What do Americans think of minimalism?

Jamie BallardData Journalist
August 28, 2019, 4:00 PM GMT+0

If you’re like most Americans, you may want to stop and take a deep breath. New data from YouGov finds that most Americans are worried about things outside of their control, and many want to simplify their lives.

A majority (55%) of Americans say that they often worry about things outside of their control. Women (62%) are significantly more likely than men (47%) to say that they’re often concerned about things which they can’t control.

Millennials (65%) are especially likely to say they often worry about things outside of their control, though a majority (58%) of Gen X’ers say the same. Just under half (47%) of Baby Boomers express similar anxieties.

Some people might be experiencing these worries because they believe their lives to be quite complicated. When asked to evaluate how complicated their life is, on a scale of 0 to 10 (where 0 is “not at all complicated” and 10 is “exceptionally complicated”), most (61%) rate their lives between 5 and 10 - indicating that they believe their lives are at least somewhat complicated.

Millennials (68%) and Gen X’ers (66%) are particularly likely to rate their life’s complication level at a 5 or higher. About one in ten (11%) Millennials believes their life is “exceptionally complicated.”

Which parts of their complicated lives would Americans most like to simplify? By far, the most common response is “finances.” More than three in ten (31%) Americans say that if they could wave a magic wand and fully simplify one part of their life, this would be it.

About one in eight (12%) would want to simplify their diet and exercise, while another 8% would want to wave a magic wand to fix their romantic relationships.

Recently, some Americans have been turning towards minimalism as an answer to their complicated lives.

Marie Kondo’s book on “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and subsequent Netflix show extolled the benefits of purging your home and keeping only those items that “spark joy.” The KonMari method, as it’s known, seemingly experienced a surge in popularity following the release of the Netflix show earlier this year.

Minimalism might be trendy, but not everyone is there just yet. Fewer than one in five (17%) Americans describe themselves as minimalists. Almost a quarter (23%) say “I am not a minimalist, but I would like to be.”

Others aren’t so convinced. A plurality (31%) of Americans have no interest in becoming a minimalist.

See full results from this poll here.

Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 1,236 US adults ages 18+. The responding sample is weighted to provide a representative reporting sample of the US. The survey was conducted online from July 19 - 22, 2019.

Related: Millennials are the loneliest generation

Image: Getty

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