Top Halloween Costumes and Other Spooky Data Treats

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Halloween is back! After dropping during the first year of pandemic, the percentage of Americans planning to celebrate Halloween this year has recovered to pre-pandemic levels at 69%, according to data from the National Retail Federation, which goes back to 2005.

Included in this percentage are the 67% of Americans who plan to hand out candy, 51% who plan to decorate, 47% planning to don costumes, 44% who plan to carve a pumpkin, and 28% either throwing or attending a Halloween party.

While this year’s Halloween participation rate marks an 11-point increase from the dip in 2020, participation still trails peaks reached in 2012 and 2017.

States With the Most Potential Trick-or-Treaters

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. was home to an estimated 42 million potential trick-or-treaters in 2021, defined as children between the ages of five and 14.

California (5.0 million), Texas (4.3 million), Florida (2.4 million), and New York (2.3 million) have the most kids in this age range in terms of overall numbers. But Utah (16.2%), Texas (14.5%), Alaska (14.4%), and Idaho (14.2%) have the highest percentages of possible trick-or-treaters among their general populations.

Witch costumes are the most popular Halloween costume search in 2022, according to Google Trends data.

In state-by-state costume search data from September, witch costumes took the top spot in 11 states, more than any other costume. Six states each searched “dinosaur” and “fairy” more often and five favored “Stranger Things,” while some unique favorites across the country included “Toy Story” in Wyoming and “The Renaissance” in Minnesota.

The top costumes in Google’s Frightgeist were determined by search data from around the United States. Here are the top 10 most common searches:

  1. Witch
  2. Spider-Man
  3. Dinosaur
  4. Stranger Things
  5. Fairy
  6. Pirate
  7. Rabbit
  8. Cheerleader
  9. Cowboy
  10. Harley Quinn

Comic books and superheroes remain a popular choice – in addition to Spider-Man and Harley Quinn, the list features Batman at No. 19, Superhero at No. 23, Joker at No. 32, Poison Ivy at No. 44 and Catwoman at No. 46, among others. The influence of the box office is also apparent in the list, with Hocus Pocus coming in at No. 14.

States That Produce the Most Pumpkins

With 44% of Americans planning on carving jack-o-lanterns, the pumpkin production industry has its hands full. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, national utilized production of pumpkins increased a staggering 26% in 2021, from 1.3 trillion pounds to 1.65 trillion.

Of the 13 states that produce the country’s pumpkins, Illinois remained far and away the top producer, accounting for nearly 40% of the national production. At nearly 11%, Indiana surpassed California (9.4%) for second-highest in production by weight, while Texas (6.4%) and Michigan (5.3%) rounded out the top five.

All told, the NRF projects $10.6 billion in American spending on the holiday, the highest Halloween spending in the 18 years of data collection.

Of that amount, $3.6 billion is expected to be spent on costumes, the highest categorical segment in spending. Around $2.9 billion of that will be spent on children’s and adults’ costumes – meanwhile, the NRF is projecting a record $710 million of expenditure on pet costumes.

The most common costume choices for American pets are a pumpkin, a hot dog, a bat, a bumblebee and a witch.

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