In the U.S. alone, customers will spend around $18.6 billion on Valentine’s Day, with the average person spending around $131, according to a survey conducted by the National Retailers Association.
In the U.K., consumers will spend an estimated $2 Billion.
Whether you’re in China, Japan, Europe or Latin America, there’s a good chance that you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day today.
What began as a local holiday to commemorate the actions of a rogue priest in third-century Rome, has now become a global holiday to celebrate love.
A Little Bit of History
According to the original story, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage because he thought married men made terrible soldiers.
Despite the Emperors’ decree, a priest named Valentine continued to marry young lovers. As punishment for his defiance, Valentine was imprisoned.
As the story goes, while in prison Valentine fell in love with a young girl who came to visit his cell. Prior to his death, the aging priest wrote her a love letter. That letter then became known as the first valentine.
Spending Does Not Equal Loving–U.S. Ranks as the 26th Most Loving Country.
While U.S consumers spend the most on Valentines Day, it doesn’t mean that the U.S. loves the most—or anywhere near the most for that matter..
I mention this because according to the Gallup World Poll, the U.S. was far from the world’s most loving country.
As reported by Business Insider, the world leader for love is the Philippines, “where 93% of the population reported feeling loved on a typical day. Rwanda came in second at 92%, and Puerto Rico was third with 90%.”
Ranking last along the spectrum is Armenia, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan, with only an average of 29%-32% of the population feeling loved.
The Gallup World Poll took place in 2006-2007, and surveyed 136 countries with the question: “Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about love?”
Click on over to Bloomberg to see the full rankings.
While I take issue with the Gallup pollsters and believe the U.S. should have placed much higher, I wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day—wherever you are!
If you’re interested in learning more about Valentines Day in other parts of the world, I curated the following collection of links for you to enjoy:
Valentines Around the World (Reuters Slide Show)
The Economics of Valentine’s Day (U.S. News & World Report)
More Business on Valentine’s Day (International Business Times)
The Business of Valentines (New Europe Infographic)
Valentines Day Around the World (Forbes)
Celebrating Valentine’s Day Iternationally (Topics Magazine)
Where Valentine’s Day Is Banned, Lovers Defy The Law (International Business Times).