February 14th was officially pronounced Valentine’s Day by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. Nearly 1,350 years later, Esther Howland, a Massachusetts native, is credited with selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s.

Flowers, Jewelry, and Candy

Exchanging presents? If it’s jewelry or flowers, it may be increasingly difficult to find a standalone retailer. Between 2005 and 2013, both the number of florists’ establishments and the number of jewelry stores in North Carolina decreased by more than a third. Online competition is one of the reasons for the decline.

414

The number of florists’ establishments in North Carolina in 2013. These businesses employed 1,644 people and had an annual payroll of $27.7 million. This was 238 fewer establishments than the 652 florists in the state in 2005, a 36.5% decrease. In addition to online retailers, the increasing availability of flowers at grocery stores, wholesalers, and other retail locations is another driver of the decline of standalone florists.

599

The number of jewelry stores in North Carolina in 2013, 316 or 34.5% fewer than there were in 2005. In 2013, jewelry stores employed 3,504 workers with an annual payroll of $95.2 million.

51

The number of confectionary and nut stores in North Carolina in 2013; they employed 252 individuals with an annual payroll of $3.5 million. Although there are 5 fewer confectionary and nut stores than there were in 2005, an 8.9% decline, confectionary and nut stores have not followed the same trajectory as florists and jewelry stores.

Marriage

29 and 27 years

The median age at first marriage in 2014 for men and women in North Carolina, respectively. The median age at first marriage is slightly younger than the national rates for both men and women (29.5 and 27.6).

49.2%

The overall percentage of North Carolinians age 15 and older who were married in 2014 (excluding those who are separated). This is slightly higher than the national rate of 47.7%.

26.9%

Among North Carolinians age 15 and older who have ever been married, the percentage who have been married at least twice as of 2014. Six percent were married three times or more. The number of North Carolinians with multiple marriages is higher than the national rate (19.2%).

Data Sources

County Business Patterns, U.S. Census Bureau

2014 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau

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