Expressing one's love to another is a celebrated custom on Valentine's Day. Sweethearts and family members present gifts to one another, such as cards, candy, flowers and other symbols of 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. Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. The spirit continues today with even young children exchanging valentine's cards with their fellow classmates.
1,148: Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2011, employing 35,538 people. California led the nation with 122 of these establishments, followed by Pennsylvania, with 109.
440: Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured non-chocolate confectionery products in 2011. These establishments employed 19,198 people. California led the nation in this category with 56 establishments.
$13.5 billion: The estimated value of shipments in 2011 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was an estimated $8.4 billion industry.
3,320: Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2011.
15,307: The total number of florists establishments nationwide in 2011. These businesses employed 66,165 people.
$280,357,058: The value of imports for cut flowers and buds for bouquets in 2013 through October. The total value of fresh cut roses as of October 2013 was $354,703,231.
23,394: The estimated number of jewelry stores in the United States in 2011. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to couples of all ages. In February 2013, these stores sold an estimated $2.8 billion in merchandise.
The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation's 1,385 jewelry-manufacturing establishments.
"Please Be Mine"
29.0 and 26.6 years: Median age at first marriage in 2013 for men and women, respectively.
52.7 percent: The overall percentage of people 15 and older who reported being married.
68.6 percent: Percentage of people 15 and older in 2013 who had been married at some point in their lives — either currently or formerly.
36.9: The provisional rate of marriages per 1,000 people performed in Nevada during 2011. So many couples tie the knot in the Silver State that it ranked No. 1 nationally in marriage rates. Hawaii ranked second with a marriage rate of 17.6.
2.1 million: The provisional number of marriages that took place in the United States in 2011. That breaks down to nearly 5,800 a day.
74.5 percent: The percentage of women who married for the first time between 1990 and 1994, who marked their 10th anniversary. This compares with 83 percent of women who married for the first time between 1960 and 1964.
6.2 percent: As of 2009, 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.
Giving Love a Second Chance
19.4 percent: Among people 15 and older who have been married, the percentage of men and women, who have been married twice as of 2012. Five percent have married three or more times. By comparison, 75.4 percent of people who have ever been married have made only one trip down the aisle.
8: Median length, in years, of first marriages that ended in divorce.
3.8 and 3.7: The median time in years between divorce and a second marriage for men and women, respectively. However, the two medians are not statistically different from each other.
9 percent and 7.9 percent: Among people 15 and older in 2009, the percentage of men and women, respectively, who had married twice and were still married.
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 $928 million in revenue.
Romantic-sounding places to spend Valentine's Day:
Rose City, Texas
Rose City, Mich.
South Heart, N.D.
Sacred Heart, Minn.
Loveland Park, Ohio
Love County, Okla.
Loves Park, Ill.
Loving County, Texas
Love Valley, N.C.
Rose Hill Acres, Texas
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder.