Posted at 12:00 PM
Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Today, Halloween has evolved into a celebration characterized by child-friendly activities, such as costumes, trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.
On October 31st, millions of children across America will don costumes and head excitedly into the twilight in search of sweets. (According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 41.2 million 5-14 year olds in 2013).
How serious is our national candy habit? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans consumed 23.8 pounds of candy per capita in 2008 (the most recent year for which data were available). Responding to America’s sweet tooth, 1,333 manufacturing establishments produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2012, employing 37,150 workers (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census). The industry’s value of shipments totaled $14.4 billion in 2012.
Following are some key statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau just in time for Halloween. For more key statistics, go to the latest issue of the Census Bureau's Facts for Features.
The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2014 — children age 5 to 14 — across the U.S. Of course, many other children — older than 14 and younger than 5 — also go trick-or-treating.
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in second quarter 2015 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
Acres of pumpkins harvested in the U.S. in 2013, with a total estimated production value of $149.9 million. Of the top six pumpkin-producing states, Illinois led the country by producing an estimated 547.6 million pounds of this vined gourd, followed by California, Ohio, Michigan, New York and then Pennsylvania. Pumpkins are frequently carved as decorations around Halloween.
Halloween-themed locations in the U.S. and their populations based on Census data:
- Transylvania County, N.C. (33,045 residents).
- Tombstone City, Ariz. (population 1,338 residents).
- Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,222); and Pumpkin Bend, Ark. (population 276).
- Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C. (18,388); and Cape Fear in Chatham County, N.C. (1,323).
- Skull Creek, Neb. (population 268).