Census Bureau facts about Halloween

Thu, 10/25/2007 - 5:51pm
By: The Citizen

Oct. 31, 2007
The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts, devils and hobgoblins. In the United States, the first official citywide Halloween celebration occurred in Anoka, Minn., in 1921. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, many of the young and young at heart take a more light-spirited approach. They don scary disguises or ones that may bring on smiles when they go door to door for treats, or attend or host a Halloween party.

“Trick or Treat!”
36.1 million
The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2006 — children 5 to 13 — across the United States, down 45,000 from 2005. Of course, many other children — older than 13, and younger than 5 — also go trick-or-treating.


109.6 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2006 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.

Percentage of households who consider their neighborhood safe. In addition, 78 percent said they were not afraid to walk alone at night. (Source: Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States, 2003, at


Jack-O’-Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies
1 billion pounds
Total production of major pumpkin-producing states in 2006. Illinois led the country by producing 492 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, Ohio and Pennsylvania also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $101 million. http://www.nass.usda.gov/index.asp

Where to Spend Halloween?
Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:

— Transylvania County, N.C. (29,780 residents). http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/009756.html

— Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,571).

— Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,228); and Pumpkin Bend, Ark. (population 307).http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet

— Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C.; and Cape Fear in Chatham County, N.C. (the townships have populations of 15,711 and 1,170, respectively).

— Skull Creek, Neb. (population 281).

Candy and Costumes
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2005, employing 38,718 people and shipping $13.6 billion worth of goods. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 128, followed by Pennsylvania, with 121.
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/010192.html and
http://www.census.gov/mcd/asm-as2.html (2005 Value of Product Shipments)

Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2005. These establishments employed 21,389 people and shipped $7.6 billion worth of goods that year. California also led the nation in this category, with 73 establishments.

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/county_business_patterns/010192.html and http://www.census.gov/mcd/asm-as2.html (2005 Value of Product Shipments)

26 pounds
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2006; it is believed a large portion is consumed around Halloween. http://www.census.gov/industry/1/ma311d06.pdf

Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2005.


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