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5 Money Stats About Halloween You Never Knew

By Daniel B. Kline - Updated Oct 27, 2017 at 3:18PM

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The holiday has become about much more than kids going door-to-door for candy.

Kids pose with masks in front of a "happy Halloween" sign.

Halloween spending has reached record levels. Image source: Getty Images.

Halloween keeps breaking sales records. It seems that Americans can't get enough candy, costumes, and other holiday paraphernalia.

Whether it's spending on parties, dressing up, or buying items to hand out to trick or treaters, the October 31 holiday just keeps getting bigger. And even though Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, that hasn't dampened enthusiasm.

"Americans are planning to spend more than ever as they gear up for Halloween," National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. "Retailers are helping customers celebrate in style with a huge selection of costumes, candy and decorations to cater to ghosts and goblins of all ages."

A woman carries bags while wearing a witches' hat standing in fron of a wall decorated with bats.

Halloween spending rose by 8.3% over 2016. Image source: Getty Images.

Spending hits an all-time high

Not only will 2017 set a new record for Halloween spending, according to NRF it will smash the existing record. Americans will spend $9.1 billion this year, an 8.3% increase from last year's previous record of $8.4 billion.

A chart showing historical Halloween spending

Image source: NRF.

Three decorated pumpkins

Halloween keeps getting bigger when it comes to the number of Americans taking part. Image source: Getty Images.

Even more people participate

Halloween's spending increase is being driven by the fact that more people are participating. In 2017 179 million Americans plan to take part in the holiday, up from 171 million last year.

A family is dressed up for Halloween.

Less people are curtailing Halloween spending because of the economy. Image source: Getty Images.

The economy is not a big concern

In 2011 32.1% of American consumers told the NRF that the economy would impact their Halloween spending. That number dropped to 14.1% last year, and fell again to 12.9% in 2017.

A jack-o-lantern mug is filled with candy corn.

Candy remains the most-purchased Halloween item on a percentage basis. Image source: Getty Images.

Here's how Americans will spend

The NRF found that when it comes to how Americans will spend their Halloween budget, the biggest chunk will go to costumes:

  • Costumes: $3.4 billion
  • Candy $2.7 billion
  • Decorations: $2.7 billion
  • Greeting cards: $410 million

On a percentage basis, nearly every American celebrating Halloween (95%) will buy candy. "Among Halloween celebrants, 71%  plan to hand out candy, 49% will decorate their home or yard, 48% will wear costumes, and 46% will carve a pumpkin," according to NRF. Nearly a third (31%) will take children trick-or-treating, while 16% will dress pets in costumes.

A wall of plastic jack-o-lanterns

More people will shop at discount stores than at any other type of retailer. Image source: Getty Images.

People want a deal

While consumers are spending more money than ever before, they aren't spending it carelessly. Nearly half (47%) of those buying Halloween supplies will shop at a discount store. That's followed by 38% who will shop at a specialty Halloween store or costume store. "In addition, 25% will visit supermarkets, 24% will buy at department stores and 22% will shop online," according to NRF.

A chart showing where people plan to shop for Halloween.

Image source: NRF.

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