Written by, Bojana Atanasovska
Updated November, 25, 2021
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and people are already starting to feel the rush to buy presents for that special someone in their lives. From flowers and chocolates to helicopter rides and romantic dinners, people have loads of ideas on how to spend their budget for the day of love.
But, have you ever wondered how much the UK spends on Valentine’s Day or what Brits buy? Or how many British men have popped the question on the most romantic day of the year?
We’ve prepared some astounding Valentine Day facts and stats for you, so let’s jump right in.
Data from 2020 indicates that an average Briton spends almost £40 on Valentine’s Day, which means that Britain will collectively spend over £1.45 billion. Surveys inform that around 32 million people are planning on spending money for the day of love, explaining the huge expenditure on Valentine’s gifts.
Statistics about Valentine’s Day demonstrate that going out for a romantic dinner was the most expensive present in 2019, costing Brits around £391 million. In terms of expenses, dining out was followed by going away for romantic weekends, on which Brits spent £267 million. People in the UK also spent a substantial sum on clothing and lingerie (£193 million) and jewellery (£171 million).
(Statista) (MuchNeeded) (Evolution Money)
According to reports, Brits spent a whopping £261 million on flower bouquets, almost the same amount as they splash out on flowers for Mother’s Day (£260 million). Considering that 21% of people celebrating the holiday in the UK opt for flowers as the ideal Valentine’s day gift, the amount of money spent comes as no surprise.
(Statista) (Harvest Digital)
Even though many people see chocolate as the perfect token of love, expenditure on sweet treats and confectionary items was not among the most popular Valentine’s gift categories. In fact, according to 2019 Valentine’s Day chocolate statistics, Brits spent around £85 million on sweets, much less than expenditure on flowers and clothing.
With over 140 million in card sales around February 14th, Valentine’s has become the second most popular holiday for greeting cards. Christmas, though, still takes the lead with 900 million cards sent each year, or an average of 16 cards per person.
(Evolution Money) (Statista)
So, how much do guys spend on Valentines? Research shows that men spend an average of £44 for Valentine’s Day, almost double the number of women, who typically spend £26.
Men are also more willing to spend more on their partners. Namely, a Statista survey of 3000 participants discovered that 13.4% of male respondents are willing to spend more than £50 for Valentine’s Day and just a third plan to pay less than £10.
(Fashion United) (Evolution Money)
When it comes to buying gifts for men, Valentines Day spending statistics indicate that clothes and aftershave top the list.
On the other hand, the most popular presents for women include lingerie, handbags, and dresses. Interestingly, most British women want to be pampered for Valentine’s Day with the majority of them (27%) saying they would like a romantic getaway, while 17% think a car would be the best gift.
A recent analysis of Valentine’s Day expenditure and age reveals that younger generations, Millennials, in particular, are the biggest spenders. More specifically, statistics on Valentine’s day spending report the following:
People living in the North East of the UK spend a staggering £136 on Valentine’s gifts, research by Bloom & Wild shows.
But how much does the average person spend on Valentines Day in other parts of Britain?
A study by Media IQ found out that more than a quarter of Brits use their phones to buy gifts and treats for Valentine’s. Furthermore, phones were used by around 17% of people in the UK to make dinner reservations or book a hotel room for their evening of romance.
Where do Britons find inspiration for their gifts and treats? According to Valentines statistics, more than half of people planning to celebrate the holiday searched for ideas in the supermarkets, and 23% relied on suggestions from friends and family.
However, the usage of Google, Facebook and Instagram as sources for inspiration is rising. Of these platforms, Google, used by 37% of people hunting for Valentine’s gifts, is the most popular.
Whether it’s buying a gift for a partner, child, or someone they have their eyes on, half of the UK people who celebrate Valentine’s spend less than half an hour on planning and shopping for purchases.
Why don’t Brits want to celebrate the holiday of love? One in three people said that it caused too many unnecessary expenses, whereas 20% skipped out on celebrations to focus on work. A closer look at Valentine’s Day statistics, however, shows that over 25% of couples in the UK disliked the idea of celebrating the holiday, saying it has become too commercialised.
(TrustedShops) (The Sun)
Gift giving is the most common activity among British couples. Other romantic activities range from being surprised with your favourite home-cooked meal, favoured by 30% of UK adults, and getting flowers, the favourite activity of another 30%. Interestingly, 24% cited spending quality time with their partners as their preferred activity for Valentine’s.
(Evolution Money) (UNILAD)
Unsurprisingly, Valentine’s is a popular day to get engaged. According to 2018 Valentine’s Day engagement statistics, 5% of men would be happy to pop the question on February 14th, while 10% of women would like their partner to propose on this date.
Looking at Valentine’s Day statistics and trends, we can see that approximately a third of lovers broke up with their significant other over a text message, whereas 28% split up via call. 27%, however, chose to end the relationship in person. Funnily enough, an average of 6% of the respondents dumped their partners on Facebook and WhatsApp, while 2% did it over Twitter.
(The Daily Mirror)
February 14th isn’t just the day of celebrating love, as Valentine’s Day statistics in the UK prove. It seems that in Britain, February 14th is one of the busiest days for divorces, giving solicitors, attorneys and other providers of legal services a 549% bump in trade compared to the yearly average.
Even though people don’t like tying the knot at the start of the year, February 14th is the exception. Valentine’s day weddings statistics tell us that there are around 1,039 marriages on this date in comparison to just 313 weddings taking place on a typical weekday throughout the year.
Is romance dead? Valentine’s facts in the UK seem to say so. A shocking 59% of British men think there is no point in celebrating Valentine’s. A fifth of those who do see the point of V-Day believe the ultimate goal of the holiday is to have sex.
Brits’ aversion to romance doesn’t end here. A London club holds annual anti-Valentine’s parties where PDA and emotional outbursts are strictly prohibited.
(Ocean Finance) (eharmony)
47% of men say they don’t expect gifts for February 14th, whereas 50% of women expect a present worth at least £40. On top of that, men are less likely to get disappointed in their gift — 32.2% report receiving a gift that let them down compared to 42.6% of women.
Surprisingly, 37.3% of people have received a card or gift from a secret admirer. Men are more likely to get a gift from an anonymous sender as Valentines stats reveal 38.9% of men got a gift or card from a secret admirer compared to 35.29% of women.
Thanks to an episode in Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s Day became popular in the UK as well as the US. Thus, more than half of single girls in Britain celebrated the holiday with friends compared to 32% who spend the Day alone.
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to spend Valentine’s Day alone. St.Valentine’s facts and figures indicate that 69% of British men will be alone at home on February 14th, whereas only a third plan to go out with their friends.
Did you know that more than a third of Britain’s couples use Facebook to declare their love to the world? The super-popular social networking platform is followed by WhatsApp and Twitter, where 22% and 17% of couples, respectively, upload love posts.
(Good Housekeeping) (Market Watch)
It’s not just your significant other that gets Valentine’s Day gifts. One in five Brits buys presents for pets, spending around £27 million on their four-legged friends. Americans are just as pet-obsessed. Surveys and Valentines stats from across the pond show that US residents spend a whopping $1.7 billion on their pets.
US couples, however, spend 52% of their budget on spouses and partners. What’s more, 7% of Americans’ Valentine’s spending goes to gifts for coworkers, and 6% is spent on pets.
How much does America spend on Valentine Day? According to reports, the average American spends $221.34 (about £160) on V-Day gifts. In contrast, Brits spend nearly six times less or an average of £28.45.
Each country has its own Valentine’s traditions and customs. In the UK, for instance, children sing custom songs, for which they are rewarded with sweets, fruit or money. In addition to this, in some parts of England, people bake Valentine bread rolls with different kinds of seeds, plums and raisins.
Valentine’s Day trivia reveals that Richard Cadbury, whose company made drinking chocolate, was the one to introduce chocolates to the world. He made tiny chocolate pieces and put them in heart-shaped boxes, in which people could later keep their love letters and poems.
(The Daily Mirror) (Independent)
The oldest surviving Valentine’s letter was written in 1415 by a French Duke imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Oddly enough, St. Valentine facts report that one of the oldest surviving Valentine’s Day cards was also found in London. The card was written 200 years ago on February 14th 1818 and addressed to a Miss L.Shafe of London.
In 1537, King Henry VIII issued a Royal Charter under which all of England would celebrate February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day. As time went by, this date became known as the Day of love and Saint Valentine as the Patron Saint of Lovers, resulting in Valentine’s Day celebrations as we know them today.
(The Daily Mirror)
Valentine’s day cards were quite popular in Victorian times, especially cards sent from a secret admirer. In addition to these love notes, Victorians would also send rude messages to people they did not like. Called Vinegar Valentines, these cards often contained insulting or racy messages.
When Oliver Cromwell became the Lord Protector in 1653, he actually banned the celebration of Valentine’s Day and Christmas. These festivities were prohibited for seven years and were finally restored in 1660 by Charles II. Current facts about Valentine’s Day around the world show that the holiday is still banned in Pakistan, Iran, and Indonesia.
Whether it’s a romantic gesture that your beloved will never forget or just a simple greeting card or a red rose, one thing is certain—Valentine’s Day is still celebrated across the UK by millions of love birds.
Hopefully, these Valentine Day facts and stats will show you just how important this holiday is to Brits. Who knows, it might even help you get some Valentines day ideas for your partner as well.
Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.