Halloween by the Numbers 2019

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 Numbers 2019

The National Retail Federation (NRF) does a yearly survey to measure consumers’ Halloween shopping behavior. They suggest that over 172 million Americans participate in the holiday and contribute to a $8.8 billion dollar industry. This unique holiday inspires some neat and quick statistics that we will explore again this year.                                       Halloween by Numbers 2019

More from the NRF:
  • Average spending is expected to be $86.27, down just slightly from last year’s record $86.79
  • 69 percent plan to hand out candy
  • 49 percent plan to decorate their home or yard
  • 44 percent will carve a pumpkin                                            Halloween by Numbers 2019
  • 32 percent will throw or attend a party
  • 29 percent will take their children trick-or-treating
  • 22 percent will visit a haunted house
  • 17 percent will dress their pets in a costume (7.2% as a hotdog)
  • There’s no word on the number of adults who plan to dress up as a clown this year, but we can expect 1.4 million zombies.

[bctt tweet=”@DrJasonBrinkley looks at the #data concerning common #Halloween traditions in the United States. #Halloween2019 #HalloweenSafety ” username=”@JPHMPDirect”]

Trick or Treat:
  • Most who trick-or-treat will do so between 6-8 pm            Halloween by Numbers 2019
  • 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
  • Be careful of some popular Michigan apples recalled for Listeria risk
  • Parents are also urged to check their children’s candy for drug-laced edibles this year
  • Nightmares are being reported over a trendy Halloween dish called feetloaf

Don’t forget to check out Safekids.org for great tips to keep kids (and adults) safe, including staying on sidewalks, looking both ways before crossing the street, putting the electronics down, and staying away from adults dressed as zombies. Oh, and this year, Fortnite’s new island has already changed, just in time for Halloween.                                                        Halloween by Numbers 2019

Don’t know what to wear? Consult the frightgeist tool by Google to know the latest costume trends. This year, clowns rule with Pennywise IT costumes taking the top spot and generic clowns coming in at number 6.                                                                Halloween by Numbers 2019

Yeah, we knew it was too good to be true that clowns would be staying home this time. 

Halloween by Numbers 2019

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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