Census Bureau Released Halloween Numbers

Pumpkins, ornamental. Photo: Kay Whatley.
Pumpkins, ornamental. Photo: Kay Whatley.

“Profile American Facts for Features” for Halloween

With less than two weeks to go before Halloween, the US Census Bureau released facts and figures related to October 31, 2016. Numbers reported by the Census Burea are outlined below.

Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Today, Halloween has evolved into a celebration characterized by child-friendly activities, such as costumes, trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.

Trick or Treat!

41.1 million — The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2015 — children ages 5 to 14 — across the United States.  Of course, many other children — older than age 15 and younger than age 5 — also go trick-or-treating, according to the  Census Bureau’s 2015 Population Estimates.

118.3 million — The number of occupied housing units across the nation in the second quarter 2016 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters. This data is from the Housing Vacancies and Homeownership information.

78.7% — The percentage of US households that agreed their neighbors could be trusted in 2013.

(Ed. Note: Here in Eastern NC, many families are displaced by flooding and will still be displaced at Halloween — possibly through the end of the year. Trick-or-treating may not be available in harder hit areas, as they are focused on bigger problems of rebuilding and getting people home. Many local churches and community centers are hosting trick-or-treating, offering options for all including out-of-area families dealing with flooding and neighborhood damage. A partial trunk-or-treat and festival list is here.)

Hauntingly Delicious

37,128 — The number of people employed by US manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2014. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $16.0 billion, up from $15.2 billion in 2013.

17,815 — The number of people employed by US manufacturing establishments that produced nonchocolate confectionary products. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $8.2 billion in 2014.

3,217 — The number of US confectionary and nut stores that sell candy and other confectionary products, employing 22,086 people in 2014.

Dressed to Thrill

A sampling of occupations that one may dress up as for Halloween:

Occupation Represented in Costume Number of Actual, Full-Time, Year-Round Employees
Athletes, coaches, umpires and related workers 109,943
Bailiffs, correctional officers and jailers 376,460
Dentists 95,713
Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers 478,065
Firefighters 254,678
Police and sheriff’s patrol officers 662,619
Registered nurses 2,227,835

These numbers of people actually employed in these jobs, which are sometimes imitated with costumes, come from the 2015 American Community Survey.

Places to Spend Halloween

The Census Bureau gathered a list of places around the country with Halloween-oriented names where one might want to spend Halloween:

  • Tombstone, Arizona (estimated population 1,312)
  • Sleepy Hollow, New York (estimated population 10,242)
  • Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina (estimated population 7,058)
  • Yellville, Arkansas (estimated population 1,169)
  • Transylvania County, North Carolina (estimated population 33,211)
  • Slaughter Beach, Delaware (estimated population 230)
  • Casper, Wyoming (estimated population 60,285)
  • Scarville, Iowa (estimated population 71)
  • Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (estimated population 6,079)


4,449 — The number of movie theaters in the US in 2014 where one could possibly enjoy a horror movie. California (511), Texas (326), New York (265) and Florida (195) had the most of such establishments. There were 219 drive-in theaters in 2014 — Ohio had 23, and California and Pennsylvania each had 19 drive-in motion picture theaters. To find out how many theaters are in your state, visit this Census Bureau link. (Ed. Note: Data is from 2014, and shows no drive-in theaters in NC; however, there is at least one drive-in near Raleigh NC.)

40,900 — The number of acres of pumpkins harvested in the US in 2015, with a total estimated production value of $90.2 million. Of the top six pumpkin-producing states, Illinois led the country by producing an estimated 318.0 million pounds of this vined gourd, followed by California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York. Pumpkins are frequently carved as decorations around Halloween. (Ed. Note: While NC pumpkin growers are not mentioned, you should be able to find locally grown pumpkins at NC farmers markets throughout October and, where they stay open, into November. A list of pumpkin patches and other Fall farm attractions may be found here.)

$1.04 Billion — The estimated construction spending on theme/amusement parks in 2015. Halloween events at theme/amusement parks can be frighteningly fun. For more information about construction spending, visit www.census.gov/constructionspending.

1,078 — The number of formal wear and costume rental establishments in the US. This industry had 6,611 paid employees across the nation in 2014.

302 — The number of broom, brush, and mop and casket manufacturing establishments (for the more authentic witches and vampires). Combined, these two industries employed 12,627 people and had a total value of shipments of $3.6 billion in 2012.

$1.03 Billion — Dollar value of US fresh apples exported in 2015. Whether bobbing for or dipping in caramel, apples can be a fun treat around Halloween. These export numbers were gleaned from the  International Trade Statistics; however, a separate number was not provided for apples grown and sold inside the US for Halloween.

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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.