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 billion
Estimated value of the American prom industry

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

$750
Rental 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."

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

$400
Cost of the average prom dress

$45,000
Cost 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$3,000
Amount 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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