Mother’s Day Statistics [2022]: 15 Surprising Facts About the Holiday

From the sheer volume of flowers purchased in the U.S. to the holiday’s unique origins, there are many fascinating facts about how we celebrate Mother’s Day today.
Last updated May 5, 2022 | By Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore | Edited By Melinda Sineriz
Daughter giving her mother flowers and card on Mother's Day

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

With COVID-19 regulations relaxed in many places all over the world, some families will be gathering to celebrate Mother’s Day together for the first time in years this year. The holiday — held on the second Sunday in May every year — is hugely popular in the U.S., with the number of bouquets sent to American moms numbering in the tens of millions every year.

Mother’s Day was not always about flowers, greeting cards, and brunch plans, though. Here, we look at some information about the history of the holiday as well as some statistics about how popular the day is around the world — and the top gifts for mom.

Key Takeaways:

  • Americans plan to spend $31.7 billion on Mother’s Day-related gifts and activities in 2022.
  • More than 84% of Americans said they would celebrate Mother’s Day in some way this year.
  • Mother’s Day is the third most lucrative holiday of the year for florists, following only Valentine’s Day and Christmas.
  • There are an estimated 2.2 billion mothers around the world right now, and Mother’s Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries.
  • Pre-pandemic, about 87 million people planned to dine out for Mother’s Day.

Americans plan to spend $31.7 billion on Mother’s Day in 2022.

Anastassiya/Adobe Young girl holding tulips

In 2022, Americans plan to spend $31.7 billion in total on Mother’s Day gifts and activities. That’s a whole lot of daisies and spa gift cards!

This figure is up $3.6 billion from the previous year. In fact, expected spending on Mother’s Day has gone up nearly every year since 2012 (yes, even during the prime of the pandemic in 2020). And considering the fact that due to inflation, prices on consumer goods were up 8.5% in March of this year compared to 2021, it’s not surprising that Americans will likely be spending more than ever in 2022.

(Sources: National Retail Federation, Petal Republic, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

84% of U.S. adults expected to celebrate the holiday in some way.

JacobLund/Adobe Happy senior couple with flowers

In a 2022 National Retail Federation survey, about 84% of respondents said they plan to celebrate Mother’s Day in some way. Consumers are planning to spend an average of $245.76 on their Mother’s Day celebrations, which is $25 more than last year.

(Source: National Retail Federation)

Americans will spend $2.9 billion on flowers alone for Mother’s Day.

blackday/Adobe happy courier with a tablet PC during flowers delivery

Flowers are one of the hot-ticket items on Mother’s Day, with 72% of respondents to the National Retail Federation’s 2022 survey saying that they planned to pick out some blooms for mom this year.

It's estimated that Americans will spend around $2.9 billion on flowers alone for the holiday. That total includes both flowers and flower subscription boxes.

(Source: National Retail Federation)

Mother’s Day accounts for 26% of all holiday purchases at flower shops.

pikselstock/Adobe Senior woman working in florist shop

For florists, Mother’s Day is the third most lucrative holiday of the year, according to the Society of American Florists. The blossoming spring holiday follows only Valentine’s Day and Christmas/Hanukkah when it comes to sales volume.

Mother’s Day flowers account for 26% of all holiday transactions at flower shops in the U.S. Valentine’s Day makes up 30% and Christmas/Hanukkah also makes up 26%, but the dollar volume is a tad higher, putting it ahead of Mother’s Day. The other holidays that made the list were Easter/Passover (9%), Thanksgiving (8%), and Father’s Day (2%).

(Source: Society of American Florists)

The holiday is celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world.

Monkey Business/Adobe waitress takes payment for restaurant bill on digital tablet

Mother’s Day, or some form of holiday meant to honor moms, is celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world. Most, like the U.S., celebrate the day on the second Sunday of May.

Other countries, including many in Eastern Europe, celebrate their family matriarchs on International Women’s Day, March 8, while several Arab nations celebrate it on the day of Spring Equinox, March 21.

(Source: ChartsBin, Petal Republic)

Pre-pandemic, around 87 million Americans expected to dine out on Mother’s Day.

Monkey Business/Adobe family eating meal at outdoor restaurant together

Mother’s Day also happens to be one of the biggest dining out days of the year. Before the pandemic, a 2018 study by the National Restaurant Association estimated that a whopping 87 million Americans expected to dine out to mark the occasion. About half of those diners were expected to head out for dinner, while the rest were split between lunch or breakfast/brunch.

Research from the association also suggests that in an average year, about one-third of American adults go out to a restaurant to celebrate the matriarchs in their lives. With COVID-19 restrictions relaxing in much of the country, we may just see the level of Mother’s Day diners back up to their pre-pandemic levels (or even higher). According to reservation site OpenTable, Mother’s Day reservations for 2022 are up 39% compared to 2019 and 13% compared to 2021.

(Source: National Restaurant Association, OpenTable)

Americans buy 113 million Mother’s Day cards.

tilialucida/Adobe Mother's day card and tulips

Mother’s Day is the third most popular holiday when it comes to card sales, according to the Greeting Card Association. Americans purchase an incredible 113 million cards for the holiday every year.

Flowers and a card for mom are a pretty standard gift, so it makes sense that Mother’s Day ranks behind only Christmas cards (1.3 billion) and Valentine’s Day cards (145 million) when it comes to total sales.

(Source: Greeting Card Association)

The most popular Mother’s Day purchases in 2022 are expected to be greeting cards, flowers, and special outings.

Konstantin Yuganov/Adobe daughter greeting her mother with a gift on mother's day

According to National Retail Federation research, the top purchases for moms in 2022 will be greeting cards, followed by flowers and special outings (which includes things like dining out).

Spending on special outings will likely be up in 2022 — with nearly half of survey respondents saying they planned to take the matriarch in their lives out.

(Source: National Retail Federation)

Purchases of both jewelry and flowers for moms are expected to be up in 2022.

Piman Khrutmuang/Adobe Gold jewelry diamond shop with rings and necklaces luxury retail store window display

Spending on your typical hot Mother’s Day commodities — flowers and jewelry — are both expected to be up in 2022. The percentage of planned spending for flowers went up to 72% from 68% in 2021. Forty-one percent of respondents plan to purchase jewelry for the holiday, which is up from 35% in 2021.

Planned spending on special outings, books/CDs, gift cards, and clothing and accessories are also likely to see upticks in 2022.

(Source: National Retail Federation)

46% of Americans value finding a gift that’s unique.

Syda Productions/Adobe Happy couple giving gifts on Valentine's Day

The National Retail Federation’s 2022 survey found that 46% of shoppers prioritize finding a gift that’s unique or different, and 41% value finding a gift that creates a special memory. This might be why 27% of shoppers are planning to purchase an experience, such as a concert or sporting event. This is up from 23% in 2021.

(Source: National Retail Federation)

There are an estimated 2.2 billion mothers all over the world, with around 85 million living in the U.S.

Odua Images/Adobe Mom grocery shopping with baby

So, just how many mothers (or mother figures) around the world will be getting gifts this year? Those numbers are hard to crunch, but it’s estimated that there are about 2.2 billion mothers living in the world right now, with 85 million of those moms living in the U.S.

Given what we know about how many countries around the world have their own version of Mother’s Day, that’s a whole lot of celebrating mom.

(Source: Soundvision, Pew Research Center)

93% of moms in the U.S. reported feeling burnt out at least some of the time.

nicoletaionescu/Adobe stressed mom with wind in her hair pushing shopping cart

If you needed another reason to plan something special for the mom in your life this year, a 2021 survey on the state of motherhood in the U.S. from Motherly found that 93% of moms in the country reported feeling burned out, at least occasionally.

That number is up 7 percentage points from the previous year, and many of the survey respondents attributed the burnout to issues such as attempting to create a work and home life balance and taking on the brunt of childcare and household duties in their homes.

(Source: Motherly)

Mother’s Day is not limited to a one-day celebration all over the world.

imtmphoto/Adobe Happy family celebrating

While more than a hundred countries celebrate Mother’s Day in some way, the festivities and traditions involved in the holiday, and when it takes place, vary a great deal depending on where you are. For example, in Ethiopia, families gather in the fall for a three-day festival involving songs and large feasts meant to honor motherhood.

In Mexico, the day falls on May 10, no matter what day of the week it is, and involves flowers, music, food, large celebrations, and a morning serenade of the song “Las Mananitas” from mariachi singers.

Over in Thailand, the holiday is held in August to mark the birthday of Queen Sirikit, and celebrations and parades are held throughout the day, including ceremonies of respect held for moms at their children’s schools.

(Sources: History.com, Time, Taste of Thailand)

The first official Mother’s Day took place 108 years ago when Woodrow Wilson made it a holiday.

Courtesy of International Mother's Day Shrine Portrait of Anna Jarvis

The history of Mother’s Day has a few starting points. Mother’s Day as we know it originated in the United States. It was made into an official holiday more than a century ago, but the holiday’s original creator had different intentions when she put a day to honor mothers in motion in the early 20th century.

Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist and suffragette who wrote the lyrics for “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” wrote a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870 to call for mothers to promote peace. She also campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day.” This laid the groundwork for Anna Jarvis.

Jarvis, a woman from Philadelphia, held a service memorial for her late mother on May 12, 1907. Jarvis’ mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, had organized women’s groups to promote health and friendship. For example, she started “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to help women learn to care for children and “Mother’s Friendship Day,” which brought mothers together after the Civil War.

The following year, Jarvis sent 500 white carnations to a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia to honor her mother, which started the tradition of wearing and giving carnations on Mother’s Day. This is considered by many to be the first Mother’s Day celebration. She started to campaign for a national day to celebrate mothers.

Within five years of Jarvis’ 1907 tribute to her mother, every state in the U.S. had started observing the day. President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday 108 years ago, in 1914. As time went on, Jarvis became displeased with her creation, taking issue with the commercialization of Mother’s Day.

(Source: History.com, Legacy Project, Time, Britannica)

Mother’s Day is on a different day each year in the UK.

Leonid Andronov/Adobe Westminster Bridge at sunset

The origins of Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom stem from “Mothering Sunday,” which is on the fourth Sunday of Lent and stems from when Christians would return to their “mother church” for a special service. Over time, the American idea of Mother’s Day as a secular holiday spread across the pond, and it merged with Mothering Sunday. Today, the UK continues to observe Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent, which means the date is different each year.

(Source: History.com, Arena Flowers)

How to celebrate Mother’s Day without breaking the bank

NDABCREATIVITY/Adobe Happy family making dinner together

Planning a special day for mom can be pricey. Here are a few ways to keep the costs down.

  • Plan ahead. If Mother’s Day this year coincides with you rethinking how to manage your money, planning ahead is a great way to save. There are a few industries that make a large profit on Mother’s Day, like florists, restaurants, and jewelers. If you plan your gift ahead of time, you may be able to score some deals that simply wouldn’t be an option so close to the holiday when so many people are scrambling for the best bouquets or heart pendants.
  • Use rewards. This may also be a good time to look into the best rewards credit card for your situation. If your plan is to take mom out for a nice meal, paying with a card that gives cash back or points on dining can end up saving you money in the end. Some cards also give you the option to buy gifts with your points, so if you’re worried about not being able to afford something nice for the mother in your life, look into your points balance and what you can spend those on. You may even consider using points on things like travel or experiences for mom.
  • Eat at home. We noted before that a large percentage of Americans take their moms out for a meal on Mother’s Day, but the holiday can be just as special (and a lot cheaper) if you eat at home. If cooking is not exactly your forte, ordering in and setting up a nice table for mom to enjoy her day can be just as meaningful an experience (without the chaos of a packed restaurant on the holiday).
  • Rethink the flowers. Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year for florists, so you’re not likely to score a deal walking into any flower shops anytime around the spring holiday — and those bouquets or prepared vases can get quite pricey. But if you’re thrifty, you probably can score a less expensive and perfectly beautiful bouquet by heading to the local grocery store. In some cities, even convenience stores sell small bouquets. If your mom has the space and enjoys planting, another way to save is by buying her seeds or small flowering plants that she can grow on her own.

Bottom line

Jag_cz/Adobe fresh tulips bouquet

Devoting a day to honoring mothers is actually a tradition that dates back thousands of years to fertility rituals and festivals dedicated to celebrating mother-like deities and Mother Nature. The U.S. version of the holiday has evolved from a ceremony honoring family matriarchs to a massive worldwide holiday. Even though it’s become commercialized, it’s still a great and meaningful way to honor the moms of the world and all that they do.

Source List:

1. CNBC - Consumers will be spending more on mom this year, but celebrations are still homebound

2. Petal Republic - Mother’s Day Statistics

3. Bureau of Labor & Statistics - Consumer Price Index - March 2022

4. National Retail Federation - Mother’s Day Spending to Reach Record High

5. National Retail Federation - Retail Holiday and Seasonal Trends

6. National Retail Federation - Mother’s Day Data Center

7. Society of American Florists - Mother’s Day Floral Statistics

8. ChartsBin - Mother’s Day Dates Around the World

9. National Restaurant Association - 87 million adults plan to dine out on Mother’s Day

10. National Restaurant Association - A motherlode of Mother’s Day dining ideas

11. PR Newswire - Americans Plan to Go Big for Mother’s Day this Year

12. Greeting Card Association - Greeting Card Info to Know

13. Sound Vision - Statistics About Mothers Around the World

14. History - Mother’s Day 2022

15. TIME - Here’s How 9 Other Countries Celebrate Mother’s Day

16. Taste of Thailand - Mother’s Day in Thailand

17. Britannica - Mother’s Day

18. History.com - Mother’s Day 2022

19. Legacy Project - The History of Mother’s Day

20. Time - The Surprisingly Sad Origins of Mother’s Day

21. Arena Flowers - The History of Mother’s Day

Truebill Benefits

  • Automatically find and cancel subscriptions
  • Slash your monthly phone, cable, and internet bills
  • Save an average of up to $720 a year

Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.