Special Report

The Best Place to Trick-or-Treat in Every State

Detailed Findings & Methodology

Every trick-or-treater aspires to get to as many houses as possible and collect as much candy as they can before the night ends. Knocking on doors of empty homes, of course, is counterproductive. This is not the case for towns on our list. All but one city and town on this list has a housing occupancy rate higher than the 87.8% comparable rate nationwide. In 49 of the 50 best trick-or-treating towns, fewer than 1 in every 10 homes are vacant.

Americans facing serious financial hardship are less likely to have disposable income available to spend on holidays, including Halloween. In 43 of the 50 towns on this list, the poverty rate is less than half the comparable rate of 15.1% nationwide. Only five towns have an annual median household income below the national rate of $55,322. Just two of the best towns for trick-or-treating have a poverty rate that tops the comparable U.S. rate.

Halloween is primarily a celebration for young children, and towns with significant youth populations are more likely to participate in trick-or-treating. In 46 of the towns, at least one in every five residents is 14 years old or younger. In Saratoga Springs, Utah — the state’s best trick-or-treating town– nearly 41.7% of the population are 14 and younger, the largest share of any U.S. town.

The safety of a town becomes even more important when children are masquerading as their favorite ghoul or superhero. As a result, towns with low crime rates are preferable on Halloween. Each town on this list for which data is available has a violent crime rate lower than the U.S. rate of 386 incidents for every 100,000 people.

The best towns for trick-or-treating tend to be relatively small. Thirty-nine towns on this list have fewer than 15,000 residents.

To identify the best town in each state for trick-or-treaters, 24/7 Wall St. created an index using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report. The index consists of four measures: rates for poverty, housing occupancy and violent crime, and the share of the population aged 14 and younger. All indexed ACS data are five-year estimates from the most recently available year. Population estimates are for 2016. Only cities and towns with population estimates within a 10% margin of error were considered. Violent crime was not factored in for towns in Hawaii due to insufficient data.

When the highest ranking city or town in a given state did not have at least one Halloween-themed business such as a costume store or haunted house within the surrounding county, the next highest ranking town with such establishments ranked as the best.

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