Halloween by the Numbers

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine


Our current Halloween traditions are believed to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in Ireland, the U.K., and northern France, celebrated their new year on Nov. 1. The day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of winter, a time often associated with death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On Oct. 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Since not all ghosts were thought to be friendly, gifts or treats were left out to pacify them, which evolved into trick-or-treating.


The estimated number of trick-or-treaters in 2014 — children age 5 to 14 — across the U.S. This number doesn’t include trick-or-treaters older than 14 and younger than 5.


Number of pounds of candy the average American eats per year. That’s about equal to the weight of 2,366 Hershey Kisses.

35 million

Number in pounds of candy corn sold annually, equally almost 9 billion pieces. If laid end to end, that amount could circle the Moon 21 times.

Acres of pumpkins harvested in the U.S. in 2013, with a total estimated production value of $149.9 million.

1.5 billion

Pounds of pumpkins grown per year. That’s more than the weight of two Empire State Buildings.


Number of continents where pumpkins now grow. The gourd is native to Central America and Mexico.


Number of seeds in an average pumpkin.

120 million

The number of U.S. children and adults who dress up in costumes for Halloween.

The number of broomstick and casket manufacturing establishments (for the more authentic witches and vampires).

The number of costume rental and formal wear establishments.

Dollar value of U.S. fresh apples exported in 2014.


11.5% of families dress their pets up for Halloween

30% of kids sort their candy after trick-or-treating

46% of U.S. adults carve pumpkins

50% of Americans decorate their yards for Halloween

72% of adults hand out candy

90% of parents admit to sneaking candy from their kids’ bags