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Facts for Features
Dec. 15, 2009

Valentine's Day 2010: Feb. 14

Opinions abound as to who was the original Valentine, with the most popular theory that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome in spite of Emperor Claudius II, who felt that marriage weakened his soldiers. In any event, in A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day. Through the centuries, the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages, and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. The spirit of love continues today as valentines are sent with sentimental verses, from and to young and old romantics.

Candy is Dandy


Number of locations producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2007. These establishments employed 38,794 people. California led the nation in the number of such establishments with 143, followed by Pennsylvania with 115.
Source: County Business Patterns <>


Number of locations that produced nonchocolate confectionary products in 2007. These establishments employed 18,250 people.
Source: County Business Patterns <>

$14.4 billion

Total value of shipments in 2007 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $5.6 billion industry.
Source: 2007 Economic Census <>


Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2007.
Source: County Business Patterns <>

23.8 pounds

Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2008.
Source: Current Industrial Reports <>


$403 million

The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2008 for all flower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for about three-quarters of this amount ($314 million).
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <>

24 million

The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2008 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <>


The number of florists nationwide in 2007. These businesses employed 93,779 people.
Source: County Business Patterns <>



Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2007. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to lovers of all ages. In February 2009, these stores sold $2.2 billion in merchandise.
Source: County Business Patterns <> and Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services <>

The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation's 1,753 jewelry manufacturing establishments.
Source: County Business Patterns <>

Be Mine

2.16 million

The number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2008. That breaks down to a little less than 6,000 a day.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <>


The number of marriages performed in Nevada during 2008. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked fifth nationally in marriages, even though its total population that year among states was 35th. (California ranked first in marriages.)
Source: National Center for Health Statistics <> and population estimates, <>

27.6 and 25.9 years

Median age at first marriage in 2008 for men and women, respectively.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2008 <>

56% and 59%

The percentages of American women and men, respectively, who were 18 or older and married (includes those who are separated) in 2008.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2008 <>


Percentage of people 30 to 34 in 2008 who had been married at some point in their lives -- either currently or formerly.
Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2008 <>


Among women who married for the first time between 1985 and 1989, the percentage who marked their 10th anniversary. This compares with 87 percent of women who married for the first time between 1955 and 1959.
Source: Marriage and Divorce: 2004 <>


As of 2004, the percentage of currently married women who had been married for at least 50 years. A little more than half of currently married women had been married for at least 15 years.
Source: Marriage and Divorce: 2004 <>

*The Census Bureau data in this section do not include same-sex marriages; the National Center for Health Statistics data do.

Looking for Love


The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 4,300 people and pulled in $489 million in revenue.
Source: 2002 Economic Census <>

Try Looking Here . . .

Romantic-sounding places to spend Valentine's Day:

Rose City, Texas Rose City, Mich. South Heart, N.D.
Loveland, Colo. Darling, Minn. Loveland, Ohio
Romeo, Colo. Sacred Heart, Minn. Loveland Park, Ohio
Lovejoy, Ga. Heart Butte, Mont. Love County, Okla.
Loves Park, Ill. Valentine, Neb. Loveland, Okla.
Lovington, Ill. Lovelock, Nev. Lovelady, Texas
Romeoville, Ill. Loving, N.M. Loving County, Texas
Rosemont, Ill. Lovington, N.M. Valentine, Texas
Romeo, Mich. Love Valley, N.C. Rose Hill Acres, Texas
Lovejoy, Ill. Rosemont, Md. Rosemont, N.D.

There are also 8 different places named "Rose Hill" and 7 named "Roseville."

Source: American FactFinder <>

Giving Love a Second Chance


Percentage of ever-married women and men, respectively, 15 and older who have married twice, as of 2008. Five percent each have married three or more times. By comparison, 76 percent of women and 75 percent of men who have ever been married have made only one trip down the aisle.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey <>


Average length, in years, of first marriages ending in divorce.

3 1/2

The median time in years between divorce and a second marriage.

52% and 44%

Among adults 25 and older who have ever divorced, the percentage of men and women, respectively, who were currently married.

Source for the data in this section, unless otherwise noted: Marriage and Divorce: 2004 <>

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

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • 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: <>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: September 09, 2014