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Facts for Features
CB08-FF.17
Sept. 3, 2008

Halloween
Oct. 31, 2008

The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts, devils and hobgoblins. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, many of the young and young at heart take a more light-spirited approach. They don scary disguises or ones that may bring on smiles when they go door to door for treats, or attend or host a Halloween party.

Trick or Treat!

36 million

The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2007 -- children 5 to 13 -- across the United States. This number is down about 38,000 from a year earlier. Of course, many other children -- older than 13, and younger than 5 -- also go trick-or-treating.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb08-67.html>

110.3 million

Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2007 -- all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
Source: Housing Vacancies and Homeownership <http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/historic/files/histtab15.xls>

93%

Percentage of households with residents who consider their neighborhood safe. In addition, 78 percent said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night.
Source: Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States, 2003, <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/2007-04-11_families_households.html>

Jack-o'-Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies

1.1 billion pounds

Total production of pumpkins by major pumpkin-producing states in 2007. Illinois led the country by producing 542 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, New York and Ohio also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $117 million.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://www.nass.usda.gov/>

Where to Spend Halloween?

Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:

Candy and Costume

1,170

Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2006, employing 39,457 people and shipping $13.9 billion worth of goods. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 128, followed by Pennsylvania, with 116.
Source: 2006 County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb08-96.html> and 2006 Annual Survey of Manufactures, Value of Product Shipments <http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/asm/historical_data/>

473

Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2006. These establishments employed 18,733 people and shipped $7.2 billion worth of goods that year. California led the nation in this category, with 72 establishments.
Source: 2006 County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb08-96.html> and 2006 Annual Survey of Manufactures, Value of Product Shipments <http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/asm/historical_data/>

24.5 pounds

Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2007.
Source: Current Industrial Reports, Confectionery: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/cir/historical_data/ma311d/>

2,077

Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2006.
Source: 2006 County Business Patterns <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb08-96.html>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau's Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl XLII (Feb. 3)
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day (May 11)
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day (June 15)
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day (Sept. 1)
  • Grandparents Day (Sept. 7)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week (Sept. 21-27)
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27)
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014