One in nine Americans spent the 2020 holiday season alone

Linley SandersData Journalist
January 07, 2021, 5:00 PM UTC

Many Americans spent the winter holidays and New Year alone this year — and those who did were much more likely to describe the season as “bad” or “terrible” when compared to those who spent it with company. 

YouGov data shows that one in nine Americans (11%) spent the December holidays by themselves and one in six spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day alone (16%). About half of Americans (48%) spent the December holidays with members of their household, and even more did so for the January holidays (56%). About one-third (36%) spent the December holidays with individuals outside of their household, including friends or extended family, while just 17% did so for the New Year.

According to a YouGov Poll conducted December 26 – 29, about one-quarter (26%) of Americans who spent the season alone describe the season as “bad” or “terrible.” That is three times the number of adults who only saw members of their household during the holidays (8%) and even more significant for those who got to spend the holidays with people outside of their household (3%). 

Two in five Americans (42%) who spent the holiday alone described it as “okay” compared to just a quarter (24%) of those who spent the holidays with people who live outside of their household.  

Those who celebrated the New Year alone found it a little more enjoyable than those who spent the December holidays alone. About two in five (44%) solo celebrators described the beginning of 2021 as great (22%) or good (22%). A plurality (44%) called the event okay, and one in eight (12%) called it bad or terrible. 

Most Americans who spent the holiday with members of their household (57%) or people outside their home (80%) described the New Year as either good or great.  

Related: Was 2020 the worst year ever? 

Methodology: This article references two YouGov Direct Polls, conducted among US Adults, ages 18+. The first poll was conducted December 26 – 28, 2020 and asked 4,748 US Adults, “How would you describe your holiday season this year?” and “How did you celebrate the holidays this year?” The second poll was conducted January 2 – 3, 2021 and asked 3,986 US Adults, “How would you describe your New Year's Eve and New Year's Day?” and “How did you celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day this year?” 

Image: Getty