Daylight Saving Time: Americans want to stay permanently ‘sprung forward’ and not ‘fall back’

November 04, 2021, 10:00 PM UTC

Polled days before the annual ritual of ending Daylight Saving Time by changing their clocks, Americans say they would much rather have one time that lasts all year long, one that doesn’t require changing all clocks twice a year. The latest Economist/YouGov Poll finds that nearly four times as many Americans would end the practice of setting clocks ahead in the spring and back again in the fall.

This preference is a rare one that transcends politics: Democrats and Republicans agree. Older and younger adults agree, too, but the margin in favor of ending clock changing is much smaller among Americans under the age of 30 — who have experienced the yearly ritual fewer times than their elders — than it is among Americans 65 and older, 77% of whom want to avoid changing time.

While Americans would prefer one time for the whole year and not worry about keeping their clocks in order, if there is going to be only one time for the U.S, which one should it be?

Nearly twice as many Americans who prefer not changing their clocks would prefer that Daylight Saving time – not Standard Time – be the one that is kept.

Again, which time one picks isn’t a matter of politics. Instead, it appears age matters more. Adults under the age of 30 are closely divided on whether they want sunlight later into evening (which happens with Daylight Saving Time) or in the morning. Older adults have a clear preference for Daylight Saving Time. So do people from every region. 

At least some of Americans’ stated preference to eliminate changing times may stem from the inconvenience and abruptness of the transition between times, which they could feel more strongly when asked about it near clock-changing times. Many Americans say they dread the forthcoming transition from Daylight Saving Time. Asked about its end this Saturday, 34% of Americans say that they are not looking forward to it, 21% say they are looking forward to it, and 38% say they don’t really care.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov Poll

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between October 30 and November 2, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-votes). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty