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25 cities spending the most on Halloween

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 10/17/2018 Cheyenne Buckingham, Charles Stockdale and John Harrington

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Video by CBS New York

Halloween has become a billion-dollar industry in the United States. Americans are projected to spend $9 billion this year on Halloween-related items and activities, down from $9.1 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey Prosper Insights & Analytics.

While more than 175 million Americans are expected to partake in Halloween festivities, the population that spends the most on the celebration is not evenly distributed throughout the country. There are several regions that are reporting higher spending than others.

States in the South and Northeast are projected to spend the most on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards combined than states in the Midwest and West. For example, those living in the South are projected to spend, on average, $90.35 per person this year on these items. This is much greater than the average projected expenditure on Halloween items in the Midwest of $78.91.

To identify which cities spend the most on Halloween, 24/7 Wall St. created an index that included the number of costume stores, candy stores, haunted tours and haunted houses in each city that’s reviewed on Yelp. We only considered cities with at least 100,000 people. For smaller states, we considered the five largest cities. We also calculated the total pounds of the top three most purchased candies in each state. We took the share of people who live in the city and multiplied that total by the state candy consumption.

25. Dallas

a view of a city© f11photo / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 6
> Candy stores: 15
> Haunted houses: 1
> Top candy in the state: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

24. San Francisco

a car driving down a busy city street© ibsky / Getty Images
> Costume stores: 12
> Candy stores: 38
> Haunted houses: 0
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

23. San Jose, California

a tall building in a city© GerardoBrucker / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 17
> Candy stores: 20
> Haunted houses: 2
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

22. Pawtucket, Rhode Island

a body of water in front of a house© danlogan / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 0
> Candy stores: 0
> Haunted houses: 1
> Top candy in the state: Candy Corn

21. Concord, New Hampshire

a large body of water surrounded by trees© juliaf / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 1
> Candy stores: 5
> Haunted houses: 0
> Top candy in the state: Starburst

20. New Orleans

a train is parked on the side of a building© matabum / iStock

> Costume stores: 15
> Candy stores: 22
> Haunted houses: 3
> Top candy in the state: Lemonheads

19. Roseville, California

a sign on the side of a road© T71024 / Wikimedia Commons

> Costume stores: 4
> Candy stores: 5
> Haunted houses: 2
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

18. Lewisville, Texas

a statue of a tree© texasbackroads / Flickr

> Costume stores: 4
> Candy stores: 1
> Haunted houses: 1
> Top candy in the state: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

17. Thousand Oaks, California

a view of a city© trekandshoot / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 4
> Candy stores: 7
> Haunted houses: 2
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

16. Salt Lake City

a view of a city with a mountain in the background© AndreyKrav / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 6
> Candy stores: 8
> Haunted houses: 2
> Top candy in the state: Jolly Ranchers

15. San Antonio, Texas

a group of people standing in front of a building© Melissa Peterson / U.S. Air Force

> Costume stores: 16
> Candy stores: 22
> Haunted houses: 5
> Top candy in the state: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

14. San Diego

a body of water© dancestrokes / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 21
> Candy stores: 33
> Haunted houses: 4
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

13. Wilmington, North Carolina

a large body of water with a city in the background© Thinkstock

> Costume stores: 3
> Candy stores: 4
> Haunted houses: 3
> Top candy in the state: M&M's

12. Savannah, Georgia

a tree in the middle of the street© Thinkstock

> Costume stores: 1
> Candy stores: 6
> Haunted houses: 2
> Top candy in the state: Jolly Ranchers

11. Las Vegas

a sign in front of a palm tree with Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign in the background© f11photo / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 13
> Candy stores: 15
> Haunted houses: 1
> Top candy in the state: Candy Corn

10. Tucson, Arizona

a group of people wearing costumes© Willow&Monk / Flickr

> Costume stores: 4
> Candy stores: 9
> Haunted houses: 1
> Top candy in the state: Snickers

9. Mesa, Arizona

a view of a city© Terryfic3D / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 4
> Candy stores: 7
> Haunted houses: 3
> Top candy in the state: Snickers

8. Idaho Falls, Idaho

a body of water surrounded by trees© Danamallard51 / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 1
> Candy stores: 1
> Haunted houses: 1
> Top candy in the state: Candy Corn

7. Hilo, Hawaii

a car parked in front of a building© YinYang / Getty Images

> Costume stores: 0
> Candy stores: 4
> Haunted houses: 0
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

6. Houston

© Cory Doctorow / Flickr

> Costume stores: 19
> Candy stores: 18
> Haunted houses: 4
> Top candy in the state: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

5. Paradise, Nevada

a narrow road© Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

> Costume stores: 3
> Candy stores: 21
> Haunted houses: 4
> Top candy in the state: Candy Corn

4. Burbank, California

a large body of water with a city in the background© Junkyardsparkle / Wikimedia Commons

> Costume stores: 11
> Candy stores: 5
> Haunted houses: 2
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

3. Honolulu

a large body of water with Diamond Head in the background© Thinkstock

> Costume stores: 8
> Candy stores: 32
> Haunted houses: 4
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

2. Los Angeles

several tall buildings in a city© Thinkstock
> Costume stores: 59
> Candy stores: 97
> Haunted houses: 19
> Top candy in the state: Skittles

1. Phoenix

a close up of a fruit© ONiONAstudio / iStock

> Costume stores: 14
> Candy stores: 18
> Haunted houses: 3
> Top candy in the state: Snickers

Detailed Findings & Methodology

According to the NRF, Americans who celebrate Halloween intend to spend an average of $86.79 each this year. Of the $9 billion spent on Halloween this year, $3.2 billion will be spent on costumes, $2.7 billion on decorations, $2.6 billion on candy, and $400 million on greeting cards.

Based on our methodology, the cities that have the most opportunities to spend money on Halloween festivities are located heavily in the West. On our list, seven cities are in California, another four are in Texas, and three in Arizona. The rest are scattered across the country. Two of the cities on this list are in Hawaii.

To determine the cities that spend the most on Halloween, 24/7 Wall St. created an index that includes the number of costume stores, candy stores, haunted tours, haunted houses, and the total pounds of the top three candies bought in each state. We retrieved the number of costume and candy stores and haunted tours and houses from Yelp. We only considered cities with at least 100,000 people. For smaller states, we considered the five largest cities. The pounds of candy each state purchased comes from the blog, Candy Store, and is a weighted yearly average based on sales data compiled from 2007-2017 in which more recent years were weighed more heavily. For each state, we added the total pounds of the three most purchased candies. To determine how much candy was consumed in each city, we took the share of the state population that lives in a given city and multiplied that percentage by the state’s candy consumption. Population data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

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