As vaccinations increase, this Fourth of July means more celebrations — and public events

July 01, 2021, 4:35 PM UTC

Only one in three Americans (35%) in the latest Economist/YouGov poll believe the country will be able to meet the goal President Joe Biden set nearly two months ago – that 70% of adults would have at least one vaccination injection by July 4th.

The country will fall a few percentage points shy of that — as of Wednesday, 66.2% of American adults had received at least one shot. But the change in how the public is greeting the Fourth this year is clear. Even without meeting the president’s goal, more Americans are getting ready to do things they did not (or could not) do a year ago.  

Last year, 41% of Americans said they would be staying home on Independence Day, while one in five noted they would do “nothing.” This year, the percentage of people saying they have no plans is down six points (20% to 14%), and the share who are just “staying home” has dropped five points (41% to 36%). On many activities, this Fourth of July should look more like 2019 than 2020. 

The share of Americans seeing friends and family for a get-together (24% to 29%), attending a cookout or picnic (25% to 29%), or watching local parades (3% to 8%) have all increased this year from 2020, when the pandemic surged for a second time in the U.S. Nearly twice as many this year as last expect to go to church this weekend (5% to 9%), something that could not be done in many states last July.  

Setting off one’s own fireworks is a constant for many Americans, and something that did not stop with the pandemic. In each poll that asked this question since 2019, 9% of Americans planned to do that. The percentage of Americans expecting they will attend a professional fireworks show is up 4% from 2020 (5% to 9%). 

Still, one in five in this poll say they will be celebrating less than usual this July 4th. Only those under 30 say they are as likely to celebrate more as celebrate less this year. 

July 4th
 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov poll and compare to the 2020 data 

Related: What does it mean to be patriotic in 2021?

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between June 26 - 29, 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 3.1% for the overall sample.   

Image: Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels