Poll: Americans thankful for family above health, wealth

Wednesday, November 25, 2020
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

Thanksgiving dinnerResults from a recent poll on thankfulness in the United States revealed that Americans are more grateful for their family than many other things valued in life throughout the year, and this Thanksgiving, their gratitude for God and family was greater than it was four years ago.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing most Americans to rethink their lives and priorities more than perhaps any other year in their past, a greater emphasis has been placed on their thankfulness for family members – in comparison to other areas of their lives, such as freedom, fun experiences, health, opportunities, achievements and wealth.

What really matters?

When LifeWay Research drew a comparison between this year’s survey and its study conducted during the year of the previous presidential election in 2016, it was found that even though a smaller percentage of Americans (84%) are thankful for their families this year compared to four years ago (88%), their thankfulness for other highly valued aspects of their lives proportionately dropped when measured against appreciation for their kin.

But when focusing on their giving thanks during Thanksgiving, in particular, LifeWay highlighted that two areas of Americans’ thankfulness increased between 2020 and 2016: their appreciation to God and family.

This Thanksgiving, it was found that Americans typically give thanks to God (67%) – 4% more than the 63% of participants doing this in 2016, when it surpassed family on the thankfulness chart. Giving thanks to family this Thanksgiving was recorded for 68% of participants, which as an 11% jump from four years ago (57%). Just 16% of those surveyed this year will give thanks to “myself.”

After taking a look at the differences between the 2020 survey conducted via interviews by LifeWay on 1,200 Americans and the one from 2016, when it comes to things to be thankful for over the year, not only was family appreciated above the rest, but all other categories dropped by at least twice as much.

Check out Americans’ thankfulness for various areas of their lives in 2020 vs. 2016 below:

  1. Family – 84% in 2020 vs. 88% in 2016 (-4%)
  2. Health – 69% in 2020 vs. 77% in 2016 (-8%)
  3. Friends – 63% in 2020 vs. 71% in 2016 (-8%)
  4. Personal freedom – 53% in 2020 vs. 72% in 2016 (-19%)
  5. Fun experiences – 45% in 2020 vs. 53% in 2016 (-8%)
  6. Opportunities – 42% in 2020 vs. 59% in 2016 (-17%)
  7. Achievements – 33% in 2020 vs. 51% in 2016 (-18%)
  8. Wealth – 21% in 2020 vs. 32% in 2016 (-11%)

Notice that being thankful for family this year greatly outweighs more self-centered objects of one’s appreciation, being two times greater than opportunities, 2.5 times greater than achievements, and four times greater than wealth – three areas that also decreased significantly over the past four years.

Focusing on the blessings …

LifeWay Research Executive Director Scott McConnell was encouraged by Americans’ resilience this year to focus on blessings amidst the hardships endured during the coronavirus pandemic and racial tensions still sweeping the nation.

“In a year that has been difficult for most, Americans still express a lot of thanks,” McConnell gleaned from the survey. “This year of loss and division does not mean people have an absence of good things for which to be grateful.”

He focused on the positives from this year’s survey results.

“Giving someone else thanks is not a given on Thanksgiving, but four times as many people give thanks to family or God than choose to thank themselves,” McConnell added.

 

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