Nine out of 10 Americans will celebrate Christmas this year, but fewer people will mark it as a religious holiday than in previous years, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.
For 55% of US adults, Christmas will be celebrated as a religious day – down from 59% in 2013. Currently, 33% see it as a cultural rather than a religious festival in a slight increase from 32% in 2013.
Pew’s research suggests that overall the religious elements of Christmas will be less prominent in 2017. This trend is most pronounced amongst younger US citizens: millennials are less likely to attend a church service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day than any other generation, and more view the holiday as cultural (44%) rather than religious (32%).
"While half or more of adults of all ages agree that emphasis on the religious aspects of Christmas has declined (compared with Christmases past), adults under 50 are significantly less likely than those ages 50 and older to say they find this bothersome," according to Pew.
Despite this emerging shift from a religious to a more cultural celebration of Christmas, the number of Americans celebrating Christmas in any form has changed little in recent years. This year, 82% plan to gather with family and friends compared with 86% in 2013.