St. Patrick's Day Spending Set to Break Records at $5.3 Billion in 2017

Sarah Steimer & Michelle Markelz
AMA Podcast
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Key Takeaways

​What? About 125 million Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year.

So what? The U.S. has spent more than $4 billion celebrating the holiday in the past few years.

Now what? Marketers can take advantage of the momentum behind the celebration to gain some of the Paddy's Day green this year.

​March 13, 2017

Americans are projected to spend $5.3 billion this St. Patrick's Day, up $700,000 from last March

St. Patrick's Day is all about the green, both literally and figuratively for some businesses.

The National Retail Federation released results of its 13th annual survey of spending on the holiday and reports 2017 will be the most lucrative year for St. Patrick's Day sales ever.

Nearly 140 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, spending an average of $37.92 per person, about $2 more than last year. 

The $5.3 billion total is up from last year’s $4.4 billion and bests the previous record of $4.8 billion set in 2014.

Matthew Shay, CEO of the National Retail Federation, said in a statement that beyond the bars and restaurants bound to be filled for festivities, retailers selling apparel and decor for the holiday would also see the benefit of sales. The holiday landing on a Friday helps sales as well, he said.

Those making purchases will shop at grocery stores (39%), discount stores (29%), bars/restaurants (21%) and department stores (18%).

Gen Z Are Biggest Participants, Millennials Are Biggest Spenders

The report found St. Patrick's Day is most popular among individuals 18 to 24 years old, with 77% celebrating, but those 25 to 34 years old will be the biggest spenders at an average of $46.55 per person.

According to the survey, this is how people plan to celebrate the Irish holiday:

In addition, 15% of respondents say they are planning to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, especially those living in the Northeast (21%).

View the infographic below to see some of the statistics behind the holiday, from the number of people planning to celebrate to anticipated St. Paddy's Day spending.

Infographic: Some Of The Numbers Behind St. Patrick's Day | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Check out our interview with Celtic Chicago President Marlene Byrne, discussing her agency's efforts to market St. Patrick's Day events for the city of Chicago by way of ShamROCK Chicago.

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Author Bio:

Sarah Steimer & Michelle Markelz
Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer. Michelle Markelz is managing editor of Marketing News. She can be reached at
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