Data in everyday life: For the love of candy and costumes

Derek BensonAs Americans, we love a good scare. We love dressing our children up as their favorite super heroes, villains, and princesses and parading them around the neighborhood during trick-or-treat. We’ve developed quite a figurative sweet-tooth for everything that has to do with Halloween. The corn mazes, haunted houses, elaborate decorations and undeniable joy we get from torturing our dogs and cats with their own costumes add to the magic of 21st century Halloween celebrations… but at what cost?

Recently, Halloween has cracked into the top five most expensive American holidays, with 2016 spending at a record $8.4 billion. For comparison’s sake, that’s more than the gross domestic product of European countries Montenegro, Monaco, and Lichtenstein. That’s also enough money for round trip fares to the moon – 10 times! For the sports fans – you could buy the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Cubs and still have $6 billion to spare!

Digging a little deeper into the biggest contributors to 2016 spending, roughly $2.5 billion was spent on costumes ($350 million of which went to embarrassing our furry friends), $2.1 billion went to Halloween candy, and $1.9 billion went to seasonal decorations.

With the 2017 season in full swing, PQ Systems has enlisted the help of SQCpack and control charts to estimate this year’s spending. The first chart depicts the gross annual spending (in billions) and the second depicts the average spending per celebrating goblin.Both charts, as expected, reflect a steady increase in spending year over year. If the trend continues, the average Charlie Brown will spend more than $85 celebrating this year. That’s up by a significant $25 from just 10 years ago. Our nation is likely on pace for another record-breaking gross spending.

So, PQ Community… What are your plans for Halloween? Me? I’m back to work preparing to defend my second place showing in the 2016 PQ Systems costume contest.