There are many opinions as to who was the original Valentine, with the most popular theory that it was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. In any event, in 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius set aside Feb. 14 to honor St. Valentine. Through the centuries, the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. In the 1840s, Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. The spirit of love continues as valentines are sent with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.
57% and 60% The percentages of American women and men, respectively, who are 18 or older and currently married (includes those who are separated).
2.2 million The number of marriages that take place in the United States annually. That breaks down to more than 6,000 a day. < http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/nvsr/54/54-20.htm
25.3 and 27.1 The estimated U.S. median ages at first marriage for women and men, respectively, in 2005. The age for women rose 4.2 years in the last three decades. The age for men at first marriage is up 3.6 years. 72% Percentage of men and women ages 30 to 34 in 2005 who had been married at some point in their lives â€“ either currently or formerly. < http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/families_household s/006840.html
4.9 million Number of opposite-sex cohabitating couples who maintained households in 2005. These couples comprised 4.3 percent of all households.
1,241 Number of locations producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2004. These establishments employed 43,322 people. California led the nation in the number of such establishments with 136, followed by Pennsylvania with 122. 515 Number of locations that produced nonchocolate confectionary products in 2004. These establishments employed 22,234 people. < http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/cbptotal.html
$13.9 billion Total value of shipments in 2004 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $5.7 billion industry. 3,467 Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2004; they are among the best sources of sweets for Valentine’s Day. < http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/cbptotal.html
25.7 pounds Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2005. http://www.census.gov/cir/www/311/ma311d.html
$397 million The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2005 for all flower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for about three-quarters of this amount ($289 million). $39 million The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2005 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Among all types of cut flowers, roses were third in receipts ($39 million) to lilies ($76.9 million) and tulips ($39.1 million). 21,667 The number of florists nationwide in 2004. These businesses employed 109,915 people. Jewelry 28,772 Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2004. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to lovers of all ages. In February 2006, these stores sold $2.6 billion worth of merchandise. (This figure has not been adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday or trading day differences or price changes.) < http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/cbptotal.html> < http://www.census.gov/mrts/www/mrts.html The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nationâ€™s 1,864 jewelry manufacturing establishments. The manufacture of jewelry and silverware was a $9 billion industry in 2004. < http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/cbptotal.html>
119 Number of single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) who are in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same ages. < http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2005.html
34 Number of single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) age 65 or older for every 100 single women of the same ages. < http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2005.html
904 The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 4,300 people and pulled in $489 million in revenues. < http://www.census.gov/econ/census02/guide/SUBSUMM.HTM