January 27, 2015 / 12:50 AM / 5 years ago

With wallets open, Americans show their love for Valentine's Day

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Americans are feeling sweet about romance as Valentine’s Day approaches, with consumers expected to spend big this year on candy, jewelry and flowers, according to a survey released on Monday.

Workers prepare vases of red roses at Winston Flowers in Boston, Massachusetts February 13, 2013, the day before Valentine's Day. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The average person celebrating the holiday on Feb. 14 expects to spend $142.31 in the name of love, about $8 more than last year, the National Retail Federation reported.

Candy appears on more than half of people’s shopping lists, while over a third are sniffing out deals on flowers.

America’s pets should also feel the love this year, with one in five people purchasing treats for a furry friend.

In all, Valentine’s Day spending is projected to reach $18.9 billion, the highest in the trade group’s holiday poll since 2007. It was based on a survey this month of 6,375 consumers, with a margin of error of 1.3 percentage points.

Overall, the state of romance is strong, the U.S. Census Bureau reported on Monday.

On average, nearly 5,800 Americans got married each day in 2011, totaling 2.1 million marriages that year, according to the latest provisional numbers from the Census Bureau.

Nowhere were the chapels busier than in Nevada, which led the nation with about 37 marriages per 1,000 people in 2011.

Almost 53 percent of adult Americans reported being married in 2013. In comparison, nearly 69 percent had been married at some point in their lives.

Love often gets a second chance too. Nineteen percent of men and woman had been married twice, the Census report noted. Five percent had exchanged vows three times or more.

Demographers also offered sweet tips on places to visit. Ohio, Oklahoma and Colorado all have cities named Loveland.

Perhaps most worthy of the holiday is Valentine, Nebraska.

Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Peter Cooney

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