Easter is typically a big consumer holiday that rakes in billions and gives Americans toothaches. We’re likely to see a boom in spending this year, too, as the pandemic restrictions of the past two years are mostly gone and more people will celebrate in person. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, grocery stores will offer an abundance of seasonal foods like chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps, as well as extra eggs for people who want to dye them.
For Christians, however, Easter is less of a commercial event than a holy experience. It not only marks the end of Lent — a 40-day period of fasting, reflection, prayer and repentance followed directly by Easter Sunday — but it also celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and represents the “new covenant” between God and humanity. In observance of the holiday, many families will attend services, either in person or via the livestreams that many churches started to offer during the pandemic.
But some Americans will feel the Easter spirit more than others, depending on where they live. To identify those areas, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities based on 13 metrics that speak to an ideal Easter celebration. Our metrics range from candy and chocolate stores per capita to the city’s Christian population.
Make sure to also check out WalletHub’s Easter Facts & Stats – Church, Candy & Cash infographic for fun facts about the holiday.
Best Places to Celebrate Easter
|Overall Rank||City||Total Score||Easter Observers||Easter Traditions||Kids’ Easter||Easter Weather|
|5||St. Louis, MO||53.93||6||27||35||21|
|8||El Paso, TX||52.12||21||22||56||13|
|9||New Orleans, LA||51.57||15||24||46||51|
|16||Oklahoma City, OK||50.17||14||55||13||13|
|17||St. Paul, MN||49.82||5||43||17||96|
|18||Long Beach, CA||49.46||25||36||59||51|
|19||Las Vegas, NV||48.91||70||11||15||7|
|27||Baton Rouge, LA||47.42||16||79||7||61|
|30||Kansas City, MO||46.86||24||78||12||21|
|34||Fort Worth, TX||46.17||43||57||20||2|
|36||San Antonio, TX||45.69||58||17||68||87|
|37||San Jose, CA||45.69||79||8||93||57|
|39||San Francisco, CA||45.45||81||5||100||51|
|40||Jersey City, NJ||45.37||34||50||43||83|
|50||San Diego, CA||44.75||84||15||81||29|
|51||New York, NY||44.62||78||20||31||79|
|53||Santa Ana, CA||44.53||51||48||42||51|
|56||Fort Wayne, IN||44.42||22||92||14||50|
|65||Los Angeles, CA||43.33||80||19||98||35|
|68||Corpus Christi, TX||42.63||29||95||18||57|
|75||Virginia Beach, VA||41.30||73||65||9||73|
|79||Colorado Springs, CO||40.30||76||52||78||66|
|89||St. Petersburg, FL||38.37||74||70||86||66|
|90||Chula Vista, CA||37.92||90||66||73||29|
|92||San Bernardino, CA||36.68||82||97||4||51|
|100||North Las Vegas, NV||31.02||98||100||5||7|
Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.
Ask the Experts
Easter can be an expensive holiday to celebrate. According to the National Retail Federation, the average U.S. consumer will spend roughly $170 on celebration expenses this year. For tips on observing Easter during the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:
- What tips do you have for celebrating Easter on a budget?
- What are some of the big money wasters on Easter?
- Has Easter in America become too commercialized?
- How will the pandemic impact Easter celebrations this year, if at all?
- What money-saving tips do you have for people planning to travel for the Easter Holiday?
Ask the Experts
In order to determine the best cities for celebrating Easter, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across four key dimensions: 1) Easter Observers, 2) Easter Traditions, 3) Kids’ Easter and 4) Easter Weather.
We evaluated those dimensions using 13 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for celebrating the holiday. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), we used the square root of the population to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.
We then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.
Easter Observers – Total Points: 50
- Share of Christian Population: Double Weight (~33.33 Points)
Note: The percentage is based on the ratio between the total adherents of the following U.S. religions — Adventist, Baptist, Catholicism, Communal, Episcopalianism/Anglicanism, European Free-Church, Holiness, Ind. Fundamentalist, Latter-Day Saints, Lutheran, Methodist/Pietist, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Presbyterian-Reformed — and the total population of the city.
- Churches per Capita*: Full Weight (~16.67 Points)
Easter Traditions – Total Points: 30
- Google Search Interest for “Easter Celebration”: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
Note: The metric measures the search interest for “Easter Celebration,” “Easter Sunday,” “Easter Egg Hunt,” “Easter Activities” and “Easter Dinner.”
- Brunch Restaurants per Capita*: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
Note: Easter brunch is a longstanding tradition in many families.
- Cost of Restaurant Meal: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
- Candy & Chocolate Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
- Flower & Gift Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~4.29 Points)
- Percentage of Residents 12+ Who Are Fully Vaccinated: Double Weight (~8.57 Points)
Kids’ Easter - Total Points: 10
- Share of Children Aged 9 & Younger: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
- Easter Egg-Hunt Events per Capita*: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
- Acres of Parkland per Capita: Half Weight (~2.00 Points)
Note: Many of the public Egg Hunt events take place in parks.
Easter Weather - Total Points: 10
- Difference Between Forecasted and Normal Temperatures on Easter: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: For this metric, the city was penalized if its forecasted temperature on Easter’s Day is colder than the holiday’s average temperature.
- Forecasted Precipitation for Easter: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, The Association of Religion Data Archives, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Trust for Public Land, Yelp, Eventbrite, Google Ads, Numbeo and AccuWeather.