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Happy Valentine’s Day baby boomers

Facts and figures for Valentine’s Day 2014

Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine, but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day.

Candy in BowlEsther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s.

Valentine’s Day spending

For Valentine’s Day this year, consumers will be spending cautiously.

Fifty-four percent of Americans will celebrate with their loved ones this year, compared to 60 percent in 2013, according to a National Retail Federation survey. The average person plans to spend $134 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner, and more, up slightly from $131 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion.

Nearly half of consumers celebrating Valentine’s Day will buy candy, a third will give flowers, and more than half will send greeting cards.

Nineteen percent will treat their significant other to something sparkly – jewelry spending will total $3.9 billion, and 37 percent will celebrate with an evening out, spending an estimated total of $3.5 billion.

Others will give more practical gifts such as clothing, 16 percent, or gift cards, 14 percent.

Men will spend $108 on gifts for their significant others – twice as much as women who will spend $49.

Consumers also will show their appreciation for others: family members, 59 percent; friends, 22 percent; teachers, 20 percent; and co-workers, 12 percent.

For pets, 19 percent of consumers celebrating Valentine’s Day will buy gifts for their pets, spending an average of $6.

The survey also found that 26 percent plan to shop online this Valentine’s Day, the same number as last year, while 24 percent will research products or compare prices on their smartphones and 32.2 percent will do research using their tablets.

Valentine’s Day facts and figures

The U.S. Census Bureau offers this information:


29 and 26.6 years

Median age at first marriage in 2013 for men and women.


The overall percentage of people 15 and older who reported being married.


Percentage of people 15 and older in 2013 who had been married at some point in their lives.


The rate of marriages per 1,000 people performed in Nevada during 2011. The Silver State ranks number one nationally in marriage rates. Hawaii ranks second with 17.6.

2.1 million

The number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2011. That’s nearly 5,800 a day.


The percentage of women who married for the first time between 1990 and 1994, who marked their 10th anniversary. This compares with 83 percent of women who married for the first time between 1960 and 1964.


As of 2009, the percentage of currently married women who had been married for at least 50 years. A little more than half of currently married women had been married for at least 15 years.

Second marriages


Among people 15 and older who have been married, the percentage of men and women, who have been married twice as of 2012. Five percent have married three or more times. By comparison, 75.4 percent of people who have ever been married were married one time.


Length, in years, of first marriages that ended in divorce.


The time in years between divorce and a second marriage.

9% and 7.9%

Among people 15 and older in 2009, the percentage of men and women who had married twice and were still married.

Romantic cities

Some romantic-sounding places to spend Valentine's Day: Darling, Minn., population, 535; Loveland, Ohio, population, 12,198; Love County, Okla., population, 9,558; Valentine, Neb., population, 2,760; Loving, N.M., population, 1,760.


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