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Halloween statistics 2020

62% of Canadians won’t celebrate, while 9 out of 10 say no to trick or treating.

Halloween is fast approaching and Canadians are wondering whether the kid-centric holiday will be totally cancelled this year. These concerns make perfect sense in the middle of a pandemic. The last thing most people want right now are dozens of school-age children knocking on their doors.

An eerily quiet Halloween

There is no question that Halloween 2020 will be like no other. Thousands of communities across Canada will cancel or limit trick or treating, and bars won’t be crowded with the usual costumed partygoers. This year, the most die-hard fans of the spooky holiday can hope for is to indulge in bite-sized candy at home, dress their small children in their favourite costumes for school, or stay in and carve a pumpkin or stream scary movies.

When we recently asked Canadians how they planned on spending Halloween this year, most (62%) had no plans at all. What will be most different this year is the lack of little superheroes, dinosaurs and fairy princesses lining up at neighbours homes for candy. Less than 1 in 10 Canadians (9%) plan to participate in the tradition of trick or treating this year.

With much of Canada in its “second wave” of COVID-19 infections, it’s no surprise that Halloween parties are cancelled. In fact, just 1 in 20 Canadians (5%) say they will be hosting or attending a party.

Some parents may still be planning to let their children dress up at home or for school, with 8% planning to dress in a costume. Another 9% of Canadians will be doing festive activities like carving pumpkins. The most popular activities are also the safest, with 12% of Canadians planning to watch scary films or decorate their homes.

But before we get into the more detailed demographic factors influencing Halloween 2020, let’s look at how many Canadians would typically celebrate in a normal year.

How much does the average Canadian typically spend to celebrate Halloween?

In a survey done pre-pandemic (February 2020), Finder found that 54% of Canadian adults, or more than 16.2 million people, planned to spend money to celebrate Halloween, with the average amount being $86. That adds up to nearly $1.4 billion that Canadians intended to spend on the spooky holiday.

No doubt millions will be saved this year, considering how few Canadians plan to participate in activities like parties and trick or treating.

Young Canadians are the biggest fans of all things Halloween

In Canada, younger adults are far more likely to celebrate Halloween in a typical year and this holds true for this year’s pandemic Halloween.

Canada’s youngest adults aged 18-24 are most likely to do something to recognize Halloween (46%). They are also twice as likely to attend a party as compared to other age groups, with 1 in 10 saying they would go to a party for Halloween. They are also the most likely to stream scary movies (19%).

Those aged 25-34 and 35-44 are just slightly less likely to celebrate Halloween (both 45%). Within this group Those 25-34 are the most likely to have plans to wear a costume (15%), while those aged 35-44, likely the parents of young kids, are most likely to participate in trick or treating (13%).

Older Canadians are more likely to opt out of Halloween entirely this year, with 66% of those aged 45-54 not celebrating in any way. Those aged 55-64 are slightly less likely to celebrate, with 69% not planning on it. The vast majority of Canada’s senior citizens are opting out of all things Halloween this year with 81% doing nothing to celebrate.

Halloween 2020 across Canada

While most Canadians are considering Halloween essentially cancelled this year, there are some regions that are more likely to participate.

BC and Ontario are opting out at the highest rates, with just 35% and 36% respectively celebrating Halloween. 39% of those in the prairie provinces will find a way to celebrate, followed by 42% of Quebecers. Atlantic Canadians are most likely to celebrate, with nearly half (45%) planning to participate in some way.

Trick or treating poses more risk this year, so most will play it safe and enjoy their treats at home. However, in the prairies, you may be more likely to see costumed little ones roaming the streets. At the highest rate in Canada, 13% say they will participate in the tradition there. The prairies are followed closely by the Atlantic provinces, with 11% saying they will trick or treat this year. In BC and Ontario, only 9% plan to trick or treat. Quebecers are least likely to open their doors, with just 6% saying they will participate.

Quebec and the Atlantic provinces are the most likely to party, with 7% of their residents planning on it. This is compared to just 6% of those in the prairies and 4% from BC or Ontario.

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