Friday, October 30, 2015

Scary stats for Halloween 2015


There were an estimated 41.2 million potential trick-or-treaters (children age 5-14*) in the United States in 2014, unchanged from 2013.

But Halloween is clearly not just a children's holiday. 157 million Americans of all ages will be celebrating Halloween this year, with total spending reaching nearly $7 billion.

The average American adult will spend $74 on decorations, costumes and candy, down a bit from $78 last year, and well below the peak of $80 per person in 2012.

For those who will dress up to celebrate the holiday:
The most popular children's costume: Princess.
The most popular adult costume: Witch.
Should we read anything into that dichotomy?

The breakout costume star of 2015 is... "Star Wars character," which didn't crack the top 10 last year, but ranks 5th this year.

Sources: National Retail Federation and U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features
*Note: Of course, many other children - older than 14, and younger than 5 - also go trick-or-treating.


America's candy consumption in 2010 was nearly 25 pounds per person. If this candy were entirely Snickers bars, it would be the equivalent of nearly 4 candy bars, per week, per person. The volume of candy consumed, much like home prices, peaked in the middle of the decade, dipped at the start of the recession in 2008, and increased slowly each year since then. Another scary fact is that 2010 is the last year for which we'll have this data. Budget cuts led to the termination of the Current Industrial Reporting program.

American confectionery manufacturers produce about 35 million pounds of candy corn each year. That adds up to 9 billion candy corns - or about 30 kernels per person in the U.S.

For Halloween itself, Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy, spending nearly $2.6 billion for treats to hand out to trick-or-treaters.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Industrial Reports, Confectionery: 2010National Confectioners AssociationDaily Infographic 2011 and 2012


According to Redfin (and contrary to what one might guess) homes near cemeteries sell for more, per square foot, than homes not near cemeteries.
"Redfin analyzed the price of homes less than 50 feet from a cemetery, and compared those to the price of homes less than 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 yards away. The numbers indicate that on average, homes near cemeteries are slightly smaller, but sell for more per square foot. On average, homes closest to cemeteries sold for $162 dollars per square foot, whereas the homes located more than 500 yards away sold for $145 per square foot."
But these homes were on the market for longer than their non-cemetery peers...


U.S. pumpkin production totaled 1.3 billion pounds in 2014, with a value of $145 million. In that year 50,900 acres of farmland were harvested for pumpkins. Those figures are likely to drop in 2015 as bad weather resulted in pumpkin crop losses.

Six states are pumpkin hotspots: Illinois, California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan each accounted for more than 100 million pounds of pumpkins grown in 2010.

Canadian farmers grew more than 64,700 tonnes of pumpkins, valued at $23.2 million.

Sources: USDA National Agricultural Statistics and Statistics Canada Hallowe’en... by the numbers

Monday, June 1, 2015

2015 hurricane season demography

The 2015 north Atlantic hurricane season has begun...

First - some new tools:
The Bureau of Labor statistics now has an online hurricane mapper tool that provides wage,employment, and establishment data for potential flood zones.
Info at:

Second - the demographics:
More than 83 million people in the U.S. live in states, from Texas to North Carolina, that are at high risk for hurricanes, according to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Within those states, nearly 37 million people live in coastal communities at high risk of hurricanes, an area covering 179,000 square miles.

Hurricanes occasionally strike farther north, but despite hurricane Sandy's damage in 2012, such events are considerably less common than hurricanes in the southern states. Yet that does not make the damage any less catastropic. Early estimates place the damage from Hurricane Sandy at about 400,000 housing units damaged or destroyed, the majority of which were in New York (more than 300,000), New Jersey (approximately 70,000), and Connecticut (approximately 3,000).

While Sandy was more recent, and turned the lights off for more people, hurricane Katrina left more fatalities and damaged homes in her wake.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that in the summer of 2005 hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma damaged "more than one million housing units across five states." Of the damaged homes 515,000 were in Louisiana, 220,000 in Mississippi, and nearly 140,000 in Texas.

A full five years later, nearly 15 percent of the properties still had substantial visible repair needs, and 11 percent no longer contained a permanent residential structure. In other words, more than one quarter of the homes damaged in the 2005 hurricane season were either completely lost or were still in need of repair five years later.