Valentine’s Day spending statistics 2022
How many UK consumers spend their money on February 14th?
This year’s Valentine’s Day is likely to be one free from a lockdown, unlike last year. As ever, Brits are set to find plenty of ways to indulge their partners, pets and themselves with gifts, dates and much more. So, how much does the day really cost?
- A whopping £1.37 billion could be spent by the UK for Valentine’s Day in 2022 according to our projections
- We found that around 40 million Brits (76%) celebrated Valentine’s Day in 2021.
- This was a significant drop from the 41.4 million who embraced the day of love in 2020.
- The total spend dropped to £926 million (£23 per person) in 2021, down from 2020’s £1.45 billion (£35 per person).
- 24% of Brits did not celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021.
- Over 25 million cards are sent for Valentine’s Day each year.
- The UK spent over £1.4 billion on greeting cards in 2020.
- 25% of Brits planned to treat themselves for Valentine’s Day in 2020.
- Those who planned to spend money on themselves spent an average of £12.50 each, totalling £155 million across the UK.
How much will Brits spend on Valentine’s Day in 2022?
Just over three quarters (76%) of the nation planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021, down from 79% in 2020, and up from 69% in 2018.
We also spent less, with the average spend per person being £23. This is a percentage decrease of 34% from 2020, which saw the average spend per person sit at £35. In 2018, the average spend per person was £28. This indicates the toll of the pandemic on romantic celebrations last year, as Brits spent 17% less on Valentine’s Day than they did three years ago.
Using these figures, we’ve estimated that 2022 will see a projected spend of £1.37 billion. This is based on projections from previous research that we have run in previous years.
|Year||Percent spending||Spend per person||Overall spend|
How did Brits celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021?
It’s no secret that the nation’s romantic options were somewhat limited last year, but for some Brits, not even a pandemic kept them from their other halves. Our findings showed that 30% of couples who lived apart went full Romeo and Juliet, breaking lockdown rules and spending time together indoors, despite not being from the same household.
A quarter (25%) of those not living together also went virtual, as they planned to celebrate via video messaging or on the phone. Just under a fifth (19%) of Brits went on a walk with their partners, while 14% exchanged gifts.
The best way to one’s heart is through the stomach, and this saying may prove true for those who live together, as their number one priority on Valentine’s Day is getting takeaway (27%) or cooking a special meal (26%). This was closely followed by the classic act of binging a TV box set together or enjoying a movie night (21%).
|How Brits plan to spend their Valentine's Day||% of those celebrating Valentine's Day|
|My partner and I do live together and plan to get a takeaway||27%|
|My partner and I do live together and plan to cook a special meal||26%|
|My partner and I do not live together but plan to celebrate via video message or a phone call||25%|
|My partner and I do live together and plan to watch a movie or TV series||21%|
|My partner and I do live together and plan to go for a walk||19%|
|My partner and I do not live together but plan to spend time together inside||30%|
|My partner and I do live together and plan to exchange gifts||18%|
|My partner and I do live together and plan to celebrate in another way||16%|
|My partner and I do not live together but plan to go for a walk||19%|
|My partner and I do not live together but plan to exchange gifts||14%|
|My partner and I do live together and plan to play a board game||5%|
|My partner and I do not live together but plan to celebrate another way||7%|
Average Valentine’s Day spend by gender
Of those who celebrated Valentine’s Day in 2021, men were the bigger spenders. 55% of men who celebrated Valentine’s Day last yeart also planned to spend money (the sum of those celebrating who will be spending more than £0), with the majority opting to spend between £1 and £40. In comparison, only 45% of women participating in Valentine’s Day celebrations planned to spend money, with most planning to spend £10 or below.
2020 saw 9% of men planning to spend more than £100, but this percentage dropped to just 2% last year. The biggest difference can be seen in women. 1% were willing to spend more than £100 on their partner this year, while 2020 saw that number sitting at 4%.
A large portion of men and women did not spend money last year. 28% of women kept their pockets shut in February, and 24% of men did the same.
|How much Brits plan to spend for Valentine's Day||% of all||% of men||% of women|
|More than £200||0%||0%||0%|
|I will not be celebrating Valentine's day this year||24%||21%||26%|
Highest spending region on Valentine’s Day
London is the UK’s most romantically minded city – or at least its biggest-spending city – with those in the capital spending just below £40 last Valentine’s Day. While the capital’s reign as the highest spending city still continues, the average amount per head has seen a drop of 25% since 2020. Then, Londoners were happy to splurge an average of £52 per head. Despite this, 14% of Londoners didn’t spend any money to celebrate Valentine’s Day, while another 14% don’t celebrate the day at all.
At the other end of the scale, the East Midlands had the lowest average spend at £16, taking over 2020’s lowest spenders in the South West (with an average spend of £28). Those in the East Midlands must be hoping that The Beatles maxim that “money can’t buy you love” holds true, as a whopping 34% planned on celebrating Valentine’s Day without spending a single penny. 21% of those in the East Midlands weren’t celebrating Valentine’s Day, which is a slight drop from 2020’s 26%. 73% celebrated Valentine’s Day in Northern Ireland, which is lower than the enthusiastic 87% who were eager to celebrate in 2020.
|Region||Average amount to be spent for Valentine's Day|
|East of England||£21|
|Yorshire and The Humber||£22|
Average Valentine’s Day spending by age group
Generation Z has overtaken millennials as the UK’s highest-spending age group on Valentine’s Day, forking out a whopping £41 on average for their loved ones. The next highest spenders were millennials (£32), followed by generation X (£19) and baby boomers (£11).
The silent generation were the lowest spenders, averaging £10. They were also the least likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day of all the age groups (36%), but it should be noted that the silent generation were also the most likely to celebrate without spending any money (42%). They were followed by baby boomers (37%) and generation X (27%).
Will Brits be spending on themselves on Valentine’s Day?
According to our research, 25% of Brits treat themselves on Valentine’s Day. With an average of £12.50 spent each, this could total £155 million across the UK.
It also appears that those in a relationship, whether married or not, are most likely to treat themselves on Valentine’s Day. Call it complacency? Unmarried people in a relationship are the most likely to dish out the dough on themselves, with 33% saying they did so last year. Married couples were the next most likely, with 25% intending to look after number 1. Singletons (20%) were the least likely to give something to themselves on Valentine’s day.
Not only are those in a relationship more likely to allow themselves a treat or two, they’re also willing to spend more than those without a ball and chain. Unmarried partners planned to buy a little somethin’ somethin’ for themselves, spending £13, while single people intended to spend just over £10 each.
|Relationship status||Percentage gifting self||Amount spent on self|
|In a relationship||32.70%||£15.88|
Most popular rom-coms in the UK
Tamarind Seed had the highest search interest of all the films in the study, making it the surprise top Valentine’s Day film in the UK. Another classic, Educating Rita, comes in second, followed by the smash-hit Notting Hill. See below for the full list of Brits’ most popular Valentine’s Day films.
Most popular year for Valentine’s Day movies
It doesn’t matter where you’re from, everyone loves a good motion picture. If your date is from a different part of the world, you could surprise your special someone with a movie experience they might already be familiar with. From Albania to Zimbabwe, here are the top rom-coms for 133 countries around the world.
Cheesy, romantic films have been around for a while. Actually, the most prolific year for rom-coms was 21 years ago, 1999, with 7 of the top 100 films being released that year. Next up was 2007 with 5 films. Tied in third place with 4 films were 1985, 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2014.
- A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.
- The research was conducted in January 2021 by Finder UK.