As holiday shoppers hit the markets, new study has revealed that Americans are more likely to say that as a result of the economic downturn, they will spend less money on holiday gifts this year (69 percent U.S. vs. 61 percent Canada).

The study, conducted over telephone in November, 2010 by Harris Interactive, also suggests American holiday shoppers are harder hit by the tough economy than Canadians.

But they are more likely to give charitable gifts as holiday presents (51 percent U.S. vs. 42 percent Canada) and appear to be more charitable than Canadians this holiday season.

The new study, commissioned by non-profit relief organization World Vision, finds Canadian adults are more likely than their U.S. counterparts to prefer giving (79 percent Canada vs. 69 percent U.S.) and receiving (77 percent Canada vs. 68 percent U.S.) gifts that benefit the environment.

Despite early projections of a robust holiday season for U.S. retailers, the study shows more Americans, almost 7 out of 10 (69 percent), say they'll spend less on holiday presents this year as a result of the current economic climate. Last year, just over half (only 57 percent) said they would.

U.S. adults are more likely than Canadian adults to prefer to receive meaningful gifts that would help others instead of traditional gifts like clothing or electronics (80 percent U.S. vs. 73 percent Canada).


U.S. adults are more likely than Canadian adults to help children (95 percent U.S. vs. 92 percent Canada) and the poor (94 percent U.S. vs. 91 percent Canada) during the holiday season.

Americans are also more likely to say they plan to increase their charitable giving once the economy improves (71 percent U.S. vs. 64 percent Canada).

This survey shows that, during uncertain economic times, Americans are helping those in need, says Devin Hermanson, World Vision U.S. Gift Catalog Senior Director. Even more so than our neighbors to the north, Americans are determined to reach out with charitable gifts.

This is the third year World Vision has commissioned the survey on how charitable giving would be affected by the recession. This is the first year the U.S. and Canada have been included in the same comprehensive study.