Halloween decoration spending.
12. 68% of consumers budgeted for Halloween costumes in 2021.
Unlike decoration spending figures, this wasn’t the highest recorded percentage of consumers who budgeted for this purpose. Instead, this figure peaked at 69% in 2017. On the other side of the scale, the lowest, at 53%, was recorded in 2005.
After an upward trend peaking at 61% in 2008, the portion of consumers who budgeted for Halloween costumes dropped again in 2009 to 59%. Since then, the figure has been alternating between 62% and 69%, averaging 66% for the period from 2010 to 2021.
13. In 2021, the average American spent $33.59 per person on costumes for Halloween.
This is also the highest figure recorded since 2005, while the period between 2016 and 2019 also recorded figures above $30; more specifically, respective $31.03, $31.73, $31.26, and $31.05. This was followed by a drop to $29.90 in 2020, while other notable drops occurred in 2015 at $27.33 and 2009 at $20.75.
The average per-person Halloween costume spending between 2005 and 2021 was $26.96.
14. Americans spent nearly $3.3 billion on costumes in 2021, making them the most expensive category of Halloween spending.
The lowest amount was reported in 2005, standing at $1.2 billion. The first notable high since then was recorded in 2008 at $2.1 billion, followed by a plunge to $1.7 billion in the following year. After recovering at $2 billion in 2010, the total Halloween costume spending averaged $2.5 billion until 2015.
The years between 2016 and 2019 all recorded figures above $3 billion, with an average of $3.2 billion. As the case was with all spending categories, however, 2020 saw a drastic drop to $2.6 billion in Halloween costume spending.
15. Greeting cards were part of the Halloween budget of 45% of consumers in 2021.
This figure points to an all-time high since 2005 which, conversely, was the year that recorded the least consumers budgeting for Halloween greeting cards at 24%. Other years where consumers included greeting cards in their budgets were 2012 and 2020, at 40% each.
The yearly average for the period between 2005 and 2021 stands at a little under 35%.
16. At $6.64 per person, greeting cards accounted for the cheapest Halloween spending category in 2021.
Still, this figure was the highest within its respective category since 2005 when it stood at a mere $2.06. It first peaked at nearly double the amount in 2007 at $3.92. After a plunge to $3.02 in 2009, a new high at $4.96 was recorded in 2011.
The average greeting card spending per person between 2005 and 2021 stood at $3.95.
17. Halloween greeting card spending total stood at $0.7 billion in 2021.
Besides being the smallest among all Halloween spending categories, greeting cards also show flat trends since 2005 when the total spend on them stood at a mere $0.1 billion. Namely, this figure increased to $0.3 billion in 2006 and stayed there for four more years.
A boost in total Halloween greeting card spending was recorded in both 2015 and 2016, at respective $0.5 billion and $0.6 billion. This was followed by another flat trend at $0.4 billion between 2013 and 2020, with the exception of the minor drop to $0.3 billion recorded in 2015.
18. Jack-o-lantern spending reached $707.98 million in 2021.
The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans spent approximately $707.98 million on pumpkins (Jack-o-lantern) in 2021. This is the highest recorded figure since 2017 when it stood at $618.03 million, followed by a drop to $575.25 million in 2018.
The lowest jack-o-spending between 2017 and 2021 was recorded in 2019 when it stood at $377.23 million, followed by a 45% increase to $686.74 million in 2020.
Halloween Spending Demographics
Figures revealing Halloween spending details observed against gender, age, and regional demographics.
19. On average, men spent $112.6 on Halloween in 2021, compared to women who spent $93.78.
What’s more, there was no substantial difference when observing the gender demographics of consumers who planned to celebrate the holiday. Namely, 66% of male consumers said they’d celebrate Halloween, while the same was true for 64% of women.
20. Halloween candy was the most popular spending category both genders budgeted for in 2021.
The respective figures for both genders stood at 97% and 96%. Decorations were the second-most-popular category among men and women, with respective 79% and 78% of consumers budgeting for it.
Next, 70% of male and 67% of female consumers budgeted for Halloween costumes, be it for themselves, their children, or pets.
Greeting cards were the least popular category among both men and women, with respective 48% and 43% budgeting for them for Halloween.
21. The first two weeks of October were the period in which most consumers started their Halloween shopping.
The male vs female portions of consumers who shopped for Halloween in this period stood at respective 40% and 39% in 2021. The second most popular period was September when another 39% of female consumers and 33% of male ones did their Halloween shopping.
17% of men and 14% of women waited until the last two weeks of October od to so, while respective 10% and 9% did their Halloween shopping earlier than September.
22. At $149.34, those aged 35-44 were estimated to have spent the most for Halloween in 2021.
Those aged 25-34 came in second with a total Halloween spending estimate at $130.54, followed by the 45-54 age group with $112.78. Those aged 18-24, 55-64, and 65+ all spend below $100, at $97.50, $79.12, and $57.07, respectively.
Stats further reveal that total spending wasn’t directly proportional to the portion of consumers from each age group that actually planned to celebrate the holiday.
In this sense, those aged 25-34 ranked first with 82% planning to celebrate Halloween. At 80%, the 18-24 ranked second, followed by those aged 35-44, among which 79% planned to celebrate the holiday. Those aged 45-54, 55-64, and 65+ rounded the list, at 67%, 53%, and 40%, respectively.
23. 98% of consumers in the 45-54 age group budgeted for Halloween candy in 2021.
This was followed by those aged 35-44, 55-64, and 65+, at 97% each. The 25-34 age group came in at a close second place, at 96%, while those aged 18-24 accounted for the smallest portion of consumers budgeting for Halloween candy, at 92%.
24. 91% of consumers aged between 35 and 44 budgeted for Halloween costumes in 2021.
At 88%, the 25-34 age group ranks second, followed by consumers aged 18-26 at 86%. The portion of consumers who budgeted for Halloween costumes for either themselves, their children, or pets seems to decline with the increase of age.
Namely, 73% of consumers in the 45-54 age group budgeted for costumes, while the same goes for respective 54% and 32% for those aged 55-64 and 65+.
25. At 89% each, consumers aged 25-34 and 35-44 were the dominant age demographics in budgeting for Halloween decorations in 2021.
The 81% of those aged 45-54 ranked second, closely followed by consumers in the 18-24 age group at 80%. Consumers aged 55-64 and 65+ round the list at 72% and 62%, respectively.
26. 65% of consumers in the 35-44 age group budgeted for Halloween greeting cards in 2021.
Those aged 25-34 came in second at 57%, followed by the 45-54 age group at 46%. Consumers in the 18-24 age group and those aged 65+ ranked fourth at 34% each, while the 55-64 age group rounds the list with 33% of consumers in this demographic budgeting for Halloween greeting cards.
27. 50% of those aged 18-24 started their Halloween shopping in the first two weeks of October.
This was the most popular Halloween shopping period for 44% of those aged 55-64, 39% of consumers between 25 and 34, and a close 38% of those aged 45-54. The 35-44 and 65+ age groups round the list at 35% each.
28. 42% of consumers aged 35-44 started their Halloween shopping in September.
September was the most popular Halloween shopping period for 40% of those aged 25-34, followed by 37% of consumers between 45 and 54 years of age. 32% of consumers in the age groups of 18-24 and 65+ started their Halloween shopping in September, while 30% aged 55-64 did the same.
29. 29% of consumers over 65 waited to start their Halloween shopping until the last two weeks of October.
The same applied to 20% of those aged 55-64, followed by 14% of consumers in the 45-54 age group, and those aged 18-24 at 12%. At 7% each, the list was rounded by consumers aged 25-35 and those between 35 and 44.
30. 16% of those aged 35-44 started their Halloween shopping earlier than September.
14% of consumers in the 25-34 age group did the same, followed by 10% of those aged 45-54. Respective 7%, 6%, and 4% of those aged 55-64, 18-24, and over 65 started their Halloween shopping before September, making this the least popular period in this regard across all age demographics.
31. At an estimated $106.64 per person, Halloween spending in 2021 was the highest among consumers in Southern states.
Consumers from the Northeast came in second with $103.56, followed by those from Western states at $100.26. At $95.60, Midwest consumers were the only ones to spend less than $100 for Halloween when observing regional demographics.
Yet again, the portion of consumers by region who planned to celebrate the holiday doesn’t necessarily align with their total spending.
Namely, at 66% each, the largest portions of consumers who planned to celebrate Halloween came from the Midwest and South. The West and Northeast followed with 65% and 64%, respectively.
32. Halloween candy was the most popular spending category that consumers from all US regions budgeted for in 2021.
At 97% each, candy was most popular in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the South, while Western states followed with 95% of consumers from the region budgeting for Halloween candy.
33. 80% of consumers in the South budgeted for Halloween decorations in 2021.
Those from the Northeast and West followed at 78% each, while 76% of consumers in the Midwest budgeted for Halloween decorations.
34. At 72%, Southern stats reported the highest portion of consumers who budgeted for Halloween costumes in 2021.
Western states came in second at 69%, followed by the Northeast at 67%. 62% of consumers in the Midwest budgeted for Halloween costumes for themselves, their children, or pets.
35. At 40%, greeting cards were the least popular Halloween spending category that Midwestern consumers budgeted for in 2021.
Northeastern states topped the list at 47%, followed by respective 46% and 45% of consumers from Southern and Western states who budgeted for Halloween greeting cards.
36. 41% of consumers in the Northeast and Midwest each started their Halloween shopping in the first two weeks of October.
The same applied to 39% of consumers in Western states and 38% of Southerners, making this the most popular Halloween shopping period when observing regional demographics overall.
37. 36% of Northeastern and Southern consumers each chose September as a month to start their Halloween shopping.
When observing regional demographics, this was the second most popular period to start Halloween shopping, also accounting for 35% of Midwesterners and 34% of consumers in the West.
38. 17% of consumers in the Midwest and West each waited until the last two weeks of October to start their Halloween shopping.
Consumers from Northeastern and Southern countries followed at 15% each.
39. 11% of Southerners started shopping for Halloween earlier than September.
This was followed by 10% of consumers in the West, while those from Northeastern and Midwestern states rounded the list at 8% and 7%, respectively.
40. 36% use online search to find ideas for Halloween costumes.
Halloween can be a lot of fun, but it can also be stressful if you’re trying to come up with the perfect costume, or if you’re trying to put together a party that will be truly spooktacular. You know what’s not stressful? Online search.
A recent survey found that 36% of people use online search for their inspiration, and it’s no surprise why. The internet is full of ideas and tutorials on how to recreate a favorite celebrity’s red carpet look or how to turn your pet into a costume.
Moreover, 26% of participants turn to retail stores or costumer shops for Halloween inspiration. It’s interesting that so many people cited retail stores as a primary source of inspiration, especially considering social media as a popular means to create and share costume ideas. Perhaps it is because the experience of going into a store, feeling and trying on costumes, and getting inspired by what is there creates an experience that can’t be replaced by scrolling through pictures on Instagram.
20% turned to Facebook or YouTube to get inspiration. The same number of people (also 20%) consulted with friends and family members.
41. Discount stores are the most popular Halloween shopping destination with 40% of consumers opting for them.
Specialty Halloween/costume stores ranked second at 35%, followed by online stores at 29%. The top five Halloween shopping locations were rounded by supermarkets/grocery stores and department stores, at 26% and 23%, respectively.
Clothing, crafts/fabrics, and home decor stores were the choice of 14% of consumers each, followed by local/small businesses, thrift/resale, and greeting card/gift shops at 10% each.
The least popular locations were drugstores and home improvement stores at 8% each, followed by catalogs and other stores at 4% each.
The above figures are proof that Halloween is one of the few holidays stateside that showed quick post-pandemic recovery. In fact, 2021 data proved to be the year when many Halloween spending and budgeting categories peaked at substantial amounts, showing Halloween continues to be a prominent holiday consistently contributing to the US economy.
Thanks for checking out the Halloween spending statistics. We’re glad you’ve been able to learn more about this holiday and how much money Americans spend on it every year.
As you can see, Halloween spending is big business in the U.S. Whether you’re a consumer or a retailer, it’s important to keep these stats in mind so you can make the best decisions for your Halloween needs.
If you have any questions about these stats or want to know more about Halloween spending, don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly. We love hearing from our readers!
Until next time, happy Halloween!