Love by the numbers: Here's how much more your Valentine's gift will cost this year

ByMaggie Green, Maia Rosenfeld, and Frank Esposito KABC logo
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
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Roses are red, violets are blue,

We have a Valentine's Day data roundup for you.

Shall we compare the cost of classic gifts to a summer's day?

A summer's day doesn't break the bank as much.

Whether you're buying your sweet candy, jewelry, flowers or a romantic night at a hotel, the cost of nearly every classic Valentine's gift is higher than it was before the pandemic.

Food breaks the bank the most, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average cost of candy was up 4.7% across the US last month compared to January 2023 and 26.2% in comparison to January 2020.

The cost of cakes, cupcakes and cookies hasn't increased as much in the past year-just 1%--but since January 2020, the average price is up 26.5%.

And even going out to eat will cost you more-meals at restaurants are up 4.3% compared to January 2023 and 24.1% compared to January 2020.

If you're hoping to catch a deal with a fresh bouquet, you'll spend, on average, 20.7% more than you did in January 2020.

All that glitters is not gold, but it will cost you more this year. The average price of jewelry is up 15.8% compared to January 2020.

While the cost of hotels and motels is about the same as it was last year, the national average price is up 17.6% compared to January 2020. But if take your Valentine on a long-weekend vacation, there is some good news. On average, the cost of plane tickets is down 6.4% compared to January 2023 and 2.6% compared to January 2020.

So while "every fair from fair declines", fares have been on rise for Valentine's surprises.

Be mine (, but later)?

Even though love is in the air, people in the United States are planning their first weddings a little later 12 years ago.

According to the American Community Survey, men tend to get married a little bit later in life than women. But in 2022, men were getting hitched for the first time at a median age of 30.3 years old, 2.2 years later than they were in 2010.

In 2022, women said "I do" for the first time at a median age of 28.5 years old, but in 2010, brides were a little younger, at a median of 26.3 years old.

All the single ladies

More than a quarter of homeowners live alone, according to ACS data. Married couples make up 47.4% of US homeowners, while 28.3% live alone.

US women are living alone at a higher rate than men. Across the country, about 19.5 million women live alone, about 15.5% of all homeowners. Compare that to 16.1 million men living alone, 12.8% of homeowners.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Flowers are the third most popular Valentine's gift, according to the National Retail Federation. Americans are expected to spend $2.6 billion on blooms this year.

Just this week, millions of roses have been imported to the US, mostly from Colombia and Ecuador. Between February 4 and February 12, 177.5 million roses came into US ports, for a total of 515 million stems so far this year.

Whether you're buying yourself flowers and holding your own hand or living a love story (baby, just say yes!), have a lovely Valentine's Day!