UTAH (ABC4) – With a plethora of fantastical light displays, opportunities to meet Santa, and holiday-centric community and cultural events, Utah is certainly merry and bright during the Christmas season. But how much spirit do Utahns really have?
A lot, it turns out. According to nationwide data collected by Clever Real Estate, Utah ranks second among all 50 states for holiday spirit. Florida ranked first, with Idaho falling behind Utah.
In order to determine spirit, data analyst and writer Kamran Rosen examined data pertaining to shopping, online searches and charitable donations.
Holiday shopping data made up 40% of the total spirit ranking. In order to evaluate this, Clever Real Estate used information provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis to examine how much the average person spends on recreational goods (including gifts) in each state, and how much of their annual income goes to such expenses. According to the data, Utahns spent an average of 5.1% of their annual income (about $2,615) on recreational goods in 2020. That’s more than any other state and twice the national average.
Holiday searches made up 30% of the total, with Rosen analyzing Google Trends for searches such as “Christmas music” and “Black Friday deals near me.” The last 30% of the ranking came from charitable donations, which were measured by total dollars donated, in addition to the amount of Salvation Army Red Kettles per 10,000 people.
Clever Real Estate also analyzed how well states weathered the pandemic in terms of holiday shopping. Apparently, COVID-19 didn’t slow Utahns down. In fact, recreational spending in Utah grew by 5.3% between 2019 and 2020.
Christmas spirit may be a difficult thing to measure. Although recreational spending, charitable donations, and holiday searches may be a good indicator, unfortunately – unlike in the beloved holiday classic, Elf, we don’t have Santa’s Sleigh to directly and accurately measure Christmas cheer. But even without that information, Utahns can all tell you that one thing is certain — our state sure knows how to deck the halls.