Americans projected to spend record 12 billion dollars on Halloween

I love/hate looking at data showing how absolutely bonkers holiday spending in the United States has become, and the results from the National Retail Federation's 2023 annual Halloween survey don't disappoint. The survey revealed that a record number of Americans—73%—plan to participate in Halloween this year (up from 69% last year). Furthermore, Americans will spend more in 2023—12.2 billion dollars, up from 10.6 billion in 2022—than they ever have before.

The National Retail Federation provides more details:

Like previous years, the top ways consumers are planning to celebrate are handing out candy (68%), decorating their home or yard (53%) or dressing in costume (50%). However, in a return to pre-pandemic norms, more consumers also plan to throw or attend a party (32%) or take their children trick-or-treating (28%).

Per person spending is also up as consumers plan to spend a record $108.24 each, up from the previous record of $102.74 in 2021. The greatest increase in spending came from costumes, which are more popular than ever.

Sixty-nine percent of those celebrating Halloween plan to buy costumes, up from 67% last year and the highest in the survey's history. Total spending on costumes is expected to reach a record $4.1 billion, up from $3.6 billion in 2022. 

Total spending on decorations, which grew in popularity during the pandemic and continue to resonate with consumers, is expected to reach $3.9 billion. Of those celebrating Halloween, more than three-quarters (77%) plan to purchase decorations, which is on par with last year, but up from 72% in 2019.

Candy spending is expected to reach $3.6 billion, up from $3.1 billion last year. Spending on Halloween greeting cards is projected to be $500 million, down slightly from $600 million in 2022 but above pre-pandemic levels. 

The survey also lists the top costumes for 2023. For kids, it's Spiderman. For pets, a pumpkin. And for adults, a witch. Looks like my dog Jax (pictured below) will be right in style, wearing the pumpkin t-shirt his aunt gave him many years ago as a hand-me-down from his cousin Luna.

I have a couple of thoughts about these survey results. First, I really wish this survey didn't talk about the very real, very ongoing pandemic in the past tense. Second, I for one will not be spending 108 dollars on Halloween this year. Instead, I'll be shopping in my own closet and heading to my local thrift shop to put together my costume this year. I find DIY costumes way more creative and fun to put together than store-bought costumes, anyway, and they sure save money. If you want to cut down on your Halloween spending, too, here are 77 last-minute DIY Halloween costume ideas to get you started!

To learn more about the Halloween spending survey, check out the National Retail Federation website.