Americans are getting into the fall mood

As fall officially gets underway, many Americans are looking forward to decorating their home for Halloween, among other autumnal activities on the docket for the season.

The author(s)

  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
Get in touch

September 28- As fall officially gets underway, many Americans are looking forward to decorating their home for Halloween, among other autumnal activities on the docket for the season. Meanwhile, on the economic front, many aren’t feeling optimistic about their financial prospects.

And, on a very different note, the current rate of extinction and whether science should resurrect extinct animals (and the ethics of doing so) draw out a wide range of opinions from the public.

Stories this week-

Economic prospects:

Views on extinction:

Decorating for Halloween is the most common fall festivity

Out of all the fall festivities, most Americans get into the autumn spirit by decorating for Halloween, with two in five planning on getting ready for the spooky season.

Half of Midwesterners are decorating their house for Halloween. That's seven points ahead of people out West and about 10-points ahead of people in the Northeast and South. People in the Midwest are also more likely to have a bonfire (37%) or go to a corn maze (16%) than the rest of the country (22% and 11%, respectively).

Despite Midwesterners' enthusiasm for fall, more people in the Northeast plan on going apple picking and visiting a haunted house than Americans in any other region across the country.

Americans are split on their prospects of upward mobility

Americans are split on whether they will be better off than their parents. These doubts are strongest among women, roughly two in five of whom believe they will be better off than their parents. By contrast, 49% of men say they will be.

Related to the broader theme of economic insecurity, roughly half of all Americans say they have enough saved in case the unexpected happens. Again, men tend to feel more economically secure, with approximately 52% saying they have enough saved compared to 45% of women.

Women tend to be less optimistic about the prospects of a quick economic recovery post-pandemic

Women tend to be less optimistic that the economy will recover quickly post-pandemic. This divide in outlook across the genders has been a consistent trend throughout the pandemic. However, with the rise in COVID cases and rising inflation, optimism is lagging for both men and women relative to previous highs during the summer.

Republicans and boomers are less likely to feel that the current rate of extinction is cause for concern

Not everyone agrees that the current rate of animal extinction is cause for concern, Ipsos polling finds.

Overall, two in three Americans are concerned about the current rate of extinction, with only one in five reporting that they aren’t worried about this. Republicans are split on whether to be concerned about the current rate of animal extinction. On the other hand, majorities of Democrats, Independents, and those who don’t identify with any political group are worried about this issue.

About one in four baby boomers are not concerned about animal extinction, 11 percentage points ahead of Gen Z. Republicans tend to be older, so that may be driving some of the age differences in the data.

Americans are uncertain about the ethics of bringing back extinct animals

Close to half express uncertainty about the ethics of bringing back extinct species (a plurality, 46%, say they’re “not sure” that it’s ethical), 33% say it is not ethical, and 21% say that it is.

Men and women hold somewhat different views on the subject, with men more likely to agree that it is ethical. Among women in particular, age and partisanship appear to be correlated with views on the ethics of de-extinction, with Democrat, Independent and younger women more open to bringing back animals from extinction. Nevertheless, regardless of age, gender and partisan affiliation, just a minority support the concept.

Americans are most supportive of bringing back animals that went extinct in recent history

Americans are most open to bringing back animals that have gone extinct relatively recently or within the past 400 years, such as the giant tortoise, dodo, and the northern white rhinoceros (which is currently “functionally” extinct).  These are closely followed by a relatively well-known pre-historic animal, the woolly mammoth. They are less keen on the idea of more science fiction-inspired efforts, such as bringing back the dinosaurs.

However, 30% say that they wouldn’t want to bring back any extinct animals at all. This sentiment is strongest among people over the age of 65, 42% of whom say they wouldn’t want to bring back animals from extinction. Generally speaking, younger Americans are more open to bringing extinct animals back than older Americans. And overall, those who would like science to bring back any of these extinct animals are still a minority, again underlining Americans’ broader feelings of ambiguity about de-extinction.

The author(s)

  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs

Society