Americans Are Still Most Thankful to God at Thanksgiving, According to New Study

'The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth' (1914), a painting by Jennie A. Brownscombe (1850-1936).(Wikipedia)

Whatever challenges they're going through, Americans still find a lot to be thankful for these days—with God getting the most credit.

As America counts the few remaining days before Thanksgiving on Nov. 24, a new study by the LifeWay Research found out that most Americans are thankful for family (88 percent), health (77 percent), personal freedom (72 percent) and friends (71 percent).

"The blessings that matter most are the ones money can't buy," said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.

He noted that fewer Americans give thanks for wealth (32 percent) or achievements (51 percent).

In an online survey of 1,000 Americans, the researchers gave the respondents a list of 10 options and asked them to rank them in order of thankfulness. Only two percent were not thankful for any of the options provided.

According to the study, 63 percent of Americans give credit to God for their blessings; 57 percent give thanks to their family while 31 percent give thanks to friends. Smaller percentages give thanks to themselves (8 percent) or fate (4 percent).

Americans attending religious services at least once a month (84 percent), African-Americans (83 percent), Christians (80 percent), and those living in the South (72 percent) are among those most likely to thank God, the study says.

The survey also shows that Protestants (90 percent) are more likely to thank God than Catholics (67 percent). Ninety-four percent of Christians with evangelical beliefs are most likely to thank God.

Even those who do not subscribe to any religion—the nones—are also saying thanks to God, at least 1 in 4 of them, according to the study.

On sexual differences, the survey shows that men (9 percent) are more likely to not give thanks than women (5 percent). Those younger than 25 (14 percent) are also more likely to skip giving thanks than those 65 and older (5 percent).

LifeWay Research says overall the spirit of thanksgiving is alive and well in America, despite a stressful and divisive election season.

"Many Americans have felt discouraged about events of the past year," said McConnell. "But they still find a lot to be thankful for."