Love is in the air: Valentine’s gifts in America


Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated annually in February — some people love it, while others hate it. To celebrate, lovers both young and old give letters and flowers to their partners and spouses. It’s the only day of the year filled with hearts and Cupids everywhere. This day is widely celebrated in the United States.

According to a survey conducted by eGifter and published at, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. were the most popular American cities for gifting on Valentine’s Day in 2014 — 47 percent of people in these cities gave a gift. San Francisco, Houston and Boston also saw a high rate of Valentine’s Day gifting: 42 percent.


In 2015, more than half of all Americans (54.9 percent) stated that they planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This was a slight increase over the previous year (53.8 percent). The largest percentage of Americans (53.2 percent) preferred to give candies on Valentine’s Day in 2015. About 51.4 percent of respondents planned to give greeting cards, while 37.8 percent planned to give flowers. About 35.1 percent of Americans planned to organize an evening at a restaurant for their loved one, and over 20 percent planned to give jewelry for the occasion. Clothing and gift cards made up 16.3 and 14.8 percent of responses respectively.

Over 35 percent of respondents said that they planned to buy their Valentine’s Day gifts at discount stores. About 36.5 percent of Americans saw department stores as an ideal place to purchase their gifts. Over 25 percent preferred buying gifts online, rather than in brick-and-mortar stores. Around 19.4 and 18.7 percent of respondents planned to buy gifts in specialty stores and florist shops respectively.


According to a survey on the most-anticipated gifts in 2013, 32.3 percent of respondents most wanted a romantic date. Americans were also keen to receive a gift certificate; 24.2 percent of people chose this option. Flowers were the ideal gift for 16.4 percent of people, while around 15.4 percent hoped to receive a watch or jewelry. The least-popular anticipated gift was candy, chosen by only 11.7 percent of respondents.

In 2015, the average customer planned on spending $44.73 on gifts for children or other family members. The average buyer spent $42.46 on Valentine’s Day gifts for family members in 2014. In the same year, the average American planned to spend $85.76 on Valentine’s gifts for their spouse or significant other. This amount grew to $96.63 in 2015. Respondents spent an average of $53.68 on gifts for co-workers in 2014. In 2015, this number decreased to $37.96.

Some people show their pets love by buying them a Valentine’s Day gift. In 2015, American pet owners planned to spend $24.96 on gifts for their pets. This was a slight decrease from the previous year ($28.36).


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About Pavel Prikhodko


Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Pavel has worked for many years as a researcher and developer on a wide range of applications (varying from mechanics and manufacturing to social data, finance and advertising), building predictive systems and trying to find stories that data can tell.

In his free time, he enjoys being with his family.

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