What is Halloween? Where Does it Come From? Patch Has the Facts

What is Halloween? How many trick or treaters will be out on Halloween? We have some answers.

The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts and vampires. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, Halloween is celebrated many different ways, including wearing costumes, children trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, and going to haunted houses and parties.

Here are a few fun facts about the holiday:

Trick or treating:

41 million: The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2010—children age 5 to 14—across the United States. Of course, many other children—older than 14 and younger than 5—also go trick-or-treating.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

116.7 million: Number of occupied housing units across the nation in 2010—all potential stops for trick-or-treaters. 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

92 percent: Percentage of households with residents who consider their neighborhood safe. In addition, 78 percent said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Extended Measures of Well-Being: Living Conditions in the United States, 2005, Table 4

Pumpkins and pies

1.1 billion pounds: Pumpkin production by major pumpkin-producing states in 2010. Illinois produced an estimated 427 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. California, New York and Ohio were also major pumpkin-producing states, each with an estimate of more than 100 million pounds. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:

-Transylvania County, N.C. (population 33,090) 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

-Tombstone, Ariz. (population 1,380)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

-Pumpkin Center, N.C. (population 2,222); and Pumpkin Bend, Ark. (population 276) 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

-Skull Creek, Neb. (population 271)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

 -Cape Fear in New Hanover County, N.C. (population 18,388); and Cape Fear in Chatham County, N.C. (population 1,323)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

Candy and Costumes

1,177: Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2009, employing 34,252 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 135, followed by Pennsylvania, with 111. 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2009, NAICS codes (31132 & 31133)

409: Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured non-chocolate confectionery products in 2009. These establishments employed 16,974 people. California led the nation in this category, with 45 establishments. 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns: 2009, NAICS code (31134)

24.7 pounds: Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010. 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Industrial Reports, Confectionery: 2010, Table 1

1,719: Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation in 2009. 
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 County Business PatternsNAICS code (53222)


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