The Nightmare before Election Day: A look at Halloween spending during a pandemic | The Numbers Racket

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A September study by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insight & Analytics shows that Americans are planning to spend a little less on Halloween this year. 

The NRF has been logging historical data on Halloween spending plans since 2005, recording a steep drop in Halloween spending in 2009, during the Great Recession and highs in 2012 and 2017. 

According to the survey, 58 percent of respondents said they planned to celebrate the spooky holiday, while 42 percent said they would not be celebrating this year. 

Halloween spending by gender

By gender, 59 percent of men said they were planning to celebrate Halloween. Fifty-seven percent of women said the same. 

The survey found that men expect to spend more on Halloween than women. 

Percent planning to purchase costumes: 

Men … 67 percent

Women … 62 percent

Percent planning to purchase candy: 

Men … 96 percent 

Women … 95 percent 

Percent planning to purchase decorations: 

Men … 76 percent

Women … 74 percent

By age

Halloween spending varied greatly on costumes and decorations. 

Planning to purchase costumes: 

18-24 … 85 percent

25-34 … 88 percent

35-44 … 85 percent

45-54 … 70 percent

55-64 … 46 percent

65+ … 27 percent

Planning to purchase candy: 

18-24 … 95 percent

25-34 … 95 percent

35-44 … 97 percent

45-54 … 97 percent

55-64 … 96 percent

65+ … 94 percent

Planning to purchase decorations: 

18-24 … 81 percent

25-34 … 87 percent

35-44 … 84 percent

45-54 … 80 percent

55-64 … 68 percent

65+ … 57 percent

By region

Your Halloween spending may differ depending on which part of the country you live in, the survey found. 

Planning to purchase candy: 

Northeast … 96 percent

Midwest … 96 percent

South … 95 percent 

West … 95 percent

Planning to purchase costumes: 

Northeast … 64 percent

Midwest … 61 percent 

South … 67 percent

West … 65 percent

Planning to purchase decorations: 

Northeast … 79 percent

Midwest … 71 percent

South … 77 percent

West … 74 percent

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.