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Fun Trivia About Valentine's Day

Each American Eats Nearly 25 Pounds of Candy a Year


Chocolate candy in heart-shaped box
© Lisa Kimberly/Moment/Getty Images

Here's some Valentine's Day trivia you may enjoy. About 6,000 marriages take place each day in the U.S. Chocolate manufacturing is a $14 billion industry. There are towns called Valentine in Texas and Nebraska. Read on for more Valentine's Day trivia.

Valentine's Day History

You'd think Valentine's Day trivia would start with the identity of the original Valentine. But nobody can say authoritatively who that was. One popular theory holds that Valentine was a Roman clergyman executed for performing secret marriages in defiance of Emperor Claudius II, who thought marriage weakened his soldiers.

Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day in A.D. 496. Over time, the Christian holiday became associated with romance and exchanging love messages. St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers.

The modern history of Valentine's Day includes Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts in the 1840s, who is credited with selling the first mass-produced valentine cards.

Valentine's Day Treats

With 3,563 confectionery and nut stores in the U.S. in 2006, there's no excuse for failing to buy candy and chocolates for your valentine. More trivia on Valentine's Day sweets:

  • Americans consumed 24.5 pounds of candy per capita in 2007.
  • 1,170 locations made chocolate and cocoa products worth $14 billion, employing 39,457 people, according to Census Bureau data for 2006.
  • Another 473 manufacturers produced non-chocolate candy worth $7 billion, employing 18,733 people in 2006.

Valentine's Day Gifts

A perennial Valentine's Day present is flowers. There were 20,227 florists in the U.S. in 2006, employing 98,373 people.

U.S. farmers grew $416 million worth of cut flowers in 2007, with California producing three-quarters of the total. The value just of domestically grown roses was $29 million.

And who wouldn't love jewelry on Feb. 14? There were 1,777 jewelry manufacturers and 28,300 jewelry stores in the U.S. in 2006. Just looking at February 2008, those stores sold $2.6 billion of merchandise.

Dating and Marriage

There were 904 dating establishments in 2002, including Internet dating services. They employed nearly 4,300 people and reaped $489 million in revenue.

2.2 million marriages took place in the U.S. in 2007, about 6,000 a day. Nevada alone saw 126,354 of those nuptials, ranking the state fifth nationally even though it is 35th in population.

56% of American women and 60% of men are married, based on 2007 data. 72% of people between 30 and 34 had been married at some point in their lives.

Does Marriage Last?

The average length of first marriages ending in divorce is 8 years. Divorced people waited a median of 3 ½ years before a second marriage.

54% of men and 58% percent of women have married only once. 12% of men and 13% of women have married twice, and 3% have married three or more times.

Looking at women who married for the first time in the late 1980s, 73% made it to their 10th anniversary. That compares with 87% of women who first married in the late 1950s.

6% of currently married women have been married at least 50 years. Slightly more than half have been married for at least 15 years.

Source: the U.S. Census Bureau

For more fun facts about the holidays, check out the About Working Moms calendar of holiday facts.

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