St. Patrick’s Day Spending Statistics, Trends, and Fun Facts (US & UK)

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3 March, 2024 • Updated 9 days ago
St. Patrick's Day Spending Statistics, Trends, and Fun Facts (US & UK)

St. Patrick’s Day had its beginning as a religious holiday meant to celebrate St. Patrick who had brought Christianity to Ireland hundreds of years ago.

Throughout the years, St. Patrick’s Day has turned into a commercial celebration promoting Irish heritage and parties throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.

While the holiday is nationally recognized in the United States, it has not become an official holiday in the U.K. though there are many celebrations in both Ireland and England to mark the event.

There was an estimate of £5.9 billion spent on the celebration and events for the St. Patrick’s Day in 2019 in the UK. Since it is becoming a popular shopping holiday, retailers are beginning to count on to boost their bottom line in the Spring months.

In 2020, total spending is expected to reach a record $6.16 billion in the US.

How Does the Population Plan on Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

People celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
There’s a lot of people who celebrates St. Patrick’s Day on the streets.
  • In 2018, 77% of young adults in the U.S. celebrated the holiday, according to Impact Plus.
  • In 2020, due to the pandemic, that number fell to 57%, according to Statista.
  • 68% of people planned to buy something green to wear on the holiday in 2020, according to Retail Assist.
  • 33% of Brits planned to celebrate the holiday in 2020, according to Lincolnshire Today.
  • 49% of U.S. adults said they plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2021, according to NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics’.

What Age Group Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day the Most?

While the younger age categories celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the most, everyone seems to participate in it, whether in an evening out, by hosting a party, or just by buying some decorations or clothing.

  • 72% of Americans aged 18 to 34 years celebrated the holiday in 2019, according to National Retail Federation’s study.
  • 57% of Americans aged 35-54 years celebrated the holiday in 2019, according to the same study.
  • 41% of Americans aged 55 and older celebrated the holiday in 2019, according to the same study.

Where Do St. Patrick’s Day Shoppers Typically Celebrate the Holiday?

Neon lights sign.
Bars and Restaurants are popular destinations during St. Patrick’s Day.

Whether they plan to decorate their office or looking to equip their home to host a private party, consumers will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day festivities at several different places. Since the pandemic affected the way we mark our festivities, many celebration plans have changed. Here’s the breakdown of how people spend the holiday in 2020 and how they plan to spend it in 2021.

  • In 2020, 27% of those celebrating spent the holiday spent it at a bar or a restaurant only 10% of people plan to spend the holiday in a bar or a restaurant, according to NRF’s Annual 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey.
  • 19% of people planned to attend a private party in 2020.
  • In 2021, 13% plan to attend a private party, according to the same study.
  • In 2020, made a special dinner for the holiday.
  • In 2021, 42% of respondents plan to make a special dinner, according to the same study.

What Do Consumers Purchase for St. Patrick’s Day?

Most consumers will spend their St. Patrick’s Day shopping dollars on planning for get-togethers or apparel to wear to either go out or participate in a celebration. Here’s the breakdown of the most popular items that those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day are buying.

  • Americans planned to spend $40.77 on average, for a total $5.1 billion nationwide in 2021, according to NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics’.
  • The average spend went up from $40.18 in 2019, according to Irish Central.
  • 30% of shoppers are buying apparel and accessories, according to Payoneer.
  • Women will spend 60% of their budget on food, while men plan to spend 59% of their St. Patrick’s Day budget on food in 2021, according to NRF.
  • Likewise, men plan to spend 48% of their budget on beverages, while women plan to spend 39% on beverages in 2021, according to the same study.
  • Among those celebrating, men plan to spend 9% of their budgets on gifts and women plan to spend only 6% on gifts in 2021, according to the same study.

Fun Facts About St. Patrick’s Day

Now that we have covered the origins of this shopping holiday as well as some of the shopping statistics that surround it, check out these additional fun facts you may or may not have known about the St. Patrick’s holiday.

  • The first St. Patrick’s Day event was celebrated 17th of March 1792, according to History.
  • Those who celebrate St. Patrick’s, usually spend $38, according to Wallet Hub.
  • The Chicago River will be dyed green for five hours to commemorate the event, according to Choose Chicago.
  • The color green is used to attract online shoppers to St. Patrick’s Day sale items, according to Bologna Business School article.
  • Until the 1970’s, St. Patrick’s Day was considered a religious holiday in Ireland with drinking being prohibited, according to Irish Central article.
  • It is still unclear to historians how shamrock become a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, according to Irish Central article.
  • 40 pounds of dye is used to turn the Chicago river green, according to Statista.
  • The city where the most people with Irish ancestry live is Boston, MA, according to the same study.


With over one-half of all consumers planning on celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and spending almost $6 billion in sales, the March holiday is a lucrative time for online stores.

Younger age categories not only are more likely to celebrate the holiday event but also will spend more on average whether it be on beverages, food or on decorations show their celebratory spirit.

While only about 9% of shoppers plan to shop gifts for the St. Patrick’, this holiday is a chance for internet shops to connect buyers with unique and specialty items since more buyers go to their computer to shop during the holidays.

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