Decorating for Halloween: The 2017 Celebration Census

Halloween, of course, is known for costumes, candy and kids – and the great outpouring of community that comes with it all. Sometimes it is easy to forget that America also celebrates this holiday by decorating. It might be a haunted house or an office party. Often, it is a household Halloween display that becomes something of a neighborhood celebration.

When people celebrate for Halloween, they decorate. But, what more do we know about how people decorate for this fun, community holiday? When it comes to scientific answers, the data is often sparse and widespread.

Who Has the Spirit this Halloween?

If it is reduced down to a simple yes-or-no question regarding decorating for Halloween, the results are clear: 70% of Americans are sticks-in-the-mud. Only 30% say they will be decorating either their home or office. Boo to that!

When given a more diverse range of options, their feelings toward decorating for Halloween is much more nuanced.

34.6% don’t decorate at all
20.8% have a few decorations they sometimes put up
20.4% decorate every Halloween with a few items
8.3% put a lot of decorations up
12.1% decorated in the past but not in a long time
3.8% really go over the top with decorating

12.1% of those surveyed have the ideal Halloween spirit — they put a lot of decorations up, or they really overdo it!

You’ll Always Be A Kid on Halloween: People between the ages of 35 and 44 were the most enthusiastic about decorating – 39.2% of respondents said they did!

The Current State of Decorating

Where do the people who love to decorate live? No real surprise here – decorators tend to be proportionate to the population centers here in the United States. California, Florida and Pennsylvania are gold through bronze, with New York and Texas rounding out the Top Five.

Women Win Again!

When we look at the respondents who tell us they are enthusiastic about decorating for Halloween, we learn something else about those with the spooky spirit. Of those who decorate every Halloween, have lots of decorations and are seeking more, or who like to turn their home into a theme park (32.5% of total respondents) WOMEN are much more likely to do so than men.

Where Does the Dollar Go?

When it comes to money spent on Halloween, decorations are low on the list of expenditures – costumes and candy are far-and-away our respondents’ biggest purchase, approaching 60%. Decorations placed inside or out of the home (both physical and digital) lag behind even party supplies (6.8%) and attractions (4.0%) as expenditures. All told, only 6.9% of the respondents spend the bulk of their money on physical or digital decorations.

  • 36.3% Candy
  • 23.2% Costumes
  • 6.8% Party Supplies
  • 5.2% Physical Decorations (like wall hangings, yard decorations)
  • 4.0% Attractions or Events
  • 1.7% Non-Physical Decorations (like music soundtracks, AtmosFX Digital Decorations)
  • 1.2% Lights
  • 21.6% None of the Above

Good News! If you want to make your mark in your neighborhood with a supremely cool Halloween display, you’ll be joining only 6.9% of the populace! But do it now! Because once they see your work, they’ll bound to be more!

Dollars and Decorations
When we look at how much people spend on decorations, the numbers seem to square with earlier data – that is, people don’t a lot of money on decorations comparative to other expenditures. They tend to use items year-after-year, which does cut down on costs. Eighty-two percent of respondents spend less than $50 each year, with nearly 60% keeping in under a $20.

How much do you typically spend on Halloween decorations each year? Here’s what we found at AtmosFX:

  • 59.4% $0-$20
  • 23.4% $21-$50
  • 9.8% $51-$100
  • 3.8% $101-$250
  • 1.2% $251-$500
  • 0.5% $501-$1,000
  • 0.4% $1,001-$5,000
  • 1.5% More than $5,000

When People Go Big, They Go Big! While most people seem to keep a low budget when purchasing decorations, the group that goes all-in really does so! People who say they will spend more than $5,000 a year account for more people than in the $251-$500, $501-$1,000 and the $1,001-$5,000 groups!

About The AtmosFX Celebration Census

The AtmosFX Celebration Census is an ongoing study into people’s spending patterns and behavior that provides insights into celebration and popular culture.

The data in this report was collected exclusively for AtmosFX by an independent survey company in June 2017. The sample size was 1,000 individual responses, via a blind online panel, distributed across gender, age, and location in the United States. Most responses are within a 3.4% confidence interval.

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