Special Report

How Much the Average Person Spends on the Holidays in Every State

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people shop but it has not destroyed their holiday spirit. About 87% of adults in the U.S. plan to celebrate the winter holidays, according to the National Retail Federation. A psychological factor could be affecting the level of enthusiasm for the holidays this year. Many people may feel they deserve a better-than-normal holiday to mark the end of 2020.

Though holiday shopping looks very different this year, the amount of money people spend on gifts is not estimated to change much. For 2020, the average shopper plans to spend $998 on holiday purchases, about $50 less than last year.  

To find how much the average consumer spends during the holiday season in each state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed spending estimates from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics and adjusted them to state level. The NRF survey included 7,660 consumers and was conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 9. NRF defines holiday spending as spending during the months of November and December.

The average American will spend about $650 this holiday season to buy gifts for family, friends, and coworkers and about $230 on food and decorations. Both amounts are about the same as in 2019. The biggest dip came from people who say they are hesitant to buy items for themselves or their families that are not gifts even if they are seasonal sales and promotions. The average person spent $162 last year and will only spend $117 in 2020.

People in states with lower personal income per capita, mostly  Southern and Northwestern states, will spend less this holiday, but there are a few notable exceptions. In eight states where personal income per capita is lower than the national average of $51,000, residents are willing to spend more than the national average of nearly $1,000.

Click here to see how much the average person will spend on the holidays.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.