Do You Believe in Miracles?

Americans are a famously optimistic people, even at times when objective conditions seem likely to squelch them. How come? Perhaps because they believe in miracles. In a survey conducted for Adweek by Alden & Associates Marketing Research of Hermosa Beach, Calif., 78.8 percent of adults said they believe in miracles. Women were significantly more likely than men to do so (84.0 percent vs. 69.8 percent). One might suppose that such belief is eroded by sad experience as people grow older, but that’s not the case. In fact, the oldest respondents are the most likely to think miracles really happen. Do well-to-do Americans see their prosperity as miraculous? Probably not. Respondents whose annual household income exceeds $100,000 were less likely to believe in miracles than those whose income is lower (64.1 percent vs. 80.9 percent). Married and unmarried people are equally likely to believe. And those who have kids are no more likely than childless respondents to say that miracles happen. Apparently the miracle of childbirth is no more vivid than the miracle of contraception.