How Much Americans Spend on Halloween

The amount could be considered scary

Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls may be frightening, but what Americans will spend on Halloween this year could be considered even scarier. The COVID-19 pandemic definitely put a damper on Halloween celebrations in 2020, but consumers in the United States spent a record $10.14 billion on Halloween in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Halloween celebrations for 2022 are expected to set new records for spending.

Key Takeaways

  • Halloween celebrations in the United States were just shy of pre-pandemic levels in 2021 and it continues to be one of the biggest retail spending events of the year.
  • Americans spent around $10.14 billion on the ghoulish holiday in 2021, a record high, with an estimated $10.6 billion in spending set for 2022.
  • The average amount Halloween celebrants will spend on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards per person is estimated at around $100.

What Halloween Costs

In 2022, 69% of Americans said they planned to take part in Halloween celebrations, up from 65% in 2021. according to NRF data. U.S. consumers planned to spend an estimated $10.6 billion on Halloween, an increase over the record-high $10.14 billion spent in 2021 and the $8.05 billion spent in 2020.

Those celebrating Halloween in 2022 planned to spend an average of $100.45 per person. Here's how the estimated $10.6 billion in total spending is expected to break down:

  • $3.6 billion for costumes
  • $3.1 billion for candy
  • $3.4 billion for decorations
  • $0.6 billion for greeting cards

The uptick in spending largely reflects a resumption of normal Halloween activities, following two years of COVID-19 pandemic disruptions.

Of those who plan to celebrate Halloween in 2022, 67% say they'll do so by handing out candy while 51% say they'll mark the occasion by decorating their homes or yards.

Price of Costumes

Costumes account for the most in spending—an estimated $3.6 billion for 2022—and it isn't just kids who plan to dress up. The NRF estimates that of that $3.6 billion, $1.2 billion will go toward children's costumes while $1.7 billion will be spent on adult costumes. The remaining $0.7 billion is earmarked for pet costumes.

For children, dressing up as their favorite character has become a Halloween staple. Superheroes remain popular, with Spider-Man at the top. While trick-or-treating, you can easily spot tiaras, gowns, and glass slippers, as princesses remain one of the most popular types of costume (right behind Spider-Man), with Batman, other favorite superheroes, and witches rounding out the top five. Costs for child-sized costumes typically range from $25 to $40, not including additional props, makeup, and a bag for storing candy.

As mentioned, plenty of adults are suiting up as well. The top five costumes among adults this year are pretty evergreen: witch, vampire, ghost, cat, and pirate. Costumes are generally in the $30 to $60 range, but they can soar into the hundreds for the most committed celebrants.

Children are dressing up as their favorite superheroes and princesses, and parents are sticking to traditional favorites, but what about household pets? The five most popular costumes for pets this year: pumpkin, hot dog, bat, witch, and bumblebee.

If you're planning to order costumes online, you may want to do so early to allow for extended shipping times resulting from supply-chain snags.

Tips for Saving Money on Halloween

Halloween could easily make a dent in your budget, but it doesn't have to. There are a few things you can do to avoid overspending on Halloween while still enjoying the festivities.

Some of the best ways to save money on Halloween include:

  • Hand-making costumes versus buying them.
  • Purchasing candy for trick-or-treaters in bulk at warehouse clubs.
  • Making decorations from low-cost supplies or items you have around the house.
  • Shopping thrift stores or surplus stores to find inexpensive costume and decor materials.
  • Taking advantage of free Halloween events in your community.

If you're hosting a Halloween party at your home, you could save money by encouraging everyone to bring snacks or drinks to share. And you may be able to save on decorations or party supplies by purchasing them at the dollar store or from a discount party-supply store online.

Once Halloween is over, you can get a head start on saving for next year. Stores usually start marking down costumes, decorations, candy and other Halloween supplies on November 1st. You could use that as an opportunity to stock up on items for next year. Just keep in mind that candy might pass its best-use date before then.

If you find yourself with a surplus of leftover Halloween candy, you could incorporate it into some fun baking recipes or donate it to a nonprofit like Soldiers' Angels.

How Much Money Is Spent on Halloween Every Year?

The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that Americans will spend a record $10.6 billion on Halloween in 2022, up from $10.14 billion last year. The amount per person that will go to costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards will average $100.45.

How Much Do Americans Spend on Halloween Candy?

Candy is a staple of Halloween traditions and celebrations. In 2022, Americans are estimated to spend $3.1 billion on Halloween candy.

Which Halloween Costumes Are the Most Popular?

Superheroes and princesses are the top picks for children. Adults prefer to dress up as witches, vampires, ghosts, cats, and pirates.

The Bottom Line

In 2021, Halloween celebrations were close to pre-pandemic levels, and the amount spent on the holiday for 2022 will likely be one for the record books. “Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” according to NRF President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Matthew Shay. Planning your Halloween purchases early can help you avoid some scary spending scenarios as you get closer to the big day. Then shop the post-Halloween sales to stock up and give next year's budget a break.

Article Sources
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  1. National Retail Federation. “Halloween Spending Soars as Celebrations Near Pre-Pandemic Levels.”

  2. National Retail Federation. "2022 Halloween Trends."

  3. National Retail Federation. "Halloween Participation Returns to Pre-Pandemic Levels With Record Spending."

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