Georgia Residents Shop the 11th Latest for Halloween

Staff Report

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023

As the fall season ushers in cooler temperatures and shorter days, it also marks the arrival of one of the most anticipated and celebrated holidays of the year: Halloween. Whether spending a night out trick-or-treating with friends, dressing up in costume for work, or simply decorating the house, Halloween in the U.S. offers something for nearly every age group.

According to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF), a staggering 73% of Americans plan to participate in Halloween-related activities this year, up from 69% in 2022. And with these levels of participation, it comes as no surprise that the holiday serves as a substantial economic driver for U.S. retail, ranking among the foremost shopping events of the year.

Americans are projected to spend over $12 billion in 2023 on Halloween, a number that has risen significantly over the past several years even after adjusting for inflation. For context, in 2005, Americans spent $3.3 billion (or an inflation-adjusted $5.2 billion in 2023 dollars). On a per-household basis, this equates to the average American household spending nearly $110 this year in preparation for October 31st.

The largest spending categories for Halloween festivities are costumes, decorations, candy, and greeting cards. In 2023, the NRF projects Americans will spend a total of $4.1 billion (34% of total) on costumes, $3.9 billion (32% of total) on decorations, $3.6 billion (30% of total) on candy, and approximately $500 million (4% of total) on greeting cards. Interestingly, within the costume category, Americans typically spend more on costumes for adults than on costumes for kids. Adult costumes account for nearly half of costume spending, while costumes for children and pets represent just 34% and 17%, respectively.

Just as certain radio stations begin airing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, certain Americans start prepping for Halloween long before October. According to data from Google Trends, internet shopping searches for Halloween items begin to inch up in July before growing exponentially to their peak at the end of October. While the majority of Halloween online shopping is performed in October, nearly 30% occurs in the three months prior (July–September). This number, however, varies by location.

In West Virginia, nearly 36% of online shopping for Halloween supplies occurs between July and September—the highest of any state. Other states that prepare early for Halloween include Kentucky (34.3%), Alaska (33.8%), and Louisiana (33.7%). At the opposite end of the spectrum, only 27.2% of Halloween shopping takes place during the same three months in Vermont. Behind Vermont, Delaware (27.6%), New York (27.8%), California (28.0%), and Minnesota (28.1%) rounded out the bottom five. In these states, a larger share of Halloween shopping occurs in October.

To determine the states that start shopping for Halloween the earliest, researchers at Upgraded Points calculated the percentage of total Halloween shopping Google searches that occurred between July and September each year. In the event of a tie, researchers ranked states that performed more Halloween internet searches outside of October higher.

The analysis found that 29.3% of Halloween online shopping in Georgia takes place between July and September, while 61.3% occurs in October. Overall, Georgia residents begin shopping for Halloween the 11th latest. Here is a summary of the data for Georgia:

  • Share of Halloween online shopping done July–September: 29.3%

  • Share of Halloween online shopping done in October: 61.3%

  • Share of Halloween online shopping done the rest of the year: 9.4%

  • Location with the most interest in Halloween: Thomasville, GA

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Share of Halloween online shopping done July–September: 29.8%

  • Share of Halloween online shopping done in October: 60.9%

  • Share of Halloween online shopping done the rest of the year: 9.3%

  • Location with the most interest in Halloween: Charleston, WV

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, see States That Start Shopping for Halloween the Earliest on Upgraded Points.