It’s Valentine’s Day, the ultimate day to celebrate love. Or at least gorge on chocolate from sunup to sundown.
Normally, Valentine’s Day proves to be a widespread and pricey holiday, CNN reported. On average, people spend $130.97 to celebrate, giving out close to 224 million roses grown for the holiday in the process.
Back in 2013, people spent a combined $18.6 billion on Valentine’s Day, with $4.4 billion of that money going toward diamonds and jewelry, according to CNN.
This year, it's a little different. Spending will drop to $18.2 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, with the average spending per person hovering around $136. That’s a drop from last year’s record high of $146.
But Valentine’s Day is about more than costs and spending. We’ve collected some of the latest data about the February holiday — and love itself — to give you a picture of what people will be doing on Feb. 14 this year.
Experiences matter most
According to the National Retail Federation, young lovers in 2017 would like an experience on the holiday more than just fancy gifts and surprises. In fact, 45.1 percent of people 18 to 24 want to go to a concert, visit a dance class or take a hike. Those activities are also popular among 25- to 34-year-olds, with 40 percent wanting an experience.
Sometimes, the best experience can be at home with a meal. The NRF reports that this year people have opted to stay inside for the holiday, cooking a gourmet meal with the help of services such as Blue Apron instead of finding a last-minute reservation.
People mostly get married for love
Close to 88 percent of Americans marry for love, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey. Eighty-one percent marry to make a lifelong commitment, and 76 percent seek companionship with another person.
Reasons people gave for marrying include having children, having a relationship recognized by a religion, obtaining financial stability and getting legal rights and benefits.
Source: Pew Research Center
People tweet a lot about love
Twitter put together a report on what Americans are tweeting about when it comes to love. The tweet that earned the most hearts in 2017 — known as a “like” on Twitter — came from President Barack Obama.
Hashtags are also popular for sharing love. Twitter shared the most common love-related hashtags, including ones related to Justin Bieber songs (“Love Yourself”) and Valentine’s Day:
Twitter also showed the most shared love emojis:
Cookies are a Valentine's Day favorite
Americans don’t shy away from cooking on Valentine’s Day. But what exactly do they bake?
Recent Google Trends data found that sugary sweets like cookies, cupcakes and cake are the most-searched recipes across the country. Instructions on how to cook pizza and cheesecake also crack the top five.
First dates are common (and accepted) on Valentine's Day
A survey from dating app Coffee Meets Bagel found that close to 40 percent of singles feel it’s fine to have a first date on Valentine’s Day, according to the Deseret News.
The survey, which surveyed 830 app users, found it’s also considered appropriate to ask someone out for Valentine’s Day within 24 hours of meeting, according to the Deseret News.
About 1 in 3 singles said it’s best to take a cooking class or enjoy an experience for the first date.
The most expensive city for Valentine’s Day is
A new Valentine’s Day Price Index found Los Angeles is the most expensive city for the holiday. A dozen roses can cost close to $50.83, a day at the spa goes for around $141.11 and a movie date costs about $40.32.
Venice, Italy, is right behind Los Angeles. There, roses sell for close to $46 but a day at the spa costs only a bit more than half what it does in L.A., just $74.46.
The cheapest city for Valentine’s Day is
That same index found Prague, Czech Republic, is the cheapest city worldwide for Valentine’s Day. A dozen roses cost $25.99 and a movie night is $21.14.
Different states prefer different rom-coms
Maybe you and your spouse plan to settle down for a Netflix rom-com on Valentine’s Day. But your choice in film will be different from what your friends pick in Colorado or Idaho.
As the Deseret News reported, most states prefer different romantic comedies. Utah’s favorite rom-com is “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” whereas Colorado prefers “Prime” and Idaho favors “10 Things I Hate About you.”
View the entire map below.
Valentine’s Day engagements are OK for young people
Millennials prefer tradition when it comes to Valentine’s Day, according to a new survey from the online diamond retailer James Allen. The survey found that 41 percent of those 25 to 34 years old prefer a Valentine’s Day proposal.
As Forbes reported, this isn’t the case for older Americans. Just about 25 percent of those 35 to 44 see Valentine's Day as a great time to get engaged. The numbers only decrease from there with older respondents.
Millennials like to share their engagements on social media
The James Allen survey found that 95 percent of millennials like to post their engagements on Facebook. Social media users also prefer to orchestrate their engagement by setting up the video to look just right, Forbes reported.
“One interpretation is that social media is making younger generations more, not less, conventional when it comes to engagements, inclined to propose with all of the right set pieces in place (flowers, bended knee, diamond ring, etc.),” Forbes reported.