Health and employment are top of mind heading into 2016. Among Americans who plan to make a New Year’s resolution, weight loss, 12%, takes the top spot followed by getting a better job, 10%. Exercising more, 9%, quitting smoking, 9%, and improving one’s, overall, health, 9%, round out the top five New Year’s resolutions for 2016.
While weight loss, 13%, was the leading resolution for 2015, finding a better job was the goal of just 5%. But, this year, fueled by people under 45, among whom it’s number one, getting a better job also rivals the top spot for all Americans.
Do Americans plan to make a resolution for 2016? Less than four in ten Americans, 39%, say they are very likely or likely to do so. This is down from 44% last year. However, similar to last year, younger Americans are more likely to resolve to change than older Americans in the New Year.
Many Americans are also true to their word. Nearly two-thirds of those who made a resolution for 2015, 64%, report they kept their resolution, at least, in part. Similar proportions of men, 65%, and women, 63%, say they kept their promise. The proportion of women who kept their resolution increased from 55% last year.
- 12% of Americans who are likely to make a New Year’s resolution vow to lose weight. 10% want to find a better job. Getting more exercise, 9%, ceasing smoking, 9%, and improving their health, 9%, follow. Eight percent want to be a better person, and another 8% say they will try to eat healthier in the New Year. Seven percent resolve to spend less and save more. Last year, 13% vowed to lose weight, 10% promised to exercise more, 9% resolved to be a better person, and 8% wanted to improve their health. Quitting smoking, 7%, spending less and saving more, 7%, and eating healthier, 7%, followed.
- Regional differences exist. One in five Northeast residents who plan to make a resolution, 20%, resolve to find a better job. However, in the Midwest, quitting smoking, 12%, improving one’s health, 11%, and eating healthier, 10%, vie for the top spot. 13% of those in the South cite weight loss while 12% mention saving more and spending less. Among those in the West, 13% want to find a new job, 12% cite exercising more, and 11% mention weight loss.
- Women, 16%, are more likely than men, 6%, to mention weight loss. Men, 13%, put finding a better job at the top of their list. Quitting smoking, 11%, and exercising more, 10%, follow.
- 39% of Americans are very likely or likely to make a resolution for 2016 while 61% are not likely at all to do so. The proportion of Americans making resolutions is down from 44% last year and at the lowest point since 2011 when 38% of residents vowed to do so.
- Americans under 45, 47%, are more likely than older residents, 31%, to make a resolution. Still, the proportion of younger Americans making resolutions is down from 56%.
- Among those who vowed to change something in their life last year, 64% kept that resolution, at least, in part.
- Similar proportions of men, 65%, and women, 63%, kept their 2015 New Year’s resolution. There has been an increase in the proportion of women who kept their word, up from 55% previously.
Blow out the candles and make a wish! It’s time for Dr. Lee M. Miringoff’s annual birthday poll.
Every year, Dr. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, yearns to know whether Americans consider his soon-to-be age young, middle-aged, or old. This year, Dr. Miringoff’s wish may come true one more time.
Nearly six in ten Americans, 57%, say 64 is middle-aged. 31% consider it old, and 12% think it is young. Miringoff’s age hangs on to the description of “middle-aged.” Last year, when he turned 63 years old, 60% said he was a middle-ager, 27% thought he was old, and 13% described him as young.
“Phew,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “I would be less than honest if I didn’t notice the increase among Americans who think my age is old. But, overall, I survived another year!”
Younger Americans, not surprisingly, are more likely than their older counterparts to consider 64 to be old. Among Americans under 30, six in ten, 60%, think 64 years of age is old, up from 48% last year who thought 63 was old.
Gender differences exist. While similar proportions of women, 13%, and men, 10%, say 64 is young, women, 61%, are more likely than men, 52%, to think it is middle-aged. Nearly four in ten men, 38%, compared with 25% of women, believe 64 is old.
With Chanukah underway and just one week until Christmas, many Americans who purchase holiday gifts won’t be cutting corners on their seasonal shopping. A majority of holiday shoppers say they plan to spend about the same amount of money as they did last year, and more than one in ten gift givers intends to spend more. Although down from last year, financial concerns are top of mind for nearly one-third of shoppers who report they will be cutting back this holiday season.
Looking to 2015, are Americans vowing to make a change? More than four in ten Americans expect to make a resolution, and weight loss tops the list of improvements for the New Year. However, more Americans have let their resolutions slide. Of those who made a promise going into 2014, only 59% kept their word, down from 72% the previous year. Men are slightly more likely than women to have kept their resolution.
- A majority of Americans who spend money on holiday shopping, 55%, plans to spend the same amount of money as they did last year. 32% say they will spend less money, and 13% will spend more. Fewer holiday shoppers expect to spend less than last year. In 2013, 52% reported they intended to maintain the same level of spending as in the past. Nearly four in ten, 38%, thought they would reduce their holiday expenditures, and 10% said they would spend more (Trend).
- While there has been little change in the spending habits of holiday shoppers who earn $50,000 or more, there has been a positive shift in the spending of those who earn less. Half of holiday shoppers who make less than $50,000, 50%, will spend about the same as last year, up from 43% in 2013. 36% of these shoppers expect to spend less, compared with 45% in 2013.
- More than six in ten holiday shoppers who are 45 or older, 62%, say they will spend about the same amount of money as they did last year. This compares with 53% in 2013 who reported they would spend about as much as the previous year. Fewer Americans in this age group who purchase presents, 29%, expect to spend less, down from 40% in 2013. There has been little change in the holiday spending habits of younger Americans.
- Six in ten holiday shoppers, 60%, little changed from 63% last year, expect to mostly use cash when buying their holiday gifts. 37% plan to use, for the most part, credit cards, and 3% are unsure.
- How do Americans who buy holiday gifts plan to make their purchases? 19% say they will do all or most of their shopping online. 44% will buy some of their seasonal purchases via the Internet while 38% don’t plan to use the Internet to purchase any of their holiday gifts. There has been little change on this question since last year (Trend).
- Turning to New Year’s resolutions, 44% of Americans, identical to last year, are very likely or somewhat likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2015. Similar to last year, younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to resolve to change (Trend). 56% of those younger than 45, compared with 33% of those 45 and older, plan to make a change to their lifestyle. Similar proportions of men, 43%, and women, 44%, are, at least, somewhat likely to make a resolution.
- Weight loss is the top resolution this year cited by 13% of Americans who vow to make a change in 2015. Exercising more follows with 10%. Nine percent want to be a better person while 8% mention improving their health. With 7% each, stopping smoking, spending less and saving more money, and eating healthier rounds out the top-tier in the complete list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions. The top resolutions for 2014 were spending less and saving more, being a better person, and exercising more each with 12%. Weight loss came in fourth with 11% while health improvements, eating healthier, and ceasing smoking each received 8% of those who were likely to make a resolution for 2014.
- Among adults nationally who said they made a resolution for 2014, 59% kept their resolution for, at least, part of the year. 41% did not. This is a change from the previous year (Trend). Among those who made a resolution for 2013, 72% kept their word.
- Men, 64%, are more likely than women, 55%, to report they stuck to their 2014 resolution for at least part of the year.
It’s time to wish The Marist Poll’s fearless leader, Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, a happy birthday! What are Americans giving Dr. Miringoff this year? Their gift is another year of being middle-aged! Six in ten adults nationally — 60% — think Dr. Miringoff’s current age, 63 years old, is middle-aged. 27% consider it old, and 13% say it is young.
“I’m very gratified with these results,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Truth be told, when I wanted to reach 6 – 3, I was thinking height not age.”
The good news is Americans’ attitudes have changed little since last year. At that time, 59% thought Dr. Miringoff’s age, 62, was middle-aged. 28% said 62 was old, and an identical 13% believed it to be young.
Age matters. Younger Americans are nearly three times as likely than older residents to think 63 is old. 42% of those under 45 have this opinion. This compares with 15% of those 45 or older.
Dr. Lee M. Miringoff reacts to the findings of his latest birthday poll. Watch the video below.
Are Americans resolving to make a change in the New Year? More than four in ten — 44% — plan to do so, up slightly from 40% last year. Once again, residents younger than 45 years old — 54% — are more likely than older Americans — 37% — to vow to improve an aspect of their lives in the coming year.
Similar proportions of women — 44% — and men — 43% — expect to make a New Year’s resolution this year. Last year, identical proportions of men and women — 40% — said they would resolve to make a change in 2013.
2014 Resolutions Run the Gamut
What are Americans resolving to change in 2014? There is little consensus. 12% of those who plan to make a resolution want to spend less and save more. 12% will try to be a better person while an additional 12% promise to exercise more. 11% say they resolve to lose weight while 8% plan to improve their health. An additional 8% resolve to eat healthier, and another 8% promise to stop smoking. For women, resolving to be a better person or to lose weight tops the list of intentions. Each is mentioned by 14% of women looking to use the New Year as an opportunity to change. For men, top goals include 12% who are hoping to spend less money and save more, and another 12% who intend to exercise more.
Last year, health improvements were top of mind. 17% of Americans who made a resolution for 2013 said they would lose weight, and 13% planned to quit smoking. One in ten — 10% — promised to be a better person while 9% said they would save more money and spend less. Eight percent vowed to exercise more.
More Americans Keeping Their Promises
72% of Americans who made a resolution for 2013 kept their word for, at least, part of the year. 28%, however, did not. The proportion of those who made a resolution and stuck to it has increased. Last year, 59% who made a resolution for 2012 kept their promise. More than four in ten — 41% — let their resolution slide.
The annual tradition continues! Every year at The Marist Poll, the Institute asks Americans whether or not Dr. Lee M. Miringoff’s age is young, middle-aged, or old. This year, age 62 is on the block. So, what do Americans think? Nearly six in ten — 59% — think 62 is middle-aged. 28% believe the age is old while 13% say it’s young.
Have the tides turned for Dr. Miringoff? Well, there’s good news and bad news. First, the good news. There has been only a slight decline in the proportion of Americans who believe Miringoff’s age is middle-aged. Last year, 63% described 61 was middle-aged. As for the bad news, there has been an increase in the proportion of adults nationally who think Miringoff’s age is old. Last year, 22% said Miringoff’s, then, age of 61 was old. 15% of residents, at that time, reported age 61 was young.
Like last year, a lot depends on the age of Americans themselves. Among residents 45 and older, 64% think 62 is middle-aged. 19% believe it is young, and 17% say it is old. Looking at those under 45 years old. Half — 50% — report 62 is middle-aged. 45% consider the age to be old while only 5% say 62 years of age is young.
Four in ten Americans — 40% — plan to ring in the New Year with promises to make 2013 better than 2012. Who are among those most likely to make a resolution? Americans who are younger than 45 years old — 51% — are more likely to promise to change than older residents — 34%.
60% of Americans are not likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2013. Last year 62% said they did not plan to alter their lifestyle in any way, and 38% resolved to make a change. Fewer younger Americans plan to make a resolution compared with last year. At that time, 59% of those under 45 thought they would pledge to improve their lives and 28% of those 45 and older professed to do the same.
There is no difference between men and women on this question. 40% of men and the same proportion of women — 40% — report it is likely they will make a resolution for 2013.
Weight Loss Tips the Scales as Top New Year’s Resolution
Among Americans who plan to make a New Year’s resolution for 2013, 17% promise to lose weight. 13% say they will stop smoking while 10% would like to be a better person. Nine percent intend to spend less and save more money while 8% think they will exercise more.
Weight loss remains the number one New Year’s resolution. At that time, 18% said they would battle the bulge in 2012. 11% thought they would exercise more while 9% planned to save more and spend less. An additional 9% said they would stop smoking, and the same proportion — 9% — hoped to be a better person.
About Six in Ten Kept Their Word
Among adults nationally who made a New Year’s resolution for 2012, 59% kept their vow for at least part of the year. 41% did not. However, the proportion of Americans who kept their resolution has declined. 67% of those who made a resolution for 2011 stuck to it while 33% did not.
At what point is someone considered to be old? It’s an annual question the Marist Poll asks to determine if the current age of Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Insitute for Public Opinion, is young, middle-aged, or old. As Dr. Miringoff faces 61, there’s good news. According to this Marist Poll, 61 years of age is not that benchmark. More than six in ten adults nationally — 63% — believe someone who is 61 is middle-aged. 15% think 61 is young while 22%, however, say it is old.
Not surprisingly, there is an age gap. While 67% of Americans 45 and older say 61 is middle-aged, 20% believe the age to be young, and only 13% report it is old. Looking at residents younger than 45, 56% say 61 is middle-aged. Just 7% think that age is young while nearly four in ten — 37% — say it is old.
Nearly six in ten Americans younger than 45 years old — 59% — think they are likely to make a New Year’s resolution for 2012. This compares with just 28% of those 45 and older.
When further broken down by age, nearly two-thirds of Americans under 30 years old — 64% — believe they will make a New Year’s resolution. A majority — 55% — of those between 30 and 44 say they will do the same. 37% of residents 45 to 59 years old and 23% of those 60 and older plan to alter an aspect of their life.
Is there a gender gap? Similar proportions of women — 40% — and men — 36% — report they will make a New Year’s resolution going into 2012.
Looking at the population overall, 62% of adults nationally say they don’t plan to make a resolution going into the new year while 38% say they will make a New Year’s resolution.
This is the largest proportion of U.S. residents who say they are not going to make a resolution since 2004. At that time, nearly two-thirds — 65% — reported they were not going to resolve to change.
Last year, a majority — 56% — did not plan to make a resolution while 44% did.
Combating the Battle of the Bulge Tops List of New Year’s Resolutions
Weight loss is the top New Year’s resolution this year. Nearly one in five Americans who are likely to make a resolution — 18% — say they want to drop a few pounds. Exercise — 11% — comes in next followed by spending less money and saving more — 9%. The resolution to stop smoking, which was last year’s top resolution, also received 9% as did the overall goal of being a better person. 44% plan to make some other type of resolution.
Last year, quitting smoking — 17% — and weight loss — 16% — were the most cited resolutions followed by spending less and saving more with 13%, being a better person with 10%, and exercising more with 8%. 36%, at that time, offered a different resolution.
Women and men are on the same page. 18% of women and 17% of men are resolving to shed a few pounds. However, older Americans — 23% of those 45 and older — are more likely than younger residents — 12% of those younger than 45 — to promise to lose weight. In fact, among younger Americans who are likely to make a resolution, 13% want to save more and spend less.
Two-Thirds Kept Resolution This Year
Among those who made a New Year’s resolution going into 2011, 67% report they kept their word for at least part of the year while 33% did not.
Increased Pessimism about the Future
While a majority of Americans say they are optimistic about the world in 2012, there is increased pessimism. Currently, 54% are positive about the future while 43% are not, and 3% are unsure. Last year, six in ten — 60% — had an optimistic outlook while 38% had a pessimistic one, and 2% were unsure.
There is a growing pessimism among men. 48% have an upbeat view about the future while 49% do not. In 2010, nearly six in ten men — 58% — reported an optimistic attitude compared with 39% who were more pessimistic.
Those under 45 years old — 67% — are more optimistic compared with their older counterparts — 48%.
Nearly two-thirds of adults nationally — 64% — think people should say, “Merry Christmas” during the holiday season while more than three in ten — 31% — believe the appropriate greeting is “Happy Holidays.” Four percent are unsure.
When Marist last reported it in 2010, 61% thought “Merry Christmas” should convey the greetings of the season while 35% believed “Happy Holidays” did the trick. Five percent, at that time, were unsure.
This poll was released in conjunction with the Knights of Columbus. To learn more, click here.