More Americans Plan to Buy Gifts This Graduation Season

According to the 2016 Graduation Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, the average person buying graduation gifts will spend $106.45, up 3.9 percent from last year for a total of $5.4 billion, an all-time high in the survey’s 10-year history. The average shopper is buying for two graduates, however, so each recipient can expect only about half that amount.

Full survey results

Download the data from NRF’s 2016 Graduation Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights.


This figure is the highest in NRF’s 10-year survey history.

Planned spending on graduation gifts

Planned spending on graduation gifts

Cash will once again be the most popular gift, given by 56 percent of shoppers as they seek to help students with the transition from high school to college or college to the “real world.” Greeting cards — many with cash inside — follow at 39 percent, gift cards at 31 percent, clothing at 14 percent and electronics at 11 percent.

At 42 percent, recent graduates aged 18-24 are the most likely to give a gift to their peers or family members. The biggest spending comes from those aged 45-54 years old, at $120.74 on average, compared with $78.08 for 18-24-year-olds and $105.52 for those 65 and over.

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