Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day in which people express their love to one another by presenting gifts, such as cards, candy, flowers and other symbols of love or 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. Through the centuries, the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages, and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. The spirit of love continues today with even young children exchanging valentine’s cards with their fellow classmates.

Candy

1,317

Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2008, employing 38,369 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 146, followed by Pennsylvania, with 115.

NAICS code (31132) and (31133)

422

Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2008. These establishments employed 16,860 people. California led the nation in this category, with

47 establishments.

Source: County Business Patterns: 2008

NAICS code (31134)

$12.2 billion

Total value of shipments in 2008 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $7.1 billion industry. Source: 2008 Annual Survey of Manufactures

3,375

Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2008.

24.3 pounds

Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2009.

Flowers

$359 million

The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2009 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 ($269 million).

$18 million

The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2009 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales.

18,509

The number of florists nationwide in 2008. These businesses employed 89,741 people.

Jewelry

26,683

Number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2008. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to lovers of all ages. In February 2010, these stores sold $2.4 billion in merchandise.

The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation’s

1,644 jewelry manufacturing establishments.

“Please Be Mine”

2.1 million

The number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2009. That breaks down to nearly 5,800 a day.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics

108,150

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.)

28.2 and 26.1 years

Median age at first marriage in 2010 for men and women, respectively.

54.1%

The overall percentage of adults who reported being married.

69%

Percentage of people 15 years and older in 2010 who had been married at some point in their lives , either currently or formerly.

73%

Among women who married for the first time between 1985 and 1989, the percentage who marked their 10th anniversary. This compares with 87 percent of women who married for the first time between 1955 and 1959.

6%

As of 2004, 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.

*The Census Bureau data in this section do not include same-sex marriages; users should consult the National Center for Health Statistics for this data.

Looking for Love

393

The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2007. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed 3,125 people and pulled in $927 million in revenue.

Source: US Census Bureau

Geraldine Jensen

Publisher and Editor of Families Online Magazine. Our experts provide warm, loving, and generous advice for you, your family and children, no matter their age -- infants, school age, 'tweens, and teenagers. Features include:Parenting, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Child Support, Cooking, Health, Children's Books, Nutrition, Christian Parenting, Relationships, Green-living, Education and School

Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
Geraldine JensenSeasonsValentine's Day is traditionally a day in which people express their love to one another by presenting gifts, such as cards, candy, flowers and other symbols of love or affection. Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine but the most popular theory is that he was a...Parenting Advice and Family Fun Activities