Expressing one’s love to another is a celebrated custom on Valentine’s Day; whereby sweethearts and family members present gifts to one another, such as cards, candy, flowers and other symbols of affection.
Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine, but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day.
Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. The spirit continues today with even young children exchanging valentine’s cards with their fellow classmates.
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2009, employing 34,252 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 135, followed by Pennsylvania, with 111.
Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2009. These establishments employed 16,974 people. California led the nation in this category, with 45 establishments.
Total value of shipments in 2009 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $7.4 billion industry.
Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2009.
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010.
The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2010 for all flower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for more than three-quarters of this amount ($286 million).
The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2010 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales.
The number of florists nationwide in 2009. These businesses employed 75,855 people.
Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2009. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to couples of all ages. In February 2011, these stores sold $2.27 billion in merchandise.
The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation’s 1,547 jewelry manufacturing establishments.
“Please Be Mine”
The number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2009. That breaks down to nearly 5,800 a day.
The number of marriages performed in Nevada during 2009. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked fifth nationally in marriages, even though its total population that year among states was 35th. (California ranked first in marriages.)
28.7 and 26.5 years
Median age at first marriage in 2011 for men and women, respectively.
The overall percentage of adults who reported being married.
Percentage of people 15 and older in 2011 who had been married at some point in their lives — either currently or formerly.
Among women who married for the first time between 1990 and 1994, the percentage who marked their 10th anniversary. This compares with 83 percent of women who married for the first time between 1960 and 1964.
As of 2009, the percentage of currently married women who had been married for at least 50 years. A little more than half of currently married women had been married for at least 15 years.
Looking for Love
The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2007. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed 3,125 people and pulled in $928 million in revenue.
Try Looking Here . . .
Romantic-sounding places to spend Valentine’s Day:
Rose City, Texas
Rose City, Mich.
South Heart, N.D.
Sacred Heart, Minn.
Loveland Park, Ohio
Heart Butte, Mont.
Love County, Okla.
Loves Park, Ill.
Loving County, Texas
Love Valley, N.C.
Rose Hill Acres, Texas
Source: U.S. Census Bureau