The Top Cities for Holiday Spending

  • Hey There, Big Spenders

    While the retail sector has shown some encouraging signs this holiday season, last year’s shopping season was by all accounts a disaster for retailers. Recession-weary shoppers kept their belts tight, with shoppers spending even less than they did in 2008, according to figures from the National Retail Federation. Still, not everyone was frugal in 2009. Our partners at gathered city-by-city data on retail spending for November and December 2009 to determine which cities spent the most per capita during the holiday shopping season. Focusing on the 100 largest U.S. cities, Bundle also broke the data down by age, income level and retail category – clothes, electronics and general shopping – to give us a more complete picture of each city’s holiday shopping habits. Here are the top 10 cities for holiday spending in 2009, as measured by the average per-person expenditure. Photo Credit: zoetnet
    10. Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 10. Honolulu, Hawaii

    Per-Person Spending: $923 Hawaii’s capital checks in at number 10 on our list, despite barely cracking the top 20 in spending on clothes and shoes. I guess flip-flops and bathing suits don’t cost that much. Photo Credit:
    9. Washington, D.C.
  • 9. Washington, D.C.

    Per-Person Spending: $944 The District of Columbia took the top spot in our list of the most productive states, and it appears that productivity translates into a lot of dollars thrown around during the holidays. Washington’s high ranking was buoyed by a third-place finish in per-capita spending on clothes and shoes. Hey, power suits aren’t cheap. Photo Credit: DoctorWho
    8. Dallas, Texas
  • 8. Dallas, Texas

    Per-Person Spending: $953 Dallas ranks eighth on our list, despite a mediocre showing by the city’s young adults. The 18- to 25-year-old demographic ranked 21st of the major cities in total spending, and the 26- to 35-year-old set didn’t fare much better. Fortunately, the middle-aged and elderly picked up the slack – Dallas residents age 50-65 ranked sixth in their age group among all surveyed cities, while those older than 65 placed seventh. Thanks, Grandma! Photo Credit: Scott Ellis
    7. San Jose, Calif.
  • 7. San Jose, Calif.

    Per-Person Spending: $1,019 It should come as no surprise that the capital of Silicon Valley spends a lot on gadgets. The city’s residents spent an average of $101 on electronics during the 2009 holiday season, far and away the highest of any city on the list. Photo Credit: pointnshoot
    6. Irvine, Calif.
  • 6. Irvine, Calif.

    Per-Person Spending: $1,019 If you hate getting clothes for Christmas, move to Irvine. Despite placing sixth in total spending, residents of this Southern California college town (home to the University of California, Irvine) ranked just 31st in holiday spending on clothing and shoes. They made up ground in the “general shopping” category however, spending $763 to place fourth on the list. Photo Credit: Mathieu Marquer
    5. Plano, Texas
  • 5. Plano, Texas

    Per-Person Spending: $1,076 Data from the U.S. Census Bureau places this Dallas suburb as the richest major American city by median household income. Still, it’s not Plano’s wealthy driving all that spending – residents making $125,000 or more ranked just 29th in their income level in average holiday spending. Photo Credit: T. C.
    4. Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • 4. Scottsdale, Ariz.

    Per-Person Spending: $1,118 The kids are all right in Scottsdale, at least when it comes to buying gifts. Scottsdale’s 18- to 25-year-olds ranked first in their demographic among all major American cities, beating out the young adults in second-place Arlington, Va., by nearly $200 in total per-capita spending. Photo Credit: Dan Perry
    3. Arlington, Va.
  • 3. Arlington, Va.

    Per-Person Spending: $1,123 Residents of this Washington D.C., suburb just love spending money around the holidays, regardless of income level. Those making $20,000 a year or less still spent an average of $391 in November and December, good for second place in the lowest income bracket. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Johnson
    2. Austin, Texas
  • 2. Austin, Texas

    Per-Person Spending: $1,221 Yes, this is the third Texas city to make the list – it seems even the holiday budgets are bigger in Texas. Austin residents are free with the cash year-round, however, as Austin ranks as the highest-spending city in the country according to Bundle’s list from earlier this year. Photo Credit: Andi Narvaez
    Highest Holiday Spending: Raleigh, N.C.
  • Highest Holiday Spending: Raleigh, N.C.

    Per-Person Spending: $1,269 The good people of Raleigh take top honors, spending nearly twice as much as the average American ($667, according to Bundle’s data) for the 2009 holiday season. As one of the smartest cities in the country – there are three major universities in the immediate area – it’s no surprise there’s plenty of money to go around. Photo Credit: Alex Ford
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