If last year was predicted to be a more low-key New Year’s Eve, this year could turn out to be positively dull. In a CivicScience poll of more than 3,000 U.S. adults, less than one-quarter (20%) will be partying or going out on New Year’s Eve this year, which is five percentage points lower than the year before. This year, more people say they will be at home with their families (35%) and the same number of people have no plans (35%) or will be working (3%).

The downshift in activity is likely connected to the decrease in Gen Z celebrators. Consistent with earlier studies, partying or going out on this holiday is a young person’s game. The data show Americans under 25 years old are once again the most likely to report going out on New Year’s Eve this year, but significantly fewer members of Gen Z say they will go out or attend a party (46% this holiday, compared to 56% last holiday season). Americans aged 55 and older are moderately more likely to say they have plans of some kind – whether or not that is going out (9%) or staying in with family (46%) – but it’s not quite enough to influence the Gen Pop numbers.

While there are less celebrators overall, those who do choose to ring in the new year plan to do so with about the same number of people or more than the previous year (79%).

Last year, the majority of celebrators in the U.S. reported “keeping things small” (51%), influenced slightly by concern about COVID-19 exposure. This year, concern about public spaces – and therefore COVID risks – has little to no substantial effect.

In line with what is already known about age and intent to celebrate the new year, a person’s social platform of choice could be a predictor for how they will spend New Year’s Eve. Snapchat and TikTok users are the most likely to report partying or going out, whereas Facebook users are more likely to stay at home with their families or report no plans for the holiday at all.

For an elite few, New Year’s Eve calls for a vacation. In a survey of more than 3,000 people, 12% will be at a vacation destination come December 31 – 6% will be in the United States and 6% will be abroad. Gen Z is the age group most intent on traveling for New Year’s Eve, so while they report “staying home” more this year, perhaps they will be staying in but away from home.

New Year’s Eve hasn’t historically been a major night out for the U.S. population. Over the last two years, the percentage of people choosing to stay at home for the holiday has increased. Young people will still go out more than other age groups, but it’s fairly likely they will be enjoying their new year from a vacation house. 

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