Just under 10 percent of Americans chose Halloween as their favorite holiday, according to a 2015 Harris Poll. The chance to dress up and eat candy is always a treat, especially for the younger generation.
But not all places have the same trick-or-treating experience. Some places are better for maxing out how much candy you can get your hands on while others offer a safer environment. Below SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company based in New York, N.Y., ranks the best places to trick-or-treat.
In order to rank the best places to trick or treat, SmartAsset looked at seven metrics. It looked at data for population density, percent of residents under the age of 15, home values, violent and property crime rates, precipitation and temperature.
• Midwest is best – Seven of the top 10 cities to trick-or-treat are in the Midwest. This area is full of single-family homes meaning plenty of chances to trick-or-treat.
• Spooky Wisconsin – If you live in Wisconsin, odds are you are privy to a great trick-or-treating experience. Three of our 10 best places to trick or treat are in the Badger State.
• Skip Florida – Thanks to high chances of rain and high average temperatures, Florida cities tend to rank low. West Palm Beach, Miami Beach and Tallahassee occupy the three bottom spots in this study.
1. Nampa, Idaho
For the third year in row, Nampa is the best city to trick-or-treat. A deluge of rain can really put a damper on trick-or-treating festivities. Fortunately, in Nampa, there is almost no chance of that happening. Data shows that on average it should rain in Nampa once every 167 Halloweens. For that metric, Nampa ranks second.
Just over 27 percent of Nampa’s population are children (under the age of 15) so they’ll be no shortage of companions as they trek from house to house.
2. Orem, Utah
For the second consecutive year, Orem is the second-best city to trick-or-treat. Another concern during Halloween, and being out late trick-or-treating, is safety. Orem has the lowest violent crime rate in the study and is in the top 20 percent for lowest property crime rate.
Plus, 26 percent of this city’s residents are under the age of 15. That means it’s full of trick-or-treating spirit and kids will have plenty of friends to trade their candy with.
3. Kennewick, Washington
Like in Nampa, there is little chance of rain ruining the trick-or-treating in Kennewick. Kennewick should also have a large contingent going trick-or-treating, over 25 percent of residents here are under the age of 15.
One concern may be housing density. Kennewick has the third-lowest single-family housing density in the top 10. This may mean they’ll need to cover a lot of ground if they want to get all their favorite candy.
4. Aurora, Illinois
Aurora dropped one spot in last year’s analysis to fourth. This city is generally a safe place to trick-or-treat. According to the data, Aurora has a top 25 percent lowest violent crime rate and the seventh-lowest property crime rate in the study.
The city also stuck out as a relatively housing-dense place to trick-or-treat. That means running from house to house and filling up a bucket with candy will be a breeze.
5. El Paso, Texas
El Paso is the second-most affordable place to trick-or-treat in the top 10. The median home is worth only $125,000. The Texas city also ranks well in crime. The property crime rate in El Paso is especially low. Ranking 20th, El Paso has a property crime rate of only 1,900 per 100,000 residents.
One concern however might be the heat. The average October day tops 69 degrees on average, so any costumes heavy on clothes may be a no-go in El Paso.
6. Dearborn, Michigan
Dearborn dropped from fifth last year to sixth this year. This Detroit suburb located in eastern Michigan. It ranked highly in metrics like population density and percent of residents who are under 15. For each of those metrics Dearborn ranked in the top 10 percent.
One metric which may concern potential trick-or-treaters is the relatively high chance of rain. According to the data it rains around 7 percent of days in October in Dearborn.
7. Appleton, Wisconsin
Appleton has shot up the rankings this year. Last year, the city took 25th and this year it takes seventh. Appleton can point to a younger population (22 percent are under 15) and a declining property crime rate (1,671 crimes per 100,000 people) as explanations for why this city is a better place to trick-or-treat in 2017.
Perhaps the worry here is instead of candy residents may start giving out apples!
8. Kenosha, Wisconsin
Another Wisconsin city takes eighth. Overall, Kenosha scored above average in most metrics. The standout metrics are its low crime rates. Kenosha has only 285 violent crime rates per 100,000 residents and 2,065 crimes per 100,000 residents. Both of those scores rank in the top 60.
9. Elgin, Illinois
Elgin fell two spots from last year. Many of its scores were similar but there was a slight uptick in home value and a slight increase in violent crimes. But still this is a great place to trick-or-treat. Elgin has the lowest property crime rate in the study.
Plus, the average temperature around Halloween is 56 degrees which is a nice, crisp temperature for trick-or-treating.
10. Racine, Wisconsin
Racine is one of the best cities to get a sackful of candy. This city has the 14th-highest density of single-family homes, meaning there’s no need to walk long distances. Homes here are also for the most part pretty affordable. The median home value in Racine is $106,100.
Data and Methodology
In order to find the best places to trick-or-treat, SmartAsset looked at data on 258 cities. Specifically it looked at data for the following seven factors:
• Single-family housing density. This is the number of single-family houses per square mile. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 1-Year American Community Survey.
• Percent of residents aged 14 or younger. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 1-Year American Community Survey.
• Median home value. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 1-Year American Community Survey.
• Violent crime rate. This is the number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Data comes from the FBI’s 2015 and 2014 Uniform Crime Reporting database as well as local police departments’ websites.
• Property crime rate. This is the number of property crimes per 100,000 residents. Data comes from the FBI’s 2015 and 2014 Uniform Crime Reporting database as well as local police departments’ websites.
• Precipitation probability. This is the chance it rains 0.5 inches or snows 0.1 inches on Halloween. Data comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
• Average temperature. This is the average maximum temperature on Oct. 31. We compared the average maximum temperature to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (what we decided was the ideal trick-or-treating temperature). Data comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
SmartAsset ranked each city in each metric. After it found each city’s average ranking, giving equal weight to each metric. Using this average ranking, it created the final score. The city with the best average ranking received a score of 100 and the city with the worst average ranking received a 0.
Tips for Saving on a Halloween Party
While Halloween isn’t the most expensive holiday on the calendar, throwing a Halloween party can get a little pricey. Here are some ways to host a Halloween party on a tight budget.
If you’re concerned about the costs of food and drinks, ask your guests to contribute some Halloween-themed snacks or chip in for drinks. By turning the party into a potluck, you can save big bucks and get your friends invested in your gathering.
As the host, we’re sure you’ll want to look your best. But a new costume can cost upwards of $100. One great option to save money is to simply make your own Halloween costume. There are plenty of DIY guides on the Internet, plus you’ll amaze your friends with how crafty you are. If you’re not feeling up to the challenge, see if you can borrow an old costume from a friend or try to repurpose something in your closet.
Don’t forget decorations! You could save on decorations by going the DIY route. Pinterest is chock-full of cute ideas.
Data analysis for this study was done by Nick Wallace, a freelance journalist and data analyst living in Michigan. He still lends his economic and analytic expertise for SmartAsset’s studies.