The Most Popular Halloween Costumes of 2021
Halloween—it’s the time of year when kids and adults alike dress up, eat candy, and show off their spookiest selves. It’s also when the scariest home decorations are the talk of the town, and people are frightened left, right, and center.
With the help of data from Google Trends and their unique Frightgeist series, we visualized the most searched Halloween costumes in the U.S. in 2021.
From spooky to sweet, these are the costumes everyone wants to dress up as this Halloween.
A Brief History of Halloween
Halloween is celebrated each year on October 31, with this year’s Halloween occurring on a Sunday. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
The concept of Halloween didn’t gain popularity until it reached the United States. Borrowing from European traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition.
Other superstitions also started to form around the holiday. Young women believed they could divine the appearance of their future husbands by doing tricks with apple parings or mirrors.
Over time, Halloween moved away from focusing on witchcraft and ghosts to the festival we know and love today—a day focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes.
What Are the Most Popular Halloween Costumes?
With COVID-19 cases down compared to last year and Americans expected to spend over $10 billion on Halloween this year, much of the United States will be partaking in celebrating the spooky holiday.
From classy costumes and last-minute DIYs to pop-culture outfits and even era-inspired costumes, here are the top 25 most popular Halloween costumes in the U.S. in 2021.
|4||Spider-Man||Comic Book Characters|
|5||Cruella de Vil||Film Characters|
|7||Harley Quinn||Comic Book Characters|
|16||Among Us||TV Charaters|
|19||Superhero||Comic Book Characters|
|23||Squid Game||TV Charaters|
Notable Trending Costumes
The Netflix show Squid Game has had a meteoric rise in popularity in recent weeks, becoming one of the most-watched shows on the streaming platform—just in time for Halloween.
Squid Game costumes are the 23rd most popular in Google’s search, and they continue to trend high, being the most searched costume idea in Detroit.
In 2020, the mobile game Among Us was the talk of the gaming world, and this year it is the 16th most popular costume, with its popularity spiking in Jacksonville, Florida.
Other notable costumes in the top 50 include Pokémon at #50, Fortnite at #44, Velma Dinkley (of Scooby-Doo fame) at #42, Poison Ivy (the comic book villain) at #33, Beetlejuice at #24 and the entire 1980s decade at #18.
Most Popular Halloween Costumes by State
When it comes to festivals, every state has its unique perspective and traditions on celebrating them. This extends to popular Halloween costumes too.
Though there might be some overlap, digging deeper into the most popular costumes in every state allows us a unique look into how diverse people’s tastes are across the country.
Here is a breakdown of the most popular costumes in the U.S. in 2020 by state:
|State||Most Popular Costume||National Rank in 2020|
|District of Columbia||Beyonce||333|
|North Dakota||Star Wars||28|
|Rhode Island||Hermione Granger||146|
|South Carolina||Wonder Woman||31|
A look at popular costumes at the state level reveals some interesting quirks. Montana, for example, is uniquely interested in The Purge, and Rhode Island trick-or-treaters are big fans of Hermione Granger of Harry Potter fame.
Traditions are Here To Stay
At its core, Halloween still remains that same old fright-inducing festival it has always been.
Even though pop culture might influence your Halloween choices, traditional costumes will always have a unique place in everyone’s heart.
Visualizing the Odds of Dying from Various Accidents
This infographic shows you the odds of dying from a variety of accidents, including car crashes, bee stings, and more.
Infographic: The Odds of Dying from Various Accidents
Fatal accidents account for a significant number of deaths in the U.S. every year. For example, nearly 43,000 Americans died in traffic accidents in 2021.
Without the right context, however, it can be difficult to properly interpret these figures.
To help you understand your chances, we’ve compiled data from the National Safety Council, and visualized the lifetime odds of dying from various accidents.
Data and Methodology
The lifetime odds presented in this graphic were estimated by dividing the one-year odds of dying by the life expectancy of a person born in 2020 (77 years).
Additionally, these numbers are based on data from the U.S., and likely differ in other countries.
|Type of Accident||Lifetime odds of dying (1 in #)|
|Motor vehicle accident||101|
|Complications of medical and surgical care||798|
|Accidental building fire||1,825|
|Choking on food||2,745|
|Drowning in swimming pool||5,782|
|Accidental firearm discharge||7,998|
|Bee or wasp sting||57,825|
For comparison’s sake, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,000,000. In other words, you are 4000x more likely to die by a lightning strike over your lifetime than to win the Powerball lottery.
Continue reading below for further context on some of these accidents.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S., with a 1 in 101 chance of dying. This is quite a common way of dying, especially when compared to something like bee stings (1 in 57,825).
Unfortunately, a major cause of vehicle deaths is impaired driving. The CDC reports that 32 Americans are killed every day in crashes involving alcohol, which equates to one death every 45 minutes.
For further context, consider this: 30% of all traffic-related deaths in 2020 involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
The odds of drowning in a swimming pool (1 in 5,782) are significantly higher than those of drowning in general (1 in 10,386). According to the CDC, there are 4,000 fatal drownings every year, which works out to 11 deaths per day.
Drowning also happens to be a leading cause of death for children. It is the leading cause for kids aged 1-4, and second highest cause for kids aged 5-14.
A rather surprising fact about drowning is that 80% of fatalities are male. This has been attributed to higher rates of alcohol use and risk-taking behaviors.
Accidental Firearm Discharge
Lastly, let’s look at accidental firearm deaths, which have lifetime odds of 1 in 7,998. That’s higher than the odds of drowning (general), as well as dying in an airplane accident.
This shouldn’t come as a major surprise, since the U.S. has the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. More importantly, these odds highlight the importance of properly securing one’s firearms, as well as learning safe handling practices.
As a percentage of total gun-related deaths (45,222 in 2020), accidental shootings represent a tiny 1%. The two leading causes are suicide (54%) and homicide (43%).
Interested in learning more about death? Revisit one of our most popular posts of all time: Visualizing the History of Pandemics.
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