Religion and Social Trends

Romance to Break Out Nationwide This Weekend

Sixty-two percent will celebrate Valentine’s Day

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll finds large numbers of Americans poised to shower their special someone with gifts or attention this weekend. More than three in five U.S. adults (62%) say they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day in some special way -- such as going out to dinner or exchanging gifts with someone.

An even higher percentage of Americans, 72%, tell Gallup they are "in love." Love strikes all ages, but appears to crest in middle age. Two-thirds of young adults say they are in love; this jumps to 83% among 30- to 49-year-olds and 78% among 50- to 64-year-olds, but declines after age 65 to just 51%.

According to the nationwide telephone survey conducted Feb. 6-8, men are slightly more likely than women to say they are in love: 77% of men say so, compared with 68% of women.

Not everyone who is in love plans to do something special for Valentine's Day. Again, age is a strong determinant of participation in the traditions (some might say trappings) of the holiday. The percentage planning to celebrate drops off sharply by age, going from about 7 in 10 of those under age 50, to 59% of those aged 50 to 64, and to just 33% of those 65 and older.

Love and Valentine’s Day Celebration
By Age Group
Feb. 6-8, 2004

Even when looking just at those who are currently in love, special participation in the holiday declines with age. More than four in five (81%) adults under 50 who are in love will celebrate Valentine's Day in a special way, compared with 68% of 50- to 64-year-olds and just 49% of those 65 and older who are in love.

Love and Marriage

It seems that love and marriage really do go together like a horse and carriage. Although Gallup's question does not specify whether the object of people's affection is their spouse, it is probably a good sign of marital contentment that 98% of married adults say they are in love. Less than half (41%) of all non-married adults are in love.

Among the multiple categories that make up the non-married population (living together, divorced, separated, widowed, and never married), it appears that widows may have the most difficult time finding love. Only 14% of this group is currently in love. Only minor differences are seen in the preponderance of love according to where people live in the country or their political affiliation.

In love

Not in love

%

%

Men

77

22

Women

68

31

18 to 29

67

33

30 to 49

83

17

50 to 64

78

22

65+

51

48

East

69

30

Midwest

70

29

South

75

24

West

76

23

Republican

75

24

Independent

73

26

Democrat

69

30

Married

98

2

Not married

41

59

One nice thing about Valentine's Day is that it is not the exclusive realm of lovers. Three-quarters (73%) of Americans who are in love plan to celebrate, but a third (32%) of those not in love will take part, too.

Do You Plan to Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Feb. 6-8, 2004

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,008 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Feb. 6-8, 2004. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

21. As you may know, next Saturday, February 14th is Valentine's Day. Do you, personally, plan on celebrating Valentine's Day in some special way -- such as going out to dinner or exchanging gifts with someone -- or will you not be doing anything special on Valentine's Day?

 

Yes, will celebrate

No, will not

No
opinion

2004 Feb 6-8

62%

37

1



22. Would you say you are -- or are not -- in love with someone right now?

 

Yes, in love

No, not

No
opinion

2004 Feb 6-8

72%

27

1



Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/10609/Romance-Break-Nationwide-Weekend.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030