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Valentine’s Day Spending Statistics, Trends, and Fun Facts (US & UK)

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Lea Kuscer
3 March, 2020 Updated 28 days ago
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Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year for every couple. Most of them celebrate it in their own unique way, but the most common practice is to buy each other gifts during this time. The shoppers in the United States spend more than $27 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts, while the United Kingdom Valentine’s Day spend amounts to more than £1 billion for the gifts they give to their loved ones.

Most buyers opt for flowers, cards, dinners, or going to the movies, but some like to splash out on traveling, wellness treatments, or expensive jewelry or watches.

Whatever their choice of a gift might be, let’s see who spends the most, what they’re buying, where they are getting the gifts, and what are their favorite means of purchasing.

Who Spends the Most on Valentine’s Day?

Romantic food.
Young people are usually the ones who spend the most money during Valentine’s Day.

People all around the world spend at least a part of their budget on Valentine’s Day. While there are countries worth mentioning, we’ll focus on two of the leading economies of the world: The US and the UK. Although you might guess that men spend more than women, here are the exact stats of who spends the most on this day in these two countries.

  • In the US, men spend an average of $339 for their Valentine’s gifts, while the women will cash out significantly less, an average of $64 for the same gifts, according to Bankrate.
  • Younger millennials spend the most, with 15% of them spending an average of $500 or more on their partners for Valentine’s day, according to the same study.
  • Gen X spends around $268, while the baby boomers generation spends only about $150 for their Valentine, according to the same study.
  • In the UK, men tend to spend around £44 on average, compared to £26 for women, according to Finder’s statistics.
  • Millennials are the highest-spending population in the UK as well, with most of them spending around £42 for their Valentine.
  • Gen X spends £38, the baby boomers generation around £30 and Gen Z spend amounts to £27, according to the same study.

What the Buyers Spend on During Valentine’s Day?

As we already mentioned, Valentine’s day gifts range from the traditional ones, such as flowers or bouquets, to lavish jewelry and travel arrangements. Here are some of the statistics about these gifts.

  • 28% of American adults purchased fresh flowers or plants as Valentine’s gifts, with red roses accounting for 69% of the total purchase, according to the Society of American Florists.
  • In the US, people spend $1.8 billion on candy, $3.5 billion on an evening out, $2.1 billion on clothing for this holiday, according to the National Retail Federation.
  • Americans also spend around $3.9 billion on jewelry for Valentine’s Day, while gifts of experience are “wanted by 40 percent and planned to be given by 25 percent,” according to the same study.
  • In the UK, people spend the most on gifts of food and drink, which amounted to £128 million in 2017, according to FashionUnited.
  • £112 million on jewelry, £102 million on flowers, and clothing and footwear (80 million pounds) top the list of the top four most purchased Valentine’s Day gifts with food and drink (128 million pounds) in 2017, according to the same source.

Who Are People Buying the Gifts for?

Glowing hearts.
Partners and spouses are the favorite targets for gifts during Valentine’s Day.

This isn’t a trick question. You probably think that the obvious answer is their partner or their spouse. However, we have seen an increase in buying Valentine’s Day gifts for other members of the family, such as our parents or our children but also our pets.

  • In the US, people allocate 52% of Valentine’s spending to their partner or spouse for an average of $101.21, according to the Street article.
  • Americans also spend around 7% of their Valentine’s budget on co-workers, while 6% goes for their pets.
  • A quarter of Americans will also buy gifts for more than one romantic partner, according to Finder’s statistics.
  • In the US, people mostly spend on a gift for a girlfriend ($126.31), a wife ($122.43), a husband ($56.09), and a boyfriend ($50.65) but also on other family members ($41.35), a friend ($28.62), and a pet dog ($17.37), according to the same source.
  • In the UK, 48% of people “typically buy Valentine’s gifts for their partner, spouse, or even the certain someone they’ve got their eyes on,” according to Norma & Dorothy.
  • Women in the UK are also more likely to buy gifts for their children (8%) compared to men (2%), according to Yahoo.

Where Are the Buyers Getting the Gifts?

Valentine's Day message.
Online sales have reported significant increases in recent years.

In this fast day and age of the internet, most ou our shopping habits shift online. Or are they? Let’s find out where are the buyers getting their Valentine’s Day gifts.

  • In the US, more than 35% of people go to the department stores to do Valentine’s Day shopping, while 32% of them shop online, according to the National Retail Federation.
  • In the UK, over 25% of people use their phones to buy gifts, while 17.8% of them use their phones to make a dinner reservation or book a hotel (17.2%), according to Media IQ.

What Are Buyers’ Favorite Means of Purchasing?

Even though department stores still lead Valentine’s Day shopping game, means of purchasing have changed. Let’s see the preferred way to pay for gifts in recent years. 

  • Americans’ preferred way of shopping for the occasion were credit cards (49%), while the use of cash amounted to 44% in 2016, according to Payment Source.
  • Also, over 50% of smartphone owners in the US used them to purchase their gifts, according to the Balance.
  • In the UK, 63% of people used contactless pay in 2017, according to the Guardian, while 24% of those who shop online tend to use mobile payments in 2018, according to Merchant Savvy.

Fun Facts About Valentine’s Day

Now that you know most of the essential information about Valentine’s Day spending in the US and the UK, here are some interesting facts about this Christian holiday.

  • This holiday originated from the pagan ancient Roman festivities called “Lupercalia”
  • Around 6 million couples will get engaged every Valentine’s Day, according to Fortunly.
  • The first heart-shaped box of chocolates was made in 1861, according to the same source.
  • During this time of the year, singles “feel pressure to be romantic (51%), be in a relationship (43%), go on a date (42%),” according to Plenty of Fish’s 2019 study.
  • 7 countries in the world banned the celebration of Valentine’s Day; those are Malaysia, Indonesia, Iran, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Russia because it’s a Christian holiday, according to Wedded Wonderland.
  • The first time people associated Valentine’s Day with love was after Chaucer’s “Parlement of Foules,” or “Parliament of Fowls,” a 14th-century poem that says how this exact day is a special day for lovers. Although he thought of another Saint Valentine, whose day is celebrated on May 2, we celebrate it on February 14.

Conclusion

Valentine’s Day spending rises every year, along with economic growth in every world country. Most people still prefer simple old-school gifts, but the trends are changing, and now we see more people buying lavish gifts for their loved ones during this time.

Whether your Valentine’s Day gift choice is one red rose or a 7-day trip to Hawaii, we’re sure it was from the heart and that your loved one knows you love them no matter the gifts you give them.

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Lea Kuscer
Lea Kuscer is a marketing maniac enthusiastic about testing new products and gadgets. Her new mission is to share her passion with those who want to know which product is the best on the market.
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