When it comes to Halloween costumes, vampires, princesses, police officers and pirates are in, while politicians, nurses and Batman are out. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, 47 million adults and 58 million children across the country plan to dress up for Halloween this year. Consumer Spending logo

Once again, witches take the top spot for adult costumes (18.1%). Thanks to popular books, movies and television series, vampire costumes jumped to the number two spot (4.2%) from third last year. Hardest hit this year were nurse costumes, which fell from number five to number 13, and political figures, which didn’t even make the list.

“The departure of both nurses and politicians from the top costumes list could be an indication that Americans would like to shelve the health care reform debate – at least for one night – to have a little bipartisan fun,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF President and CEO. “Pop culture always influences Halloween costumes, and it will be interesting to see how creative Americans can get this year.”

For children, make-believe takes the top spot for the fifth year in a row with 4.5 million princesses expected to flood the streets in pink dresses and tiaras on Halloween. Those handing out candy will also see an estimated two million witches, 1.3 million Spidermen, and a million pirates, pumpkins and vampires. For pets, a pumpkin will be the top choice, with devil and witch also near the top of the list.

“The economy will impact how much Americans spend on Halloween, but people will still find ways to celebrate one of the most lighthearted holidays of the year,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Young or old, Halloween is about having fun, even if it means using last year’s costume or piecing something together from things around the house.”

“2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey,” conducted by BIGresearch for the National Retail Federation (NRF), October 1, 2009.  Website: www.nrf.com.