Halloween by the Numbers

by Jason S. Brinkley, PhD, MA, MS

On the Brink addresses topics related to data, analytics, and visualizations on personal health and public health research. This column explores current practices in the health arena and how both the data and mathematical sciences have an impact. (The opinions and views represented here are the author’s own and do not reflect any group for which the author has an association.)

Halloween by the Numbers

The National Retail Federation (NRF) does a yearly survey to measure consumers’ Halloween shopping behavior. They suggest that over 175 million Americans participate in the holiday and contribute to a $9 billion dollar industry. This unique holiday inspires some neat and quick statistics that we will explore for this month’s On the Brink.

More from the NRF:
  • Average spending is expected to be $87 per household
  • 45% of participants will carve a pumpkin
  • 18% of participants will dress a pet in a costume
  • 6% of adults who plan to dress up will dress as a clown
Trick or Treat:
  • Most who trick-or-treat will do so between 6-8 pm
  • A regular walking pace for children would likely be no more than 2-3 miles per hour. Let’s assume a round trip means about 2.5 miles of trick-or-treating around one location with starts and stops. Assuming about 15 blocks per mile and 4 houses per block means older children may hit 150 houses in a dense neighborhood. Although if houses are larger, then there could be 10 blocks per mile, or smaller and there could be up to 6 houses in a block.  So let’s say the range of houses in 2.5 miles of neighborhood could be 90 houses to about 200.
  • Approximately 5 children die per year due to child pedestrian accidents on Halloween
  • American Heart Association recommends kids eat at most 25 grams of sugar per day
  • 13% of children have cavities that have gone untreated
  • Adults burn 65 to 100 calories per 1 mile walked

So, have fun and walk the neighborhood!  Looks like you can eat two Snickers fun size bars when you are done for your efforts. Safekids.org has some great tips to keep kids (and adults) safe they include staying on sidewalks, look both ways before crossing the street, put the electronics down, and stay away from adults dressed as clowns.  That last one might just be a personal rule from a Stephen King fan.

Don’t know what to wear?  Consult the frightgeist tool by Google to know the latest costume trends! Chances are high that you will see some Fortnite gear. Now is your chance to Google “What is Fortnite?” so you can be in the know!

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@DrJasonBrinkley looks at the #data concerning common #Halloween traditions in the United States. #Halloween2018 #HalloweenSafety https://wp.me/p7l72S-3p3

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Curious about how much candy we consume at Halloween or the number of cavities we may develop as a result? Check out Dr. Jason Brinkley’s new post where he breaks down Halloween by the numbers. https://wp.me/p7l72S-3p3

Jason Brinkley bio

Jason S. Brinkley, PhD, MA, MS (Photo: American Institutes for Research)

Jason S. Brinkley, PhD, MS, MA is a Senior Researcher and Biostatistician at Abt Associates Inc. where he works on a wide variety of data for health services, policy, and disparities research. He maintains a research affiliation with the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute and serves on the executive committee for the NC Chapter of the American Statistical Association and the Southeast SAS Users Group. Follow him on Twitter. [Full Bio]

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