Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls may be frightening, but what Americans spent 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 amount on Halloween in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Halloween celebrations were close to pre-pandemic levels.
- In the U.S., Halloween celebrations were just shy of pre-pandemic levels.
- Americans spent around $10.14 billion on the ghoulish holiday in 2021, a record high.
- The average amount spent on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards per-person is $102.74.
What Halloween Costs
In 2021, 65% of Americans took part in Halloween celebrations, up from 58% in 2020, and just short of 68% in 2019. U.S. consumers are projected to spend a record $10.14 billion on Halloween, substantially more than the $8.05 billion spent in 2020 and $8.78 billion in 2019.
The per-person amount spent on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards rose to average $102.74—up from to $92.12 in 2020 and $86.27 in 2019. Households with children spent more than double the amount on Halloween items than households without children—an estimated $149.69 versus $73.57.
The percent of consumers who shopped for Halloween in September or earlier. Another 39% shopped during the first two weeks of October.
Price of Costumes
Costumes account for the most in spending—$3.32 billion in total—followed by decorations ($3.17 billion), candy ($3 billion), and greeting cards ($660 million).
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.
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 can soar into the hundreds for the most committed celebrants.
Children this year are dressing up as their favorite superheroes and princesses, and parents are sticking to traditional favorites, but what about household pets? The most popular costumes for pets this year are mostly foods or living creatures: pumpkin, hot dog, superhero, cat, and bumblebee constitute the top five.
How Much Money Is Spent on Halloween Each Year?
Americans are estimated to have spent a record $10.14 billion on Halloween in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation (NPF). The amount spent per person on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards averaged $102.74.
How Much Do Americans Spend on Halloween Candy?
In 2021, Americans are estimated to have spent $3 billion on Halloween candy, and another $3.32 billion on costumes.
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 will 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 CEO Matthew Shay.