Americans Most Thankful for Family, Health, Personal Freedom


When Americans count their blessings at Thanksgiving, God will get most of the credit. And money might be the last thing on their minds.

Most Americans are thankful for family (88 percent), health (77 percent), personal freedom (72 percent) and friends (71 percent).  Fewer give thanks for wealth (32 percent) or achievements (51 percent), according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

“The blessings that matter most are the ones money can’t buy,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.

In a representative online survey of 1,000 Americans, researchers gave respondents 10 options to be thankful for—from family and health to achievements and wealth.

Their responses were shaped in part by demographics.

Those 65 and older are more thankful for family (92 percent) and health (86 percent) than fun experiences (48 percent). Those under 25 are thankful for fun experiences (70 percent) and their achievements (61 percent) but still cherish family (77 percent).

Americans with bachelor’s degrees (45 percent), graduate degrees (46 percent) or evangelical beliefs (41 percent) are more thankful for wealth. Those who didn’t go to college (23 percent) or who don’t have evangelical beliefs (31 percent) are less thankful for wealth.

Women are most likely to give thanks for family (91 percent), health (83 percent) and friends (75 percent). Men are slightly less likely to give thanks for family (84 percent), health (71 percent) and friends (67 percent).

Overall, almost all Americans have something to be thankful for. Only 2 percent say they are thankful for none of the 10 options provided.

When asked to rate what they are most thankful for, family wins in a landslide. Six in 10 Americans (61 percent) say they are most thankful for family. Thirteen percent say health, while 9 percent say personal freedom.

Few choose safety and security (3 percent), memories (3 percent), friends (2 percent), opportunities (2 percent), achievements (2 percent), fun experiences (1 percent) or wealth (1 percent).

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SOURCE: LifeWay Research
Bob Smietana

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