Feature

The $4 billion prom industry: By the numbers

Prom season is in full swing, which means it's time for high schoolers (and their parents!) to shell out big bucks for the one-night mega-party

It's prom season, the American teenage right of passage that marks a time of celebration, stressful corsage pinnings, precarious high-heel experiments, and very serious spending. Here, a guide to the highly profitable prom business, by the numbers:

$4 billionEstimated value of the American prom industry

$1500Prom night rental fee for a stretch SUV limo that can accommodate 14 people, in Virginia

$750Rental fee for the same SUV limo on any other night of the year. When asked about the price discrepancy, an employee of the Virginia company said, "Teenagers are horrible."

$13,997Cost of the diamond-studded, "most expensive prom dress ever" on offer from Philadelphia-based company, Dress Goddess

$400Cost of the average prom dress

$45,000Cost of renting San Diego's Broadway Pier and tranforming it into a reasonable replica of Pandora, the fictional planet in Avatar, for San Marcos High School's graduates

$542Average amount a family in the South will spend on prom, according to VISA's 2011 prom spending survey

$667Average amount a family in the Northeast will spend on prom

$943Average amount a family in the Midwest will spend on prom

$1,073Average amount a family in the West will spend on prom

$778Average amount parents with a combined income of less than $50,000 will spend on prom

$916Average amount parents with a combined income of more than $50,000 will spend on prom

$3,000Amount one suburban New York mother spent on her 15-year-old's first prom, which included teeth whitening, hair extensions, makeup, and, of course, the dress

Sources: ABC News, Martinsville Bulletin, Huffington Post, Fox News, North County Times

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