Fun facts for Valentine's Day 2011

Fun facts for Valentine's Day 2011

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Valentine's Day is traditionally a day in which people express their love to one another by presenting gifts, such as cards, candy, flowers and other symbols of love or affection.

Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day. Through the centuries, the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages, and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers.

Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. The spirit of love continues today with even young children exchanging valentine's cards with their fellow classmates.

Ever wonder how much candy Americans consume in a year or how much revenue dating services pull in each year? Here's a look at some fun facts, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau and the United States Department of Agriculture:

Candy

1,317
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2008, employing 38,369 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 146, followed by Pennsylvania, with 115.

422
Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured non-chocolate confectionary products in 2008. These establishments employed 16,860 people. California led the nation in this category, with

$12.2 billion
Total value of shipments in 2008 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. Non-chocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $7.1 billion industry.

24.3 pounds
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2009.

Flowers

$359 million
The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2009 for all flower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for about three-quarters of this amount ($269 million).

$18 million
The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2009 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales.

18,509
The number of florists nationwide in 2008. These businesses employed 89,741 people.

 "Please Be Mine"

 2.1 million
The number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2009. That breaks down to nearly 5,800 a day.

108,150
The number of marriages performed in Nevada during 2009. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked fifth nationally in marriages, even though its total population that year among states was 35th. (California ranked first in marriages.)

28.2 and 26.1 years
Median age at first marriage in 2010 for men and women, respectively.

54.1%
The overall percentage of adults who reported being married.

69%
Percentage of people 15 years and older in 2010 who had been married at some point in their lives - either currently or formerly.

73%
Among women who married for the first time between 1985 and 1989, the percentage who marked their 10th anniversary. This compares with 87 percent of women who married for the first time between 1955 and 1959.

6%
As of 2004, the percentage of currently married women who had been married for at least 50 years. A little more than half of currently married women had been married for at least 15 years.

Looking for Love

393
The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2007. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed 3,125 people and pulled in $927 million in revenue.

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