This Thanksgiving, 5 facts to usher the bond between Americans and their family - Hindustan Times
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This Thanksgiving, 5 facts to usher the bond between Americans and their family

Nov 23, 2023 03:02 PM IST

A significant number of Americans value living close to family members. Decoding the life of an average American on this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, celebrated on November 23 in the United States this year, is a cherished holiday often celebrated through gatherings with loved ones. This time can evoke a blend of joy and stress for many.

A man waves an American flag at motorists as they move westbound along Interstate 70 during the Thanksgiving holiday travel rush late Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, near Evergreen, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(AP)
A man waves an American flag at motorists as they move westbound along Interstate 70 during the Thanksgiving holiday travel rush late Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, near Evergreen, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(AP)

Outlined below are five insights Hindustan Times curated from Pew Research Center surveys regarding Americans and their experiences with family togetherness-

1. A recent survey by the Center revealed that for most Americans, nothing surpasses the significance of spending time with family. A staggering 73% of adults in the U.S. consider family time as one of the most crucial aspects of their lives, far exceeding any other priorities examined in the survey.

Irrespective of the actual amount of time dedicated to it, a striking nine out of ten Americans emphasize the importance of spending time with their families on a personal level.

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2. A survey conducted by the Center in the fall of 2021 revealed that a significant number of U.S. adults place a high value on residing close to their family members.

Three-quarters of Americans expressed the importance of living in a community where they have family nearby, with 39% considering this somewhat important and 36% rating it as very important.

The perspectives of Americans regarding living in proximity to family exhibit some variations based on:

I. Gender- Women tend to place a higher level of importance on having family nearby, with 42% stating that it is essential to them, compared to 29% of men who hold the same view.

II. Age- Older adults aged 65 and above are notably more inclined to emphasize the significance of living near family. More than four in ten individuals in this age group (44%) deem this as very important, contrasting with 33% of those aged 18 to 29 who share a similar perspective.

3. Pets are more than just animals for many Americans, according to a Center survey from April.

Most U.S. adults (62%) have pets, and almost all of them (97%) consider their pets to be part of their family. This includes half of them (51%) who say their pets are as important as any human family member.

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4. According to a 2021 survey, over half of Americans (55%) live within an hour's drive of some extended family, with 28% residing within that proximity to most or all relatives. Roughly 24% maintain close relationships with only a select few extended family members, whereas approximately 20% do not reside near any extended family members.

Demographic differences impact proximity to family:

Education and income- Adults with postgraduate degrees (42%) are less likely to live near extended family compared to those with a high school diploma or less (63%). (Similar trends exist between upper-income households and middle- or lower-income households.)

Race and ethnicity- Asian Americans (18%) are less likely than White, Black, and Hispanic adults to live near most or all extended family, possibly due to a higher percentage being foreign-born with relatives abroad.

Community type- Rural residents (62%) are more likely than urban (50%) or suburban (54%) dwellers to live near some extended family members.

5. A Center survey from April also shows that most Americans value close friendships for a fulfilling life, more than having children, money, or marriage. Most adults have up to four close friends, while some have more, according to another Center survey from July. However, talking politics with those who disagree is stressful and frustrating for most Americans, as a Center survey from June reveals.

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