Love takes center stage on Valentine’s Day

Expressing one’s love to another is a celebrated custom on Valentine’s Day. 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.

Valentine’s Day by the Numbers

CANDY
1,185
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2013, employing 38,717 people. California led the nation with 129 of these establishments, followed by Pennsylvania, with 114.

448
Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2013. These establishments employed 19,308 people. California led the nation in this category with 45 establishments.

$14.9 billion
The estimated value of chocolate and cocoa product shipments for manufacturing establishments that produced these products in 2014.

Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, had an estimated $9.3 billion in value of product shipments in 2014.

3,368
Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States
in 2013.

JEWELRY
23,096
The number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2013. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to couples of all ages. In February 2013, these stores sold an estimated $2.5 billion in merchandise.

The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation’s 2,134 jewelry and silverware manufacturing establishments.

FLOWERS
14,161
The number of florists’ establishments nationwide in 2013. These businesses employed 62,222 people.

$272,180,347
The value of imports for cut flowers and buds for bouquets in 2014 through October. The total value of fresh cut roses as of October 2014 was $381,757,889.

LOVE
Marry Me
29.5 and 27.6 years
Median age at first marriage in 2014 for men and women, respectively.

47.7%
The overall percentage of people 15 and older who reported being married, except those separated.

35.1
The provisional rate of marriages per 1,000 people performed in Nevada during 2012. 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 17.5.

2.1 million
The provisional number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2012. That breaks down to about 5,800 a day.

Giving Love a Second Chance
19.2%
Among people 15 and older who have been married, the percentage of men and women who have been married twice as of 2014. Five percent have married three or more times. By comparison, 75.5 percent of people who have ever been married have made only one trip down the aisle.

Looking for Love
399
The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2012. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed 2,348 people.

— Information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau

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