After popping into a crowded Halloween store this past weekend, I found I wasn’t the only one still shopping for the holiday. The National Retail Federation expects Americans to spend an average of $74.34 on Halloween items, which is down a little over $3 from last year. When thinking about the amount of candy many people purchase, the pricey costumes, and the extensive decorations on display, it seems consumers could easily spend over $70 dollars on the holiday. So let’s find out more about the people who get into the Halloween spirit.

Since September, CivicScience has been asking consumers about their Halloween habits and intentions, such as their plans to dress up, decorating intentions, and Halloween card and gift purchases. We will share the findings along with additional Halloween insights we uncovered.

Holiday Decorators Get Social

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After polling a little over 1,400 U.S. adults, we found 41% decorate for the holiday, so who are the decorators?

  • They are 16% more likely to be women than average.
  • They are 24% more likely to have children than average.
  • They are 62% more likely to say texting and social networking is important to them. (Maybe they want something worth snapping a photo of and sharing online? Just a thought!)
  • When shopping for non-grocery items, they are 26% more likely to use coupons when it’s convenient, meaning they aren’t willing to go out of their way to find and use coupons.
  • They are 23% more likely to make purchases on their tablet at least sometimes, so there’s a chance they may be making some of the decoration purchases using a tablet.

The Costumed Love Pinterest

Who will be in costume this Halloween? From the 3,800 U.S. adults we asked, at least 16% plan to dress up this Halloween (more of these choose to make vs. buy), with the potential of more since 11% aren’t sure yet.


When compared to the average U.S. adult, those who plan to dress up for Halloween are…

  • More likely to be women.
  • 2X as likely to live with their parents.
  • 2X more likely to use Pinterest daily and 70% more likely than average to prefer creative ideas to practical solutions, which means they are more than likely on the social media site looking for creative costume ideas to make or purchase.
  • 90% more likely to use Twitter daily or weekly.
  • 56% more likely to exercise several times a week.
  • Slightly more likely (11%) to own a cat or dog (or both), so this group may be in the market to purchase a costume for their pet.

The Gifters

Who purchases Halloween gifts or greeting cards? Just about 14% of the over 4,700 U.S. adults polled will buy Halloween gifts, greeting cards, or both. 70% of those who make a Halloween gift or card purchase also decorate for the holiday, but let’s dig in more.


When compared to the average U.S. adult, those who do make greeting card or Halloween gift purchases are…

  • 39% more likely to be women than average.
  • Slightly older, so it’s not surprising to find they are 33% more likely to be grandparents.
  • 67% more likely to use Pinterest daily or weekly.
  • More likely to donate to charity. They are 41% more likely to donate to environment/animal nonprofit organizations, 34% more likely to donate to health/human service nonprofits, and are 33% more likely to donate to education/research nonprofits.
  • 30% more likely to watch CBS the most among the other major TV networks. So any last minute ads for Halloween greeting cards or gifts could see success if they are targeted to grandparents on CBS or even Pinterest.

Fun & Quirky Insights

  • Halloween fans: 46% consider themselves to be Halloween people, vs. 54% who say they are not.
  • Halloween favorites: People’s favorite thing about Halloween is dressing up and trick-or-treating, followed by decorating for the holiday and Halloween parties.
  • Costume party plans: 20% of U.S. adults plan to attend a costume party this Halloween.
  • Treat preference: 81% prefer sweet Halloween treats while 19% prefer savory treats.
  • Haunted houses: Among those who have an opinion, 27% of people love haunted houses.
  • Zombies or vampires: 63% answered “Vampires” while 37% answered “Zombies.”

Overall, women seem to be in the Halloween spirit more than men, given their greater likelihood to decorate, wear a costume, and purchase a Halloween related gift. From what I saw at the Halloween store and given the amount of people who are still undecided about their costume plans, there’s bound to be a few consumers making last-minute Halloween purchases.

Happy Halloween!