Comparing consumer spending for Mother's Day and Father's Day

Do we spend more on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day?

by Elaine Schwartz    •    May 12, 2014    •    1637 Views

Our Monday gender issue:

While approximately 85% of us celebrate Mother’s Day, for Father’s Day, maybe 78%. Then, the numbers diminish after we reach 44 years old. And, by the time we are 65, there are only 60% (or so) of us that participate in each holiday’s gift-giving.

Ok, so where are we going here? Holiday spending.

And that started me thinking about how Mother’s Day and Father’s Day spending compare. As you might expect, Mom gets more. But between 2007 and 2012, the gap narrowed. For 2013 though, with average spending on Mom $168.94 and Dad, $119.84 (projected), the difference returned to 40%.

Consumer spending for Mother's Day and Father's Day

Until 2012, the spending converges.

The National Retail Federation has other specific stats on how we spend. Yes, Mom gets a lot of flowers, greeting cards and brunches or dinners:

Consumer Spending Mother's Day

From: National Retail Federation

For Father’s Day (2013), it was also more likely that we gave Dad a card and a special outing:

Consumer Spending projected Father's Day 2013

From: National Retail Federation

And finally, how do Mother’s and Father’s Day stack up against other holidays?

Consumer Spending All Holidays

From: National Retail Federation. The * indicates 2013.


So what is our bottom line? With consumer spending at 70% of the GDP, holidays help economic growth. Let us know in the comments: How did you manage your Mother’s Day spending? Will we close the gap again this year (maybe get Dad some new golf clubs)?

Sources and Resources: My WSJ graph was from a 2012 article while I created the NRF graphs from their statistics where you can find other interesting facts about how we spend. (Please note that the NRF appeared only to have projected stats for Father’s Day, 2013.)

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