A look at Valentine's Day, by the numbers

February 10, 2018 10:01:50 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


Ah, the simplicity of our Valentine's Days of elementary school. We'd eagerly sign our little Valentines, one for each classmate. On the big day we'd self-consciously drop one in each construction-paper pouch taped to a desk. And we looked forward to opening the ones dropped in ours. Sometimes there would even be sucker or candy tidbit attached. What a primo treat.  


As adults, we've learned how to up our game, if we're among the 55 percent of Americans who say they celebrate the holiday. Love or loath Valentine's Day, it's hard to deny its impact on wallets. With a projected $19.6 billion to be spent on it this year, Feb. 14 becomes the country's third-largest consumer holiday, according to wallethub.com.  


"Roughly 45 percent of people expect their Valentine to spend at least $50 on a gift, according to WalletHub's 2018 Valentine's Day Survey, " said John S. Kiernan, WalletHub senior writer and editor, in a Feb. 5 article. 


The survey revealed some other interesting figures: 


  • Ninety percent of people in a relationship plan to buy a gift for their significant other. 


  • Fifty-three percent of women say they would break up with their significant other if they got nothing. 


  • The average amount Valentine's Day revelers are expected to spend this year is $143.56. 


  • Thirty-five percent of couples planning a night out Feb. 14 will spend $3.7 billion. 


  • Men spent almost twice as much as women on Valentine's Day 2017. 


  • $1.8 billion will be spent to buy candy this year. 


  • Ninety-four percent of Americans say they want to receive candy or chocolate for Valentine's. 


  • $2 billion will be spent by the 36 percent who plan to buy flowers. 


  • Thirteen percent of annual flower sales happen around Valentine's Day. 


  • The 19 percent of celebrators who plan to buy jewelry will spend $4.7 billion. 


  • Twenty-seven percent of singles plan to buy themselves a present on Valentine's Day. 


  • The average amount spent by Americans on Valentine's gifts for their pets is $5.50. 


  • Nine million marriage proposals are expected to be made this Valentine's Day. 


  • One million-plus Facebook users change their relationship status within four days of Valentine's. 


  • Gift cards are projected to account for $1.5 billion spent this year. 


  • Valentine's greeting cards will account for $894 million. 


    Reducing Cupid's holiday to numbers may seem pretty unromantic, but the figures do offer an illuminating glimpse into human behavior. Valentine's Day is an occasion to celebrate those we care about, so don't miss an opportunity to express it, no matter how simply, by word or deed. The world could always use a little more love.

    Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.