Back to School

NRF has been conducting its annual Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys since 2003 with Prosper Insights & Analytics to see how American families will shop for clothing, supplies and other items for the next school year.

Back to school stats

  • Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend $848.90, $59 more than last year, on average on back-to-school items. Total back-to-school spending is expect to reach $37.1B up from $33.9B last year and an all-time high in the survey's history.
  • College students and their families are also setting records in spending. Total spending on back-to-college is expected to reach $71B up from $67.7B in 2020.
2021 Brings Back-to-Class Shopping to Record Levels

Consumers plan to spend record amounts for both school and college supplies as students return to in-person classrooms.

back to school
Back to school 2020
A summer snapshot of back-to-school trends
NRF research looks at how consumers are preparing to hit the books.
Back-to-school spending stats
back to school
3 things to know about the back-to-school season

NRF’s Katherine Cullen joins the Retail Gets Real podcast to share what stands out most as kids and their parents shop for back to class.

close up shot of school supplies
Back-to-Class Data Center

Want to know more about one of retail’s biggest events of the year? Check out NRF’s back-to-class data center for trends and spending patterns over time.


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