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Facts for Features
CB10-FF.19
August 31, 2010

Halloween
Oct. 31, 2010

The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, Halloween is celebrated many different ways, including wearing costumes, children trick or treating, carving pumpkins, and going to haunted houses and parties.

Trick or Treat!

36 million

The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2009 — children 5 to 13 — across the United States. This number is up about 190,000 from a year earlier. Of course, many other children — older than 13, and younger than 5 — also go trick-or-treating.
Source: 2009 population estimates <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb10-81.html>.

111.3 million

Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2009 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
Source: Housing Vacancies and Homeownership <http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/historic/>.

92%

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, 2005
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/extended-05.html> Table 4.

Jack-o'-Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies

931 million pounds

Total production of pumpkins by major pumpkin-producing states in 2009. Illinois led the country by producing 429 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. California and Ohio were also major pumpkin-producing states: each produced at least 100 million pounds.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
<http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/VegeSumm/VegeSumm-01-27-2010.pdf>

Where to Spend Halloween?

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

Candy and Costumes

1,317

Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2008, employing 38,369 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 146, followed by Pennsylvania, with 115.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/> NAICS code (31132) and (31133)

422

Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2008. These establishments employed 16,860 people. California led the nation in this category, with 47 establishments.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2008 <http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/> NAICS code (31134)

24.3 pounds

Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2009.
Source: Current Industrial Reports, Confectionery: 2009
<http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/cir/historical_data/ma311d/index.html>

1,814

Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2008.
Source: 2008 County Business Patterns
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/cb10-114.html> NAICS code (53222)

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: <PIO@census.gov>.

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