Special Report

Every State’s Halloween Obsession, Ranked

Are Americans becoming jaded about Halloween? Probably not — though according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), shoppers plan to spend a collective $8.8 billion on the holiday this year, down from last year’s $9 billion. 

The NRF expects that fewer people will celebrate the occasion, too — 172 million, versus 175 million in 2018. However, another source, the data website Statista puts this year’s number higher, computing that 68% of the population — equal to around 230 million Americans — plan to celebrate Halloween or participate in Halloween activities this year. Two of the most popular ways of doing so, it notes, are handing out candy and carving pumpkins.

The NRF has gathered some interesting statistics about Halloween beyond how many people plan to celebrate it and how much they plan to spend. For instance, online search remains the primary source of costume and decoration inspiration, singled out by 35% of those surveyed, followed by browsing in stores (28%) and taking ideas from friends and family (20%). Social media is also influential, of course, with 25% of women (but only 12% of men) drawing from Pinterest, while 19% of men (but only 10% of women) turning to YouTube for ideas.

Costumes remain the major expenditure, according to the NRF, costing celebrants an estimated $3.2 billion. Candy will cost $2.6 billion and decorations $2.7 billion.

Some 69% of those who responded to the NRF’s survey will be giving out candy, 49% will put up decorations (inside and/or outside), 47% will don costumes, 44% will carve a pumpkin, 32% will throw or attend a party, 29% will take their kids trick-or-treating, 22% will visit a haunted house, and 17% will put costumes on their pets.

It’s clear that some parts of the country are more into Halloween than others. These are the cities spending the most on Halloween.

Click here to see every state’s Halloween obsession, ranked.
Click here to see our full methodology. 

To determine which corners of America go craziest for the holiday, 24/7 Tempo considered a number of factors on a state-by-state basis, including frequency of Halloween-related Google searches; number of costume shops, candy stores, and haunted houses; and amount of Halloween candy bought. (See Methodology for more complete information.) We also included the results of an earlier analysis in which we identified the best place in every state to trick-or-treat. 

That Halloween candy is often chocolate, of course, which is popular year round. Here is the best chocolate shop in every state

The numbers might be down a bit for Halloween expenditures and participation this year, but there’s still plenty of holiday obsession to go around out there.

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