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Facts for Features
Sept. 24, 2012

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Halloween: Oct. 31, 2012

Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Over the years, Halloween customs have changed dramatically. Today, Halloween is celebrated many different ways, including wearing costumes, children trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, and going to haunted houses and parties.

Trick or Treat!

41 million

The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2011 — children age 5 to 14 — across the United States. Of course, many other children -- older than 14 and younger than 5 -- also go trick-or-treating.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2011/index.html>

115 million

Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2011 — all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Table S2502

Jack-o'-Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies

$113 million

Value of pumpkins harvested from the top six pumpkin-producing states, Illinois, California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan in 2011.
Source: Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

Where to Spend Halloween?

Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:

  • Transylvania County, N.C. (population 32,820)
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Population Estimates
  • Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,396)
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Population Estimates
  • Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,222); and Pumpkin Bend, Ark. (population 276)
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census, Table DP-1
  • Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C. (population 18,388); and Cape Fear in Chatham County, N.C. (population 1,323).
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census, Table DP-1
  • Skull Creek, Neb. (population 268)
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 Population Estimates
  • Candy and Costumes


    Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2010, employing 35,074 people. Pennsylvania led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 102, followed by California, with 100.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2010, NAICS codes (31132 & 31133),


    Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2010. These establishments employed 17,526 people. California led the nation in this category, with 49 establishments.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2010, NAICS code (31134),


    Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2010.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 County Business Patterns, NAICS code (53222),

    Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

    • African-American History Month (February)
    • Super Bowl
    • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
    • Women's History Month (March)
    • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
            St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
    • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
    • Older Americans Month (May)
    • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
    • Mother's Day
    • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
    • Father's Day
    • The Fourth of July (July 4)
    • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
    • Back to School (August)
    • Labor Day
    • Grandparents Day
    • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
    • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
    • Halloween (Oct. 31)
    • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
    • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • The Holiday Season (December)

    Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: September 27, 2012