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?

Quick overview

  • 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
2018 53% £28 £625,900,000
2019 57% £32 £1,037,950,000
2020 61% £35 £1,450,000,000
2021 76% £23 £926,000,000
2022* 91% £22 £1,368,296,813

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.

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How much Brits plan to spend for Valentine's Day % of all % of men % of women
£0 26% 24% 28%
£1-10 13% 11% 14%
£11-20 11% 11% 11%
£21-40 10% 11% 10%
£41-60 8% 10% 5%
£61-80 3% 4% 2%
£81-100 3% 4% 2%
£101-150 1% 2% 1%
£151-200 1% 2% 0%
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
South West £18
South East £22
East of England £21
West Midlands £24
East Midlands £16
Yorshire and The Humber £22
North West £22
North East £23
Wales £18
Scotland £17
Northern Ireland £23
London £39

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%).

Age group 2021 2020
Generation Z £41 £27
Millennials £32 £42
Generation X £19 £38
Baby Boomers £11 £30
Silent Generation £10 £12

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
Single 19.70% £10.41
In a relationship 32.70% £15.88
Married 24.50% £13.40

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.

UK Popularity
The Tamarind Seed 100
Educating Rita 81
Notting Hill 76
Youve Got Mail 56
Harold and Maude 56
La La Land 48
Hampstead 47
A Room with a View 45
Pretty Woman 41
P.S. I Love You 40
Dirty Dancing 40
Sense and Sensibility 39
Four Weddings and a Funeral 35
What Women Want 35
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 34
Juliet, Naked 33
The Thomas Crown Affair 32
Truly, Madly, Deeply 31
The Tall Guy 26
Music and Lyrics 25
It Happened One Night 25
Me Before You 24
The Notebook 24
Danny Deckchair 23
Gone with the Wind 23
Titanic 21
Bridget Jones's Diary 20
Amélie 20
Crazy Rich Asians 20
Love, Rosie 19
Sleepless in Seattle 19
Nine Months 19
The Quiet Man 18
The Fault in Our Stars 15
Strictly Ballroom 15
Isn't It Romantic 15
When Harry Met Sally... 14
Annie Hall 14
The Thomas Crown Affair 13
500 Days of Summer 13
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 11
Doctor Zhivago 11
The Decoy Bride 11
Ghost 10
Indiscreet 10
Sing Street 9
Two Weeks Notice 9
Must Love Dogs 9
Out of Africa 9
The White Countess 9
The English Patient 9
About Time 8
Love and Death 8
Letters to Juliet 8
Mickey Blue Eyes 7
Shakespeare in Love 7
Leap Year 7
The Truth About Cats & Dogs 7
The Jane Austen Book Club 7
The Fountain 6
Love Is All You Need 5
Ruby Sparks 5
The Proposal 5
Roman Holiday 5
Made of Honor 5
Holiday 4
At First Sight 4
Magic in the Moonlight 4
The Purple Rose of Cairo 4
Chocolat 3
Winter's Tale "A New York Winter's Tale" 3
One Day 3
Casanova 3
Love Story 3
Ondine 3
Butterflies Are Free 2
The Age of Adaline 2
Serendipity 2
Kate & Leopold 1
How to Steal a Million 1
Tristan & Isolde 1
The Bridges of Madison County 1

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.

Country Most popular movie
Albania Tristan & Isolde
Algeria The Fault in Our Stars
Austria La La Land
Angola Leap Year
Argentina The Notebook
Armenia Amélie
Australia Strictly Ballroom
Azerbaijan Tristan & Isolde
Bahrain Doctor Zhivago
Bangladesh Titanic
Belarus Must Love Dogs
Belgium The Tall Guy
Bolivia Music and Lyrics
Bosnia and Herzegovina P.S. I Love You
Brazil Love, Rosie
Brunei 500 Days of Summer
Bulgaria Pretty Woman
Canada The Tamarind Seed
Chile The Notebook
China Sing Street
Colombia Love, Rosie
Costa Rica The Bridges of Madison County
Croatia Bridget Jones's Diary
Cuba Love Story
Cyprus Love Is All You Need
Czech Republic What Women Want
Denmark Notting Hill
Dominican Republic The Notebook
Ecuador Love, Rosie
Egypt Love Story
Estonia Station for Two
El Salvador Casanova
Ethiopia The Proposal
Finland Harold and Maude
France The Thomas Crown Affair
French Polynesia About Time
Germany Harold and Maude
Georgia Roman Holiday
Ghana Music and Lyrics
Greece Shakespeare in Love
Guadeloupe Doctor Zhivago
Guatemala The Notebook
Haiti Chocolat
Honduras 500 Days of Summer
Hong Kong Me Before You
Hungary Juliet, Naked
Iceland Four Weddings and a Funeral
India Juliet, Naked
Indonesia Titanic
Iran Gone with the Wind
Iraq Titanic
Ireland You've Got Mail
Israel Butterflies Are Free
Italy Danny Deckchair
Jamaica My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Japan A Room with a View
Jordan 500 Days of Summer
Kazakhstan The Age of Adaline
Kenya Out of Africa
South Korea The Notebook
Kyrgyzstan Pretty Woman
Kuwait What Women Want
Latvia The Thomas Crown Affair
Lebanon Annie Hall
Libya The Fault in Our Stars
Lithuania Populaire
Luxembourg My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Macao 500 Days of Summer
Macedonia Kate & Leopold
Madagascar Ghost
Malaysia Nine Months
Malta When Harry Met Sally...
Mauritius My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Moldova How to Steal a Million
Mongolia Ruby Sparks
Mexico Love, Rosie
Morocco 500 Days of Summer
Mozambique Leap Year
Montenegro Serendipity
Myanmar Letters to Juliet
Nepal Titanic
Netherlands The Decoy Bride
New Zealand One Day
Nicaragua Me Before You
Nigeria Music and Lyrics
Norway Me Before You
Oman Doctor Zhivago
Pakistan Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Palestine The Fault in Our Stars
Panama The Notebook
Paraguay Love, Rosie
Philippines The Decoy Bride
Poland Winter's Tale
Peru 500 Days of Summer
Portugal Harold and Maude
Puerto Rico Love, Rosie
Qatar Casanova
Réunion Made of Honor
Romania Titanic
Russia Pretty Woman
Saint Helena The Quiet Man
Saudi Arabia The Decoy Bride
Senegal Ghost
Serbia P.S. I Love You
Singapore Crazy Rich Asians
Slovakia Must Love Dogs
Slovenia Doctor Zhivago
South Africa Truly, Madly, Deeply
Spain The Tamarind Seed
Sri Lanka Titanic
Sudan Ruby Sparks
Sweden Nine Months
Switzerland Nine Months
Syria The Fault in Our Stars
Taiwan Crazy Rich Asians
Tajikistan The Proposal
Tanzania Love Story
Thailand Titanic
Trinidad and Tobago Notting Hill
Tunisia 500 Days of Summer
Turkey Amélie
Turkmenistan The Proposal
Uganda Love Story
Ukraine Magic in the Moonlight
United Arab Emirates The White Countess
United Kingdom The Tamarind Seed
United States Isn't It Romantic
Uruguay The Purple Rose of Cairo
Uzbekistan Casanova
Venezuela The Notebook
Vietnam Love, Rosie
Yemen Love Story
Zimbabwe Out of Africa

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.

Sources

  • 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.
  • GCA
  • Timeanddate.com
  • Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact

    Matt Mckenna
    Head of UK communications
    T: +44 20 8191 8806
    matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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