The Frightening Numbers Behind Our Halloween Fun
Life + Money

The Frightening Numbers Behind Our Halloween Fun

With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, a record number of Americans are expected to participate in the spooky holiday in some fashion. That’s a lot of people: Last year, some 41.2 million people went trick-or-treating at 115 million houses, the U.S. Census Bureau said. 

Not only that - we're expected to spend a record-breaking $7.4 billion on Halloween this year. Before you put on your Elvis suit and starting dunking for apples or herding the kids on their trick-or-treat trips, check out exactly how you’ll be contributing to the economy by partaking of Halloween. 

Related: The Scary Amounts We’re Spending on Halloween 

Candies. This year, Americans plan to spend $2.2 billion on candy and handing out sweets will be the top-planned activity, says the National Retail Association. This is 3 percent more than they spent last year, though candy prices are pretty stable at the moment (chocolate is expected to rise soon). 

Costumes for Kids. An overwhelming number of kids – about 2.6 million – plan to dress up as one of Disney’s Frozen characters, while about 1.8 million children will dress as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Halloween Consumer Top Costumes Survey. Other popular choices include princess, animal and Spider-Man. 

Costumes for Adults (and Pets). About 75 million adults will dress up as well, with popular costumes including a witch, animals and Batman. Let’s not forget the pets, which 14.3 percent of celebrants plan to outfit. The pumpkin will be the most popular costume. Overall Americans are expected to spend $2.8 billion on Halloween costumes, according to NRF’s survey. 

Related: 17 Frightfully Expensive Costumes 

Pumpkins. Last year there were 50,900 acres of pumpkins harvested in the U.S., with a total estimated production value of $149.9 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The top producing state by far is Illinois, with an estimated 547.6 million pounds – it accounts for more than three-fourths of all pumpkins harvested in the U.S. It’s followed by California, Ohio, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. 

The record for the largest pumpkin ever in the U.S. was broken earlier this month in a contest in Half Moon Bay, California. Weighing 2,058 pounds, the pumpkin brought its owner $6 a pound in prize money, or $12,348.  

Attractions: There are more than 2,000 haunted attractions in America that charge admission. Add to that more than 1,500 other Halloween attractions, which range from corn mazes to hayrides. The Halloween attraction industry and the haunted attraction industry combine to produce $1 billion in annual revenue, helping many farmers stay in business, according to the Haunted House Association. Most attractions charge $13 because of its theme number. 

Click here to see 17 Frightfully Expensive Halloween Costumes.  

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