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How Millennials & Gen Z Are Celebrating Halloween This Year, In 5 Stats

Will they be trick-or-treating? Hitting the club? Or binging on candy and horror movies? Whether they’re still in their teen years or they refuse to grow up, we know how the next generations are celebrating Halloween this year…

To the apparent dismay of older generations, Millennials are still enthusiastically celebrating Halloween well into adulthood, and of course Gen Z is still young enough to be allowed to don costumes and collect candy without judgement. It turns out that both generations are making Halloween even more of an event, with Millennials outspending older generations in projections, and even spreading Halloween spirit to other countries. Because of their Halloween enthusiasm, marketers have been heating up efforts around the holiday, with Halloween marketing campaigns that trick & treat. But knowing exactly what they like to do for the holiday is key to targeting them. Are they trick-or-treating, going out on the town, or settling in for horror movie marathons?

We wanted to see exactly how young consumers planned to celebrate the costume and candy occasion this year, and investigated all their spookiest plans in our Halloween survey and Topline report. We found that 87% of 13-35-year-olds planned to celebrate Halloween this year—and here are five stats that show just how they’re doing it:

1. About two in five Gen Z and Millennials planned to dress up in a costume this year.

Forget about being too old for a costume: 38% of 13-35-year-olds planned to dress up for Halloween this year. Gen Z was slightly more likely than Millennials to say they’d be donning a Halloween disguise, at 43% versus 37%, but that’s still a significant number of Millennials who planned to dress up. Popular costumes this year were inspired by pop culture favorites like Stranger Things and Wonder Woman, and according to Retail Dive, 65% of Millennials look to social media for Halloween outfit inspiration as well as food and décor ideas. This could be because of the kinds of costumes they wanted to wear: our survey found that easy, clever, and funny were the top adjectives that Millennials picked to describe their planned costumes this year.


2. Over half of those dressing up planned to make their costume.

To make or to buy? That is the costume question—and this year, 53% of 13-35-year-olds who wanted to dress up said they would be making their costumes. But while Gen Z and Millennials were almost equally likely to report plans to dress up, we did see a generation gap in how they planned to get their attire: 57% of Gen Z said they would be buying their outfits, while 56% of Millennials planned to make theirs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Millennials were looking for a cheaper way: those who planned to spend on a costume planned on spending an average of over $70. Not exactly DIY on the cheap.




3. Nearly half of Millennial parents planned to take their kid(s) trick-or-treating.

Millennials are taking over as the new parents on the block, and 46% of parents 18-35-years-old told us that they planned to take their little ones out trick-or-treating for Halloween. Roughly the same number of Millennial parents planned to dress up their kid(s) in costume, and of those, the majority said they would be buying the attire. A good number of Gen Z young consumers will be joining them in going door-to-door for candy: 36% of 13-17-year-olds planned to go trick-or-treating with friends.




4. Over three in ten planned to watch scary/horror movies for the holiday.

Of course, for many Halloween is all about screams and chills—and 35% of 13-35-year-olds planned to watch scary or horror movies this year, with Millennials and Gen Z almost equally likely to say spooky entertainment was in their plans. But that doesn’t necessarily capture all those who will be watching Halloween content in general. As we found out, many of Millennials’ and Gen Z’s favorite Halloween movies are far from scary, so there’s a good chance more will be binging candy and movies on the couch, just without the fear factor.





5. One in five of those over 21 planned to go to a bar or club for Halloween

Fewer young consumers planned to skip the couch in favor of the club, with just 21% of those 21-years-old and older saying they would be celebrating Halloween in a bar or club. Young consumers 21-24-years-old were the most likely to make bar hopping Hallows Eve plans, with 30% saying they would be going to a bar or club. But almost 30% of all young consumers did say they planned to host or attend a party, so many will just be socializing away from the bar.



To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.