Valentine's Day is a holiday dedicated to showing appreciation for our loved ones, from spouses and romantic partners to family and friends. While Valentine's Day is celebrated globally, it has a particularly strong presence in the US, where it has become a major not only cultural, but economic, event. Every year, Americans spend a significant amount of money on this February day, including buying chocolates, flowers, gifts and making reservations at fancy restaurants. The expenses can add up quickly!
This day has become a significant financial event for many individuals, who budget towards this day throughout the year, and businesses, some of which rely on this day as their biggest cash cow of the year. Keep reading to find out more key statistics that highlight the financial significance of Valentine's Day.
Valentine’s Day Financial Statistics
Here's everything you need to know about how Americans spend money on Valentine's Day:
1. Americans spend over $20 billion on Valentine’s Day
In 2019, Valentine’s Day spending reached $20.7 billion in the United States. This year, spending is expected to increase to almost $26 billion – including $2.4 billion on candy alone.
But what does the average American spend on Valentine’s Day? According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer plans to spend about $192.80 this year. This is an increase from 2021 when people spent closer to $164.76.
2. Over half of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day
According to one survey, more than half of Americans – 52% – plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2023. This is slightly lower than in previous years, but still a significant percentage of the population.
3. People spend about $4.5 billion on evenings out
One of the biggest areas where people spend money on Valentine’s Day is gifts like flowers, jewelry, and candies. But consumers also shell out cash for other things like romantic experiences and evenings out. In fact, Americans spent close to $4.5 billion on going out for Valentine’s Day in 2022.
4. People ages 35 to 44 spend the most money
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for adults, but people aged 35 to 44 are expected to spend the most out of all other age groups. According to another NRF study, the average person in this demographic intends to spend $335.71 on gifts, dining out, and other things this holiday.
5. Valentine’s Day spending continues to increase
Despite inflation, high interest rates, and the overall high cost of consumer goods, Valentine’s Day spending continues to rise. In fact, the last time spending decreased was during the great economic downtown of 2008. Even as many Americans prepare for a possible recession, they continue spending money on things like Valentine’s Day gifts and dining out.
6. Most people are shop online for the special day
The way people shop for Valentine's Day has changed over the years. An estimated 35% of consumers are choosing to buy Valentine’s Day gifts online this year.
Another 34% of people plan to shop at department stores like Macy’s. About 31% of consumers are heading to discount stores, while another 18% shop at specialty locations.
7. 57% of consumers buy candy for Valentine’s Day
Candy and chocolates account for 57% of spending on Valentine’s Day (National Retail Foundation). Greeting cards make up 40% of spending, followed closely behind by flowers at 37%. The other two most popular spending areas are going out (32%) and jewelry (21%).
Other popular things to spend money on include gift cards, clothing, and romantic or special experiences.
8. February flowers are valued at $106 billion
February is a lucrative time for romance, thanks to Valentine’s Day, weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. Ever wondered just how much money does Valentine’s Day make? Look no further than the flower industry.
In 2022, fresh cut roses and buds were valued at $106 million. That same year, all fresh cut bouquets were valued at closer to $203 million.
9. Over a quarter of couples will use a credit card this Valentine’s Day
The typical annual percentage rate (APR) on credit cards is at a record high. Yet, around 27% of couples plan to use a credit card to cover the costs of Valentine’s Day this year.
Part of the reason for this is the higher cost of consumer goods combined with inflation outpacing income. Another big reason is that people don’t have enough money set aside to cover the expense.
10. Company revenues reach the billions
So, how much revenue does Valentine’s Day generate for companies, and who stands to profit the most? This depends on the industry. Here’s what a recent survey found:
- Clothing ($2.1 billion)
- Jewelry ($3.9 billion)
- Flowers ($1.9 billion)
- Candy/chocolates ($1.8 billion)
- Greeting cards ($933 million)
- Gift cards ($1.3 billion)
11. Approximately 27% of people buy gifts for pets
In 2020, over a quarter of consumers said they’d buy a gift for their pets on Valentine’s Day. This is a 10% increase from ten years ago.
The average American spends about $12.21 on Valentine’s Day for their pets. But the total estimated amount people spend on their pets this holiday is $1.7 billion.
12. Men tend to spend more for Valentine’s Day
According to a Bankrate survey, men plan to spend more money on Valentine’s Day than women – approximately $339. Many of the male respondents also expected their partner to spend more in return. While there could be many reasons for this, it may be due to society’s expectations.
Spending on Valentine's Day has a significant impact on the US economy. However much you choose to spend on Valentine's Day, make sure you plan and budget for the holiday in the way that makes the most sense for your finances. If you're interested in taking a loan for a romantic vacation or other significant expense like a wedding, check out our list of reputable personal loan providers.