For optimal user experience, please upgrade your browser.
Halloween costumes

Halloween Headquarters

Floating Widget

Floating Share Widget

NRF has been conducting its annual Halloween survey since 2003 to see how Americans will celebrate the fright and delight of this beloved autumn holiday.

2016: Halloween spending to reach $8.4 billion 

More than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, spending an average $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34. Total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the history of NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights. The survey finds that 7 in 10 consumers plan to hand out candy, and nearly half will decorate their home or dress in costume. See more survey highlights.

Top Halloween costumes: Superheroes dethrone princesses

More children than ever before will be celebrating Halloween dressed as their favorite superhero this year, as princess costumes fall to the No. 2 spot after an 11-year reign, according to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights. Spending on Halloween costumes is expected to reach $3.1 billion, with two-thirds of those celebrating the holiday planning to purchase costumes. See the list of top costumes.

The evolution of Halloween: 3 trends to watch

Unlike more traditional holidays, Halloween is less rooted and more flexible. Everything from who celebrates and how they celebrate to what they wear while celebrating is up for interpretation each year, keeping retailers on their toes. NRF’s research team recently looked at data from their annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights to identify three shifts in consumer behavior that retailers will want to keep an eye on. Check out the trends.

Celebration Plans

How Americans plan to celebrate Halloween
NRF Halloween Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics
NRF Halloween Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

Spending Plans

Consumer spending trends for Halloween
NRF Halloween Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

Shopping Plans

When Americans plan to shop and what they plan to buy for Halloween
NRF Halloween Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics
NRF Halloween Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics
Historical Highlights and Related Releases


More than 157 million Americans planned to celebrate Halloween, with eight in 10 millennials saying they were planning something fun with their friends. Total spending in 2015 was expected to top $6.9 billion, with the average American celebrating planning to spend $74 on decorations, candy, costumes and more. NRF’s 2015 Top Costumes Survey found that most pet owners surveyed planned to choose a pumpkin for their furry friend’s costume and more than 4 million adults planned to dress as a witch.

Press Releases:



More than two-thirds (67%) of Halloween celebrants in 2014 planned to buy costumes for the holiday, the most in the survey’s 11-year history. Consumers planned to spend an average of $77 on candy, decorations, costumes and other holiday merchandise, with total spending expected to have reached $7.4 billion. Additionally, Americans said they would spend more than $350 million on costumes for their furry friends.

Press Releases:



NRF’s Halloween spending survey found nearly 158 million consumers planned to celebrate in 2013, down slightly from the survey-high found in 2012. Spending dropped slightly to an average of $75 as people weighed the impact of the economy on their discretionary budgets. Popular adult costumes included Batman characters, witches and zombies, and children stuck with their beloved Disney princess and Spiderman costumes. The survey also found that one-third of those celebrating Halloween said they would begin shopping before September 30.

Press releases:



More than 170 million people planned to trick-or-treat, check out a haunted house, host a party, decorate their yard and dress in costume in 2012, the highest amount in the survey’s 10-year history. Spending on adult, children and pet costumes reached another survey high at $2.9 billion, with pet owners specifically planning to shell out $370 million on miniature pumpkins, sharks and more for their four-legged friends. Fifty-one percent (another survey high) of those celebrating said they would decorate their home, office or yard with spooky accessories and decorations.

Press Releases:



For the first time in the survey’s nine-year history, spending on candy topped $2 billion, and average spending per person on all Halloween items jumped from $66 to $72. Consumers had big plans for the holiday in 2011: More people than ever said they would throw or attend a party, dress themselves and their pets in costumes, and visit a haunted house. And seven in 10 Americans planned to buy decorations for their frightfully fun holiday festivities.

Press Releases:


Results of the Halloween spending survey are released each year in late September.

NRF SmartBrief
Business professional reading email on tablet

Thousands of retailers and industry partners read NRF SmartBrief, a daily email with the latest industry news. View a sample issue and sign up to receive NRF's SmartBrief newsletters.

Retail's Digital Summit

Join more than 5,000 digital retail professionals as they discover new ideas, get actionable takeaways and build strong relationships with the brightest and most innovative players in the digital retail world at Retail's Digital Summit, to be held September 26 - 28 in Dallas.

Consumer Trends
NRF’s research team analyzes annual survey data to identify this year’s trends.