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20 Birthday Facts & Statistics: 2024 Trends

Pondering the random and fun facts that surround birthdays? We've got the answers.

We all remember the best birthday party we’ve ever had. But have you ever wondered who threw the wildest birthday bash in history or which celebrity spent the most on their special day?

Get ready to ditch the mundane and dive into the world of often useless but always fascinating birthday party facts and statistics!

You’re about to uncover a world brimming with fun facts about birthdays, funny birthday anecdotes, and intriguing birthday party statistics. You’ll discover the uncommon, the hilarious, and the utterly surprising facts that make every birthday unique.

Top 7 Fun Facts About Birthdays

  1. According to a 2022 YouGov poll, 19% of people love their birthday, while 24% like it, and 47% remain neutral. Seven percent dislike it and 4% said they hated it.
  2. Fifteenth-century German bakers first sold cakes called Geburtstagorten for kids’ birthday parties, which were called Kinderfest.
  3. The Guinness World Record for the longest birthday was 48 hours long. It was achieved by a man who traveled across several time zones to locations including Hawaii, Los Angeles, and New Zealand.
  4. Traditional Chinese culture uses a different system to calculate age, and so a baby is automatically one year old the moment they’re born. Another year is then added to their age on their first Lunar New Year’s holiday.
  5. “Happy Birthday to You” was written by Patty Hill in 1912 and, up until 2000, still cost $700 in royalties for use in commercial productions. In 2016, the song became part of the public domain, meaning it no longer costs anything to sing “Happy Birthday to You” in a film, video, or online.
  6. Ancient Greeks used to offer cakes with candles to Artemis, the goddess of the moon, which is why we blow out birthday candles today.
  7. Russian children can get their birthday gifts and party favors from a birthday clothesline which adults clip presents to.

20 Birthday Party Facts and Statistics

Find out the coolest facts about birthday parties that take place here, there, and everywhere on Earth.

Fun Facts About Celebrations

These random birthday party facts include the history of invitations and birthday cakes, plus the most unique ways of celebrating.

1. Paper vs. Digital

Recent birthday party facts and statistics show 73% of people surveyed prefer sending digital birthday party invitations over paper versions (1). The ease of sending and receiving digital invitations may be the reason, although the special feeling of a paper invitation is missed.

2. Biggest Birthday Cake

The biggest birthday cake ever was made in Alabama in 1989. It weighed 128,238 pounds, was 32 by 80 feet, had 12 layers, and was baked in the shape of the state of Alabama. To keep things Alabama-based, the band Alabama sang “Happy Birthday” on this day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fort Payne, Alabama (2).

3. Birthday Feelings

How do people feel about their birthdays? A recent psychological survey revealed 19% love their special day, 24% like it, and 47% are neutral. Seven percent dislike it, while just 4% hate it. It goes to show we all feel differently about our own birthdays vs. another person’s special day.

4. Hard to Impress

In 2023, a survey of 2,000 parents with kids between three and 12 years old revealed that 73% of their kids weren’t easily impressed when planning their birthdays. The kids each wanted different birthday extras, from clowns and costumed performers to inflatable playsets and video game parties (3).

5. Get Creative

Many weird and sometimes funny birthday facts include where people get ideas for their parties. TikTok has become a dependable source for younger generations like Gen Z to find the perfect party theme. Approximately 40% of young people use TikTok, vs. older generations who use Google to plan the ideal birthday bash (4).

6. Best Party Age

Which birthday ages mean the most to us when it comes to memorable celebrations? The highest monthly searches for birthday party ideas revealed 70,000 people looking for sweet sixteen birthday party inspiration. Searches for 1st birthdays, 50th birthdays, and 40th birthdays followed. And looking for ideas for 21sts, 30ths, 18ths, and 60ths round out the list (5).

7. Crossing Time Zones

A fun fact about birthdays that simply can’t be missed is about the longest birthday in history. On February 3, 2018, a man broke the Guinness World Record by traveling across different time zones, extending his 28th birthday to 48 hours. To make this happen, he had to travel across the U.S., Hawaii, New Zealand, and Samoa.

History of Birthday Party Facts

These facts and figures cover how people have participated in birthday parties throughout history.

1. American Birthdays

Birthdays by date as they’re currently known for the American middle class didn’t originate until the second half of the 19th century. The shift started with celebrating kids’ birthdays, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that birthday parties were a tradition (6).

2. German Birthday Cakes

Germany may be responsible for the worldwide origin of birthday cakes. In the early 15th century, German bakers began selling sweet cakes for children’s birthday parties. Their celebrations were called Kinderfest, where cakes, called Geburtstagorten, make the experience much sweeter for all.

3. First Birthday

The very first birthday celebration has its origin in ancient Egypt. It was reserved for pharaohs who were “birthed” when they were crowned as rulers. These uncommon birthdays honored the birth of a god, not a man. Any pagans believed that birthdays were a day when magic was in the air, which was more mystical than creepy (7).

4. Greek Moon Party

Ancient Greeks were responsible for the additional detail of birthday cake candles. They were originally offered to Artemis, the goddess of the moon. By blowing out the candles, your wishes were said to rise to the heavens via the smoke they created.

5. Happy Birthday Song

In 1998, the most recognizable song in the English language worldwide was “Happy Birthday to You.” It was written by Patty Hill, a kindergarten teacher in Kentucky, in 1912. In 2016, a settlement was reached making the “Happy Birthday to You” song part of the public domain. It’s free to sing your heart out in public for anyone’s birthday you like (8).

6. Sweet 16

Most people (especially women) remember their sweet sixteen birthday party. It’s unclear how the tradition started, but many believe it’s equivalent to a Southern “coming out” ball. Sixteen was considered the age at which girls acquired social skills and learned to host (9).

7. Roman Invitations

A Roman fort commander’s wife wrote the world’s oldest birthday invite to her sister in 103 C.E. The invitation was composed on thin slabs of wood, which were eventually found in 1973 by excavators (10).

Facts About Birthdays Around the World

Take a trip around the globe to birthday parties like you’ve never seen or heard about before.

1. Russia

In Russia, kids often have a clothesline incorporated into their birthday. Adults hang up presents for the birthday boy or girl on the clothesline, along with gifts for party guests. The kids grab them down instead of receiving party favors from the birthday celebration.

2. China

Traditional Chinese beliefs consider a baby’s birthdate as their first birthday. Many in China consider the word “age” to mean three things, one of which is the traditional age set above. Another is the modern age, which doesn’t go for the Lunar New Year tradition. The third is the solid age, which mirrors the Western world (11).

3. A Jewish Celebration

In lieu of a 13th birthday, Jewish boys celebrate a bar mitzvah. Jewish girls have a bat mitzvah at 12 or 13. It’s both a birthday party and a coming-of-age ritual for young Jewish kids to accept and honor their religious traditions (12).

4. Quinceañera

Latin-American girls look forward to their Quinceañera (15th birthday) rather than a sweet sixteen. Traditions include a mass attended by family, especially godparents, followed by a reception. Like a wedding, the birthday girl has a court of “damas,” meaning “maids of honor” (13). There’s more than one gift in store, including the wearing of a tiara.

5. Ghanaian Non-Birthday

An interesting piece of birthday trivia includes potatoes. In Ghana, families celebrate a birthday with a dish called “oto,” made up of fried potatoes made for sharing. The most important aspect of a Ghanaian birthday celebration is about time spent with family (14).

6. Fairy Bread

In Australia, children’s birthday parties typically include a treat called “fairy bread.” It consists of only three ingredients: bread, butter, and sprinkles. It’s a slightly odd but unforgettable tradition for many Australians (15).

What was the Greatest Birthday Party of All Time?

It’s well-documented that the Sultan of Brunei’s 50th birthday bash in 1996 tops the list of most extravagant parties. The two-week event concluded in Sultan’s 1,778-room palace and included water polo, plus caviar and champagne. The party cost $27.2 million, $16 million of which went to the party’s concert performer—Michael Jackson (16).

Tips For Throwing a Great Birthday Party

Guest list. Venue. Theme. Time. Invitations. Activities. Snacks. Entertainment. Party Favors. Unplanned fun (17).


What is the Most Popular Type of Birthday Party?

Parties with themes remain the most popular type of birthday celebration. Whether you have a seasonal event, like a beach party or luau, or winter wonderland, guests will have a ball. Other popular ideas include a champagne brunch or cookout in the backyard (18). As long as fun is at the heart of everything, people won’t want the party to end.

What is the Most Popular Birthday Food?

Undoubtedly, birthday cake is the most popular food served to guests at a birthday party (19). No matter the age celebrated, everyone loves when the birthday cake arrives, especially if the party needs a boost.

What are the Odds of 3 Friends Having the Same Birthday?

The odds of three friends having the same birthday (not a specific birthday, just the same birthday) can be calculated by using the principles of probability.

Assuming that each year has 365 days (ignoring leap years), the probability for the first person is 1, because they can have their birthday on any day of the year.

Let’s call these friends A, B, and C.

– The probability of friend B having the same birthday as friend A is 1/365 because there is only one day on which B can have a birthday that matches A’s.

– The probability of friend C also having the same birthday as A (and therefore B) is again 1/365.

Multiplying these probabilities together, the probability of all three friends having the same birthday is 1 * 1/365 * 1/365 = 1/133,225.

So the odds of three friends having the same birthday are 1 in 133,225.

What is the Rarest Birthday?

Christmas Day (December 25) is the rarest birthday you can have. It’s probably best since Christmas babies’ birthdays often get forgotten by others who are too busy celebrating the big holiday. January 1 is the runner-up to the rarest birthday, followed in third place by Christmas Eve on December 24 (20).

What is a Golden Birthday?

A Golden Birthday is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It happens when you turn the same age as your birthdate. For example, if your birthday falls on the 19th of the month, your Golden Birthday occurs when you turn 19 years old. The month doesn’t matter, but when the date and age coincide, it’s a super special time to celebrate (21).

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.