Surprising Analysis Shows the South Prefers Saying “Happy Holidays” Over “Merry Christmas” December 24, 2015

Surprising Analysis Shows the South Prefers Saying “Happy Holidays” Over “Merry Christmas”

If there’s one part of the country where you’d think people prefer saying “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays,” I’m sure most people would say the South. But an analysis of data by Andrew R. Lewis and Paul A. Djupe at Five Thirty Eight shows the opposite:

One of the more surprising findings is that the Bible-Belt South does not show the weakest preference for “happy holidays” (54 percent). That distinction belongs to the Midwest (44 percent). One reason for the difference is African-Americans (20 percent of the South in this sample), who strongly prefer “happy holidays” despite their high levels of religiosity.

This would all change if you separate it by political affiliation, of course. But geographically speaking, the War on Christmas just got more confusing.

The analysis included data from the Public Religion Research Institute and the 2010 Religion Census.

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