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Facts for Features: Halloween: Oct. 31, 2017

Press Release Number CB17-FF.18

*NOTE: Statistics from the American Community Survey (ACS) have been updated to 2016 data.

Dating back 2,000 years to the Celtic festival of Samhain, Halloween is an ancient tradition associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Today, Halloween has evolved into a celebration characterized by child-friendly activities like trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns and dressing in costumes.

Trick or Treat!

41.1 million

The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2015 — children ages 5 to 14 — across the United States. Of course, many other children — older than age 15 and younger than age 5 — also go trick-or-treating.

Source: 2016 Population Estimates, Table PEPASR6H

118.8 million

The number of occupied housing units across the nation in the first quarter 2017 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.

66.6 million

The number of housing units where trick-or-treaters had to climb steps in order to fill their bags full of candy in 2015.


The percentage of U.S. households that agreed their neighbors could be trusted in 2013.


The percentage of U.S. households who think their neighborhood has a lot of petty crime.

Hauntingly Delicious


The number of people employed by U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2015. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $17.2 billion, up from $16.0 billion in 2014.

Source: 2015 Annual Survey of Manufactures, NAICS 311351, 311352


The number of people employed by U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced nonchocolate confectionary products. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $8.2 billion in 2015.

Source: 2015 Annual Survey of Manufactures, NAICS 311340


The number of U.S. confectionary and nut stores that sell candy and other confectionary products, employing 23,243 people in 2015.

Source: 2015 County Business Patterns, NAICS 445292

Dressed to Thrill

A sampling of occupations that one may dress up as for Halloween:

Occupation Number of Full-Time, Year-Round
Employees Age 16 plus
Actors 14,423
Athletes, coaches, umpires and related workers 123,505
Bailiffs, correctional officers and jailers 375,720
Dentists 93,294
Physicians and surgeons 451,680
Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers 265,198
Firefighters 743,383
Police and sheriff’s patrol officers 669,550
Registered nurses 2,317,493

Source: 2016 American Community Survey, B24124

Places to Spend Halloween

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

Tombstone, Ariz. (estimated population 1,300)


Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. (estimated population 10,198)


Kill Devil Hills, N.C. (estimated population 7,121)


Yellville, Ark. (estimated population 1,171)


Transylvania County, N.C. (estimated population 33,482)


Slaughter Beach, Del. (estimated population 233)


Casper, Wyo. (estimated population 59,324)


Scarville, Iowa (estimated population 71)


Truth or Consequences, N.M. (estimated population 6,023)




The number of motion picture theaters (except drive-ins) in the United States in 2015 where one could possibly enjoy a horror movie. California (497), Texas (330), New York (258) and Florida (199) had the most of such establishments. There were 213 drive-in motion picture theaters in 2015 — Ohio had 21, California had 18 and Pennsylvania had 19 drive-in motion picture theaters.

Source: 2015 County Business Patterns, NAICS 512131 & 512132

$12.4 million

The value of U.S. imports of pumpkins in 2016. Pumpkin carving and decorating is a popular Halloween tradition.

$1.93 billion

The estimated private construction spending on theme/amusement parks in 2016. Halloween events at theme/amusement parks can be frighteningly fun. For more information about construction spending, visit <www.census.gov/constructionspending>.


The number of formal wear and costume rental establishments in the United States. This industry had 6,504 paid employees across the nation in 2015 (for the pay period including March 12, 2015).

Source: 2015 County Business Patterns, NAICS 532220


The number of broom, brush, and mop, and casket manufacturing establishments (for the more authentic witches and vampires). Combined, these two industries employed 12,627 people and had a total value of shipments of $3.6 billion in 2012.

Source: 2012 Economic Census, NAICS 339994 and NAICS 339995

$935.5 million

Dollar value of U.S. fresh apples exported in 2016. Whether bobbing for or dipping in caramel, apples can be a fun treat around Halloween.

Who You Gonna Call?


The percentage of households that had a cellular phone in 2011, compared with only 36.0 percent in 1998. The percentage of households with a cellular phone only (no landline) rose from less than 1.0 percent in 1998 to 28.0 percent in 2011.

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

Black (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)
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; or e-mail: pio@census.gov.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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