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Valentine’s Day Spending Statistics: The High Cost of Romance

Valentine's Day Spending Statistics

Valentine’s Day is a time for couples to flaunt their love and spoil their partner with heart-shaped chocolates and roses.

But since it first started being observed in the 6th century B.C., Valentine’s Day has evolved into one of the year’s most lucrative shopping seasons. Valentine’s Day spending statistics offer proof of the occasion’s significant economic impact.

The data shows that tens of billions of dollars are spent each year on Valentine’s Day. And even though its charm and appeal started fading, there are still entire industries that remain highly dependent on lovers exchanging gifts.

Key Valentine’s Day Stats – Editor’s Choice

• Valentine’s Day spending in the US amounted to around $20.7 billion in 2019.
• Americans spent over $886 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets.
• More than 135 million Americans went shopping for Valentine’s Day in 2019.
• Some 85% of all Valentine’s cards are bought by women.
• Men expect to spend up to five times more than women on gifts for their partners.

Statistics on Valentine’s Day Spending

1. Spending on Valentine’s Day in the US amounted to roughly $20.7 billion in 2019.

(MarketingCharts)

2. Valentine’s Day statistics show that around 61% of Americans planned to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their partner in 2018.

(Statista)

3. American consumers spent $886 million on gifts for their pets on Valentine’s Day.

(MarketWatch)

4. A quarter of all Americans will go Valentine’s Day shopping for their loved ones.

(National Retail Federation)

5. Valentine’s stats show that 28% of American adults purchased flowers or plants as gifts for the occasion. 37% of those were men and 19% were women.

(The Society of American Florists)

6. According to Valentine’s Day sales statistics, Americans spent $1.8 billion on candy for this holiday.

(CNBC)

7. Red roses account for 69% of all flowers bought on St. Valentine’s Day.

(The Society of American Florists)

8. Some $5 billion is spent on jewelry for Valentine’s Day in the US.

(National Retail Federation)

9. Men spend up to five times more than women on gifts for Valentine’s Day.

(Bankrate)

10. Valentine’s Day sales statistics reveal that 85% of all Valentine’s cards are bought by women.

(Greeting Card Association)

11. Valentine’s Day retail data shows that more than 135 million Americans went shopping for the occasion in 2019.

(Finder)

12. US citizens are expected to spend $27.4 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2020. That equates to $196.31 per person.

(National Retail Foundation)

13. More than 32% of people celebrating the holiday opt for online shopping for Valentine’s Day.

(National Retail Foundation)

14. Valentine’s Day statistics for 2020 show that some 37% of single people feel pressured to spend more money on gifts than they would like.

(Barrons)

Fascinating Valentine’s Day Facts

Valentine’s Day has a rich history that spans centuries, cultures and continents. Celebrated every February 14, this festival of romance is made special by its many stories and customs. Here are just a few of those fascinating historical tidbits.
St. Valentine's Day illustration

1. The first Valentine was sent in 1415.

In the 15th century, Charles, Duke of Orleans, became the first person to send a valentine. He penned a poem to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Sadly, Charles never got to know how his beloved reacted to the letter. He ended up spending 25 years behind bars, and she died sometime between 1430 and 1435.

2. There was more than one Saint Valentine.

According to Valentine’s Day history facts, the saint we celebrate on February 14 is St. Valentine of Rome who died around 270 A.D. However, there were multiple martyred saints that carried the same name. The Latin word Valentinus which stands for worthy, strong or powerful was especially popular between the second and eighth century A.D., and in that time a dozen different people were named Valentine or some variation thereof. There was even a Pope Valentine, but little is known about him as he served only for 40 days around 827 A.D.

3. The first heart-shaped box of chocolates was introduced in 1861.

Valentine’s facts tell us that Richard Cadbury, son of the man who founded Cadbury Chocolate, was the first to start packing chocolates in heart-shaped boxes as a strategy to increase sales. He decorated the boxes with drawings of his family and Alpine landscapes, which proved to be highly successful. Today, more than 36 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes are sold each year, amounting to some 58 million pounds of chocolate.

4. Around 6 million couples get engaged on Valentine’s Day.

A more obvious piece of Valentine’s trivia is that this day is widely considered to be the most romantic time of the year. A notable percentage of men propose to their girlfriends on February 14. Some people choose this day for its more traditional aspects, while others simply feel the most in love on Valentine’s. Whatever the reason, millions of people each year pop the question and get engaged on the day of love.

5. The phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve” originated from a Valentine’s Day tradition.

One of the most interesting facts about Valentine’s Day takes us back to the Middle Ages when Emperor Claudius II declared marriage illegal. He believed that romantic attachments made his soldiers weaker. Claudius instead encouraged temporary coupling, and for one week of the year, during a Roman festival honoring Juno, young men drew names to determine who their Valentine would be for the coming year. After choosing, the men would wear the names on their sleeves to show their bond.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What percentage of people celebrate Valentine’s Day?

The Valentine’s day celebration rate has been steadily dropping in recent years. Ten years ago, more than 60% of people planned to celebrate the day. Today, that number stands at 51%.

2. Is Valentine’s Day a universal holiday?

Yes. Valentine’s is an international holiday and is celebrated across the world, albeit in different ways. While a large part of the world celebrates the day dedicated to love by exchanging gifts and roses, centuries of Valentine’s Day traditions have developed more unique ways of celebration. For example, people in the United Kingdom write sonnets and poems to each other, while Chinese couples visit the Temple of Matchmaker to pray for good fortune and happiness in their future marriage.

3. Which country has banned Valentine’s Day?

Since Valentine’s Day celebrates a Christian saint, several Muslim-majority countries banned the commemoration. Although individual cities and regions around the world prohibit the celebrations, the holiday is banned nationwide in Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. However, many citizens in the countries where the Valentine’s Day ban is in place still celebrate and exchange gifts with their loved ones.

4. How much money does Hallmark make on Valentine’s Day?

Seeing as Hallmark is a privately held company that does not disclose its sales data, it is impossible to know exactly how much money it earns from its famous Valentine’s Day cards. Still, it is projected that Hallmark earns hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue from this holiday alone.

5. What does the average person spend on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day spending statistics show that the average consumer spent roughly $162 on this holiday in 2019. People aged 35-44 were the biggest spenders with an average of $279, followed closely by those between the ages of 25-34 who spent $239.

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