With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, America’s loved-up couples and longing singletons are putting the finishing touches to romantic plans.
From Kansas to Kentucky, Wyoming to Wisconsin, on February 14 the United States will become the land of free love.
Millions are ready to ask a sweetheart to be their valentine but we wanted to know: which US state is the most loved-up?
Valentine’s Day may be about romance, but romance is big business.
Restaurants, florists, jewellers and chocolate shops are gearing up for the soppiest shopping day of the retail calendar
Total spending in 2018 is expected to top $19.6 billion dollars, with 55% of the population planning to celebrate the holiday.
Last year, over 190 million cards were delivered, according to the National Retail Federation.
This year, the NRF expects candy to be the most popular gift (55%), followed by greetings cards (46%) and flowers (35.6%).
But if you dig behind the numbers, where in the US will Cupid’s arrows find their target most frequently?
We decided to find out…
Which is the most loved-up state in America?
Our romantic heatmap shows which US states are the most loved-up, with Hawaii coming in at number one!
Hawaii has been crowned the most loved-up US State.
The Polynesian island has one of the lowest divorce rates, a high marriage rate and a low percentage of single-person households. Not only that, but Hawaiians spend far more of their hard-earned dollars than the average American on their partners on Valentine’s Day.
Nicknamed the Paradise of the Pacific, Hawaiian couples certainly appear to be living in a loved-up utopia.
At the other end of the table it’s not good news for couples in Vermont. They may be the leading producer of maple syrup, but with the search term ‘Valentine’s Day’ least popular in Vermont during the build up to the holiday last year, lovers in the country’s most northern state need to get a little sweeter.
It’s a similar story in the mid-western states, with only North Dakota finishing in the top 15.
Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, South Dakota and Wisconsin all finished in the bottom 15.
The results will certainly stoke the friendly rivalry between North and South Dakota.
While North Dakota came in the top five loved-up states, their disenchanted southern cousins came in the bottom 10. Perhaps the North Dakotans will share some pearls of wisdom this year?
Our findings also offer a fascinating insight into the age-old question: ‘does money buy happiness?’
Four of the top 10 wealthiest US states by average household income – Virginia, New Jersey, California and Hawaii – all scored in the top 10 most loved-up states in our comprehensive study.
It may be a state famous for its river, but in Mississippi the course of true love does not run smooth. The Magnolia State ranked an indifferent 41 in our list of the most loved-up US states. Interestingly, Mississippi also has one of the lowest household incomes of any state.
Fellow bible-belters Louisiana and Alabama also scored poorly for romance, both appearing in the bottom 10. Many Americans will be shocked to see such a family-orientated part of country score so lowly in our rankings for happiest couples.
Check out where your score ranked in our full results below:
We used publicly available data from the US Census, Statista and machine learning company Getsidecar.com to find statewide data on the percentage of people never married, marriage and divorce rates, single-person households and average Valentine’s Day spend.
Google Trends data revealed the states where ‘Valentine’s Day’ was the most popular search term for the month leading up to Valentine’s Day 2017, as a fraction of total searches in that location.
Sidecar analyzed Google Analytics data from 9.2 million user sessions on ecommerce retailers’ sites from Feb. 1, 2016 to Feb. 14, 2016, and from Feb. 1, 2015 to Feb. 14, 2015 to determine the average valentine’s day spend by US State.
We collated the data and awarded each state a score between 1 and 10, 10 being high and 1 being low, for each data set. The average of each data set is taken and states are ranked from highest (most loved-up) to lowest (least loved-up) to produce the final results.
Where two states tied in the final score, the state with the higher marriage rate has been ranked higher. We have selected marriage rate as the strongest indicator of a loved-up state because of both the data’s credibility (US Census records) and because marriage is universally accepted to be a barometer of romantic commitment.
We don’t know whether it’s the sunshine or pace of life, but Hawaii is a clear winner in our analysis of the most loved-up US States.
It does seem like there’s something in the sea air. All of our top three – Hawaii, Texas and California – have coastlines.
If seeing your state poorly ranked has deflated your heart-shaped balloon, don’t worry! With Valentine’s Day expenditure only set to rise, there’s still all to play for as we hurtle towards February 14 2018. Up the ante and see if you can belie your state’s reputation.
Or just book yourself a flight to Hawaii…