With Halloween quickly approaching, YouGov asked Americans about their costume plans.
In a poll conducted October 14 - 17, one-quarter of Americans shared plans to wear a Halloween costume this year, including 12% who said they have one picked out and 13% who don’t have a costume picked out yet but do plan to wear one; 11% are unsure. If 25% of Americans do wear a Halloween costume, this will mark a slight increase from last Halloween, when 20% of Americans say they dressed up. Younger adults are more likely than older Americans to plan to wear a Halloween costume this year.
Americans are more likely to say they enjoy the process of choosing a Halloween costume (27%) than to say they find it stressful (11%). People who plan to wear a costume this year are especially likely (69%) to say they enjoy the process of picking a costume.
Among Americans who already have a costume picked out for this year, more are going the store-bought route than the homemade one. About one-third (35%) say their costume is completely store-bought and another 21% say it’s more store-bought than homemade. But some will have a costume that’s more homemade than store-bought (27%) or completely homemade (16%).
What are people dressing up as this year? The most popular answer among people who have picked out a costume is a fictional person or character (34%). Fewer will dress up as an animal or creature (25%), a person from history (21%), a concept (15%), or an object (14%). People could select as many as applied.
Some will also be coordinating their Halloween costumes with others. Among Americans who have a costume planned, 42% say they’ll wear a couples costume with their spouse or romantic partner. Another 30% are coordinating costumes with their children, 19% with their parents, and 13% with a friend or group of friends.
How would Americans describe their costume? Among a list of adjectives, any of which that applied could be chosen, “funny” comes in at the top with 37%, trailed by “simple” (32%) and “unique” (25%). About one in five Americans with a costume planned describe their outfit as each of “creative,” “sexy,” or “scary.”
Some costumes are more controversial than others. When it comes to Halloween costumes, over half of Americans (55%) say it’s unacceptable for white people to wear black-face makeup in order to appear as a Black person. More Black Americans (68%) than white Americans (54%) say it is unacceptable.
About half (51%) of Americans say it’s unacceptable for a person to wear a costume with a realistic-looking gun or other weapon. Fewer believe it’s inappropriate for a person who is not transgender to dress as a transgender person (34%), or for an adult to dress in a cultural costume if they are not part of that culture (25%). One in five (20%) say it’s unacceptable for a child to dress in a cultural costume if they’re not a part of that culture.
Adults over 65 are especially likely to say it’s unacceptable for a white person to wear black-face makeup (70%) or for a person to wear a costume with a realistic-looking gun or other weapon (71%).
Democrats (68%) are more likely than Republicans (44%) to say it’s unacceptable for white people to wear black-face makeup as part of a Halloween costume. And 59% of Democrats say it’s unacceptable for a person to wear a costume with a realistic-looking gun, higher than the 44% of Republicans who hold this opinion.
Related: Halloween Polling: American opinion on candy, decorations, and the supernatural
This poll was conducted on October 14 - 17, 2022 among 1,000 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this poll
Image: Adobe Stock Images (VadimGuzhva)