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Published:September 9th, 2009 22:52 EST
What Are You Doing for Halloween?

What Are You Doing for Halloween?

By SOP newswire2

Oct. 31, 2009

The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts, devils and hobgoblins. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, many of the young and young at heart take a more light-spirited approach. They don scary disguises or ones that may bring on smiles when they go door to door for treats, or attend or host a Halloween party.

Trick or Treat!

36 million
The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2008 " children 5 to 13 " across the United States. This number is up about 65,000 from a year earlier. Of course, many other children " older than 13, and younger than 5 " also go trick-or-treating.
Source: Population estimates <>

111.4 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2008 " all potential stops for trick-or-treaters.
Source: Housing Vacancies and Homeownership <>

Percentage of households with residents who consider their neighborhood safe. In addition, 78 percent said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night.
Source: Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States, 2003

Jack-o`-Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies

1.1 billion pounds
Total production of pumpkins by major pumpkin-producing states in 2008. Illinois led the country by producing 496 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, Pennsylvania and New York also provided lots of pumpkins: Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $141 million.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <>

Where to Spend Halloween?

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

Candy and Costumes

Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2007, employing 38,794 people and shipping $13.2 billion worth of goods. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 143, followed by Pennsylvania, with 115.
Source: 2007 County Business Patterns <>
and 2007 Economic Census <>

Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionery products in 2007. These establishments employed 18,250 people and shipped $6.6 billion worth of goods that year. California led the nation in this category, with 70 establishments.
Source: 2007 County Business Patterns <>
and 2007 Economic Census <>

23.8 pounds
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2008.
Source: Current Industrial Reports, Confectionery: 2008 <>

Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2007.
Source: 2007 County Business Patterns <>

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
  • 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: <>.

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SOURCE:  US Census Bureau