On most weekdays, a coworker of mine enthusiastically asks me “what are you doing tonight?”. Usually my answer is quite dull, ranging from “laundry” to “I’m behind on my shows” with a smattering of “I need to vacuum” (note: I do have friends). Luckily for me, a little more than seven in ten Americans identify with my home-based evenings, according to a recent survey from Gallup.
Gallup has been asking Americans about their evening habits since the 1960’s. In the December 2015 survey, 75% of Americans said their “favorite way to spend an evening” was based in the home, with activities ranging from simply staying home (34%), to watching television (16%), to reading (12%).
As a Millennial, I assumed my answers ranked me amongst the most boring of my generation, but a similar number of 18-34 year olds preferred staying home (39%) or watching television (10%).
One fellow Millennial coworker wondered about the percentage who would say they enjoy spending their evenings cooking, a punch not provided in the Gallup survey. A 2016 survey by ORC International in conjunction with Peapod found that 72% of Americans report cooking at home four nights or more a week.
However, when asked “what is your favorite way of spending an evening in the summer”, a majority of Americans prefer spending their evening doing something outdoors, ranging from sitting on the porch (12%), to barbecuing (10%), to going for a walk (5%). Reported television preference drops to only (5%) in the summer. Maybe in 86 days at the official start of summer I’ll move my weeknight interests from chasing dust bunnies to sitting on my porch.