A Time for Thanks: 4 in 10 Americans Have More to be Thankful for than a Few Years Ago

Our families top the list of what we're thankful for

Nov 12, 2015, 05:05 ET from The Harris Poll

NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The season of giving thanks is upon us and many Americans are increasingly thankful. Over four in ten adults (41%) say they have more to be thankful for than they did a few years ago, while just 15% say they have less to be thankful for. Over one third (36%) say they have about as much to be thankful for.

Younger generations are especially thankful, with Millennials and Gen Xers particularly likely to say they have more to be thankful for (53% Millennials & 46% Gen Xers vs. 33% Baby Boomers & 24% Matures). Nearly half of women (47%), compared to just one third of men (35%), say they have more to be thankful for this year.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,225 U.S. adults surveyed online between October 14 and 19, 2015. Full results of the study, including data tables, can be found here.

Thankfulness abounds
Reasons to be thankful are certainly plentiful. Vast majorities each say they're thankful this year for the health of their family (84%), their family relationships (84%), and because technology makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends (75%).

Over half each also say they're thankful because good technology is easily accessible (65%), because of their own personal economic situation (61%), and because of their work situation (57%). However, the same can't be said for the economy as a whole. Fewer than three in ten (28%) say they're thankful for the economic situation in the U.S., though it's worth noting that this represents a considerable improvement over just two years ago (when only 17% of Americans indicated the same).

  • Perhaps they're naïve, or maybe just optimistic, but nearly four in ten (39%) Millennials say they're thankful for the U.S. economic situation, compared to one quarter or less of all other generations (25% Gen Xers, 23% Baby Boomers & 23% Matures).

While nearly half (46%) say they're thankful because it's safe to walk the streets, this sees a 6 point drop from two years ago. And people could perhaps stand to be a little nicer to each other as well this holiday season: just 32% of Americans say they're thankful for the way people treat each other.

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This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between October 14 and 19, 2015 among 2,225 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #70, November 12, 2015
By Allyssa Birth, Senior Research Analyst, The Harris Poll

About The Harris Poll®
Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, please visit our new website, TheHarrisPoll.com.

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SOURCE The Harris Poll