A lot of things may have dramatically changed in this country in recent years, but one has stayed remarkably the same: Thanksgiving.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 170 million or more Americans will be dining on turkey today, most of them at gatherings of at least 10 people.
Out of a cross-section of 1,516 Americans asked about their plans for the holiday, 96 of every hundred said they would be observing the day with family or friends, and nine out of every 10 said that getting together on Thanksgiving is a tradition in the family.
Behold the statistics:
Sixty-two percent of those interviewed say they will be at gatherings of at least 10 people; only 1 percent will be dining alone and only 2 percent say they will be with just one other person. Twenty-one percent will be scraping around for chairs to accommodate 25 or more people, and 1 percent--or some 2 million people--will be in groups of 50 people or more. The region that tends to have the largest gatherings is the Midwest.
Forty-three percent say they are spending less this Thanksgiving compared to last. At the same time, however, good news cancels out the bad as 72 percent say they personally "have more to be thankful for" this year than last.
In one home out of every four, at least one person will have traveled more than 100 miles for the family gathering. There will be more long-distance traveling in the West than elsewhere in the nation.
Eighty-seven percent of those interviewed say they will be having turkey for dinner. Given a population of more than 200 million capable of consuming more than baby food, that means 174 million people vying for white meat over dark or vice versa.
The National Turkey Federation, which compiles a National Turkey Federation Factbook, figures 29 million turkeys weighing a total of 535 million pounds will be eaten, but not all of it today. The group says a lot will be left over, but won't guess how much.