In general, subscribing to email alerts from the U.S. Census Bureau means national trade statistics and housing market indicators — a lot of them. But every now and then, it pays off. The Bureau's most recent "facts for features" email blast included some swoon-worthy Valentine's Day data in true robot-like Census fashion.
Their description of today:
"Expressing one’s love to another is a celebrated custom on Valentine’s Day; whereby sweethearts and family members present gifts to one another, such as cards, candy, flowers and other symbols of affection. Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine, but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day. Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. The spirit continues today with even young children exchanging valentine’s cards with their fellow classmates."
We love candy.
1,155: Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2010, employing 35,074 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 121, followed by Pennsylvania, with 114.
$13.5 billion: Total value of shipments in 2011 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products.
24.7 pounds: Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010.
16,182: The total number of florists’ establishments nationwide in 2010. These businesses employed 70,575 people.
$880,893,904: The value of imports for cut flowers and buds for bouquets in 2011. Flower bouquets are a popular gift for loved ones on Valentine’s Day. The total value of fresh cut roses in 2011 was $365,453,189.
We get married...
28.6 and 26.6 years: Median age at first marriage in 2012 for men and women, respectively.
53: The overall percentage of adults who reported being married.
38.3: The provisional rate of marriages per 1,000 people performed in Nevada during 2010. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked number one nationally in marriage rates. Hawaii ranked second with a marriage rate of 17.6.
2.1 million: The provisional number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2010. That breaks down to nearly 5,800 a day.
...but also divorced.
19.5: Percentage of people ever married twice as of 2011. Five percent have married three or more times.
8: Median length, in years, of first marriages that ended in divorce.
3.8 and 3.7: The median time in years between divorce and a second marriage for men and women, respectively.
We look for love on the internet.
393: The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2007. These establishments, which include internet dating services, employed 3,125 people and pulled in $928 million in revenue.
Then this, the Bureau's list of "romantic-sounding places"
Rose City, Texas
Loves Park, Ill.
Rose City, Mich.
Sacred Heart, Minn.
Heart Butte, Mont.
Love Valley, N.C.
South Heart, N.D.
Loveland Park, Ohio
Love County, Okla.
Loving County, Texas
Love County, Okla.
Rose Hill, Va.
Rose Hill Acres, Texas