The Most Popular Halloween Costumes in the United States

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The Most Popular Halloween Costumes Through the Years

As we get further into the month of October and temperatures (finally) begin to feel like fall, it can only mean one thing – Halloween is almost here! We are huge Halloween enthusiasts at Mulberrys Cleaners, spending weeks brainstorming the most clever costumes then carefully preparing the outfit we’ll wear on the big evening in the subsequent weeks. No matter how old you are, Halloween brings a certain indescribable magic and we’re so glad that it’s almost here.

While beginning our costume preparations this year, we got to thinking about what the most popular Halloween costumes have been in past years. Google is always one of the first places we turn to drum up costume ideas, so we decided to use Google Trends search data to dig into the most popular costumes across the country for the past 3 years, 2015-2017. We looked at the amount of searches for some of the most frequently popular costumes according to Google Frightgeist, along with those related to the most buzzworthy TV shows, movies, people, and current events of each year.

In addition, we looked at search data in September and early October of this year to help predict the costumes we’ll soon be likely to see trick or treating. And finally, last but certainly not least, since Disney Princess costumes are consistently popular, we looked which of the princess costumes is the most popular in each state.  Here’s what we found!

2015

Most popular Halloween costumes by state, 2015.

There was a quite a bit of variety in costumes year to year, and especially so in 2015. From classic costumes like clowns and cowboys to trendier movie-related costumes like Jurassic Park and Deadpool, 2015 was a mixed bag. What’s going on in the news and pop culture typically has a direct effect on what costumes Americans select each year, so it’s no surprise to see that the Walking Dead inspired costumes in the highest of states – the most searched in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

And now that we think about it, we do recall seeing one too many scary clowns while trick or treating in San Francisco – can we all agree that there are few things scarier?

2016

Most popular Halloween costumes by state, 2016.

2016 was an eventful year in news and politics since it was an election year. it’s not uncommon to see candidate costumes roaming around on Halloween, which helps explain why Hillary Clinton was the most searched costume in New York. And while Donald Trump didn’t make the map, his wife Melania was the most searched costume in Florida. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles originally debuted in the early 90s, but they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. As a result, they were one of the most overall popular costumes of 2016 – the most searched in Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, and Washington.

2017

Most popular Halloween costumes by state, 2017.

Sometimes the simplest costumes end up being the most memorable. It’s interesting to see how consistently popular basic-seeming animal (both real and mythological) costumes are through the years. Mice, bears, sharks, dragons, and horses continued to see popularity in 2017. Compared to 2015 and 2016, 2017 seems to be the most impacted by popular TV shows and movies like Game of Thrones and Justice League.

2018

Most popular Halloween costumes by state, 2018.

Now that we’ve taken a look into past years, what can you expect to see while trick or treating this year? Based on the data, we can bet you’ll run into at least one Belle or Beast over the course of your Halloween evening. We’re pleased to see classic Halloween costumes like witches and vampires maintain their popularity.

2018 Disney Princesses

The most popular Disney Princess Halloween costumes in each state.

One trend that we noticed as we dug into the popular costumes of past years was the consistent presence of Disney-inspired costumes, but which ones will we be seeing this year? We looked at searches for all of the Disney Princess costumes and were surprised by the results. Despite the fact that Moana and Frozen are more recent Princesses, the classic gang continues to inspire costumes. Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Cinderella, and Snow White all make appearances on the map in at least one state.

Well, there you have it! Now that you’ve seen the trends in costumes for past years, what will you be dressing up as this year? Share with us in the comments!