Friday, November 22, 2013

What are Americans Thankful for this Thanksgiving? Not the Economy

Photo Credit: Survey Monkey.

21 Nov 2013 19:00 Africa/Lagos

What are Americans Thankful for this Thanksgiving? Not the Economy.

Talking turkey: the bird tops the list of Thanksgiving dishes Americans look forward to

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanksgiving means different things to different people. For some it's all about the parade. For others, it's a chance to see family and friends. For a few, it's become about the sales and strategizing on how to hit the best ones. But for many it's about giving thanks, and more than two in five Americans (43%) say they have about as much to be thankful for as a few years ago, while 38% say they have more to be thankful for than a few years ago. Just over one in ten U.S. adults (14%) say they have less to be thankful for than a few years ago.


These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,368 adults surveyed online between October 16 and 21, 2013 by Harris Interactive . (Full results, including data tables, available here)
This year, fewer Americans feel they have more to be thankful for than said so in 2010 (41%), but it's about the same as in 1974 (when this question was first asked) and 1980 (38% and 37%, respectively).  However, in 1983 half of Americans said they had more to be thankful for (50%), which is more than in any other year this has been asked.

Looking at some specific items, Americans have a lot to be thankful for. Over three-quarters of Americans are thankful because of the health of their family (85%), because of their family relationships (84%) and because technology makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends (76%). Interestingly, in 1980 almost all Americans said they were thankful for the health of their family (96%) and because of family relationships (95%).

While three in five Americans (62%) are thankful for their own personal economic situation, this is down from 66% in 2010 and 81% in 1980. Three in five U.S. adults (60%) are thankful for their work situation, compared to 65% who said this in 2010 and 78% who said so in 1980. What Americans are not thankful for is the economic situation of the United States, as 62% say they are not thankful for this while 17% are thankful. In 1984, 78% were thankful for the economic situation of the U.S. and in 1988 59% were thankful; in 2010 that number was 23%.

The Turkey!

And, for many Americans, Thanksgiving is all about the food. When asked which of these traditional food dishes people look forward to the most, two in five U.S. adults (40%) say it's the turkey while one in five (21%) look forward to the stuffing. Smaller numbers look forward to pumpkin pie (13%), potatoes whether mashed (9%) or sweet (7%) and the cranberry sauce, jelly or relish (4%). Men are more likely than women to look forward to the turkey (46% vs. 35%), while women are more likely to look forward to the pumpkin pie (14% vs. 10%).

While cooking there are always the grumblings about "wouldn't it be easier to just go out for dinner," the truth is that over three-quarters of Americans (78%) disagree with that and say they would rather eat in a restaurant than cook Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe it's because of the leftovers, as nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults (65%) agree that even more important than Thanksgiving dinner is eating the leftovers.
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This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 16 to 21, 2013 among 2,368 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, Harris Interactive 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 Interactive 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 the Harris Interactive 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 Harris Interactive.
Q830, 835, 840, 845
The Harris Poll ® #87, November 21, 2013
By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations Research

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll® , Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client's research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit .

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