Another pandemic Halloween

Fewer Americans plan to participate in Halloween activities than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 29, 2021

With another pandemic Halloween approaching, fewer Americans are choosing to participate in festivities compared to pre-pandemic levels. This year, 64% percent plan to do something to observe Halloween, such as passing out candy to trick-or-treaters, decorating, watching a scary movie, or carving a jack-o’-lantern. This is down from 2019, when 76% of Americans had Halloween plans.

Though fewer Americans plan to distribute candy this year compared to 2019, it’s rebounded somewhat from last year. Last year, a NORC Spotlight on Education poll found just 25% planned to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters in 2020.

The public is still hesitant to return to trick-or-treating this year. Just 16% are taking children trick-or-treating, compared with 25% two years ago. Last year, only 12% reported plans to go trick-or-treating.

Adults with children under the age of 18 in their household are more likely to have plans for participating in Halloween activities (74%) than those without (61%).

The nationwide poll was conducted October 21-25, 2021 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,083 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.

  • Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.  (October 2021). “Another Pandemic Halloween” []



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