Two-thirds of Americans consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of summer

May 28, 2021, 3:30 PM UTC

It may still be May, but most adults in the latest Economist/YouGov poll are ready to begin the summer. For two-thirds of Americans (65%), Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the season.  

Older Americans are much more likely than younger ones to think of Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer. Three-quarters of those over 65 (78%) consider Memorial Day the beginning of summertime, compared to seven in 10 adults between 45 to 64 years old (70%).

Three in five 30-to 44-year-olds agree (61%), compared to 45% of Americans under 30. One-third of those under 30 (33%) definitively say that Memorial Day is not the “unofficial start of summer.”

There are few differences among those who live in different regions. Around two-thirds of Americans in the Northeast (70%), South (65%), Midwest (64%), call Memorial Day the kickoff to summer. Three in five Westerners (62%) agree. 

Related: Americans will celebrate Memorial Day, but not for the reason it was created

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov poll 

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between May 22 - 25, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.9% for the overall sample.  

Image: Getty