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UConn Poll: American Thankfulness Lower Than Normal

About half of American adults say they’re more thankful this Thanksgiving than they were in previous years, according to a new UConn Poll. Only 6 percent say they’re less thankful, while 44 percent say they feel about the same.

While that may seem like the national mood is on a fairly even footing, it’s a stark contrast to what Americans have said on previous holidays, according to data archived at the University of Connecticut’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.

“As this Thanksgiving approaches, compared with other Thanksgivings a few years ago, do you feel more thankful, less thankful, or about the same as you did then?” Source: The UConn Poll survey of 1,189 randomly selected adults, Nov. 16 through Nov. 21, 2013.

“As this Thanksgiving approaches, compared with other Thanksgivings a few years ago, do you feel more thankful, less thankful, or about the same as you did then?”
Source: The UConn Poll survey of 1,189 randomly selected adults, Nov. 16 through Nov. 21, 2013.

The Roper Center, an incomparable storehouse of public opinion data stretching back to the 1930s, has the results of previous surveys showing that Americans are typically much likelier to feel an increased sense of thankfulness than they’re expressing in 2013.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll from 1981, for example, found that 72 percent were more thankful than they had been in 1980, while a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll from 1999 found 83 percent saying their holiday sense of thankfulness had grown.

A Harris survey from 1974, the year of President Nixon’s resignation and a gloomy time of skyrocketing gas prices and stock market doldrums, recorded just 38 percent of Americans feeling more thankful than they had been in 1973, but in general the archived data suggests that the 2013 figure of 49 percent is lower than usual.

“The poll doesn’t necessarily suggest widespread dissatisfaction, but it does indicate that a majority of Americans don’t feel that things have improved tremendously for them over the last few years,” says UConn Poll Director Jennifer Necci Dineen. “This could be a sign that people are still feeling the pinch of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

Read more at UConn Today

By Tom Breen


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