Poll: American Giving-Away Trend Continues

Americans are continuing to choose to live with fewer material possessions, according to the recently released results of a new Zogby Interactive poll.

According to the results, only 20 percent of the 41,175 U.S. American adults polled said they did not give away any of their belongings. More than half (58 percent), meanwhile, said they gave away up to 10 percent of their belongings because they were no longer needed. The remaining 22 percent said they have given away more than 10 percent of their belongings.

"Even during economic hard times, we find Americans more likely to give things away," commented pollster John Zogby, adding that he doesn't believe that most are doing so in order to make room for new material objects.

"Instead, people are moving toward a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle," he said.

In breaking down the results by demographics, Zogby Interactive noted the differences as being generally small.

People with the lowest incomes, for example, were least likely to give things away, but as household income rose, differences were not significant.

People who frequently attend church services, meanwhile, were more likely to get rid of their possessions than those who attend less frequently or not at all, but not by much.

Age, Zogby revealed, was not at all a factor.

Perhaps the most significant (and most interesting) differences were those between political liberals and conservatives.

While liberals were found more likely than conservatives (23 percent to 14 percent) to say there were purposely giving things away because they had too much, they were also more likely (19 percent to 5 percent) than conservatives to choose to buy a $500 item at Tiffany's over an almost exactly alike item at Wal-Mart that costs $250.

In general, only 10 percent of U.S. adults polled chose the Tiffany item while 78 percent chose the Wal-Mart equivalent.

The results of the survey, conducted July 2-27, were released Friday.