The economics of valentine’s day

Iris Veldman
Iris Veldman is a second year Economics and Business Economics student (EBE) who recently joined the Asset|Blog Committee.

The one day in the year, when couples have the right to be clingy and the singles are allowed to complain about being single. I’m talking about Valentine’s day of course. Besides the day being about celebrating the people you care about, it is also one of the days that make a lot of economic profit. In this article, I will tell you some more about that.

To understand Valentine’s day, it is important to know a little bit about the history behind it. There are numerous stories that include a Valentine. The most common story is the story of St Valentine of Rome. He was a priest and bishop in Rome, and helped Christians in need, when they were persecuted for being Christian. He was martyred and got buried on the 14th of February. Through the ages this story has evolved into the story of being kind to other people on St. Valentine’s day and eventually to the way it is right now.

People spend a lot of money on valentine’s day. In the United States of America, 30 billion dollars was spent on valentines day by 135 million americans. This comes down to over 200 euro’s per person. In Europe, we spend a little less money on valentine’s day. In the UK for example, 1.3 billion pounds are spent on valentine’s day. Dutch people spent between 46 and 55 euro per person on valentine’s day. However, only 31% of the dutch population celebrated valentine’s day.

Research also shows that people buy something to eat for their loved one more often than previous years. This increased from 32% in 2017 to 40% in 2018. This is often a romantic dinner or candy. Men spend more on valentines day, the average at 54, where the women’s average is 38 euro’s. Men tend to buy their gifts online, and women would rather buy their gifts in an actual store.

As most people already know, the classic valentine’s card is still the most popular way to show your loved ones, family or friends, that you care about them. People still send those cards the old-fashioned way, by mail. 49% still send their card by mail, while 13 % send their card online. Postcards are also still mainly bought in stores. 70% of the cards are bought in a store, where 26% of the cards is bought online.

The categories that score the highest in the statistics of getting the most presents are: 1. Wife, 2. Kids, 3. Myself, 4. Girlfriend, 5. Friends. Wives get presents for an average amount of almost 360 dollars. Kids just over 280 dollars. People buy presents for themselves for 235 dollars. The girlfriend gets a little over 230 dollars in presents. Friends get gifts at a little under 210 dollars.

As presented, a lot of money is spent all over the world for valentine’s day. Men are the most generous on valentine’s day. Valentine’s day is therefore not only a day to be klingy or to mope around. So the next time you buy your loved ones a present, think about the good you’re doing the economy.





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