A total of 17 percent of Americans believe in ghosts. Do you?

One in five Americans say they’ve been personally haunted or that they believe in ghosts. Just how many of you are that lucky? The poll posed the question to adults nationwide. Here’s how many…

One in five Americans say they’ve been personally haunted or that they believe in ghosts. Just how many of you are that lucky? The poll posed the question to adults nationwide. Here’s how many people said they believe in ghosts.

Many people say they’ve been personally haunted. Do you believe in ghosts?

On average, 17 percent of Americans said that they personally believe in ghosts, compared with 15 percent who said they haven’t, and 43 percent who don’t believe in ghosts, according to The Washington Post/ABC News poll, conducted March 7-12. Here’s how many said they “strongly believe” in ghosts, including the 10 percent who said they “completely believe.”

Percent who “strongly believe” in ghosts 11% Some of you would say that probably is, but either way I’m pretty sure they’re ghosts! 6% So I’m 100 percent sure. 3% They might be, but I’m really sure! 3% Probably is, but mostly I’m guessing it’s a figment of someone’s imagination. 1% Generally I believe ghosts exist, but my perception is of people looking very fake in my home. 0%

Researchers who study ghosts don’t believe in them.

The answer to this question is not actually all that mysterious. Though an overwhelming majority of survey respondents say they believe in ghosts, there is really only one subgroup — people 65 and older — that report a high level of belief.

In this group, 71 percent of people say they believe in ghosts, and there’s a strong correlation between what respondents claim to believe in and what they actually think of ghosts. A strong 78 percent of those 65 and older say they believe in ghosts, but only 66 percent think they’re real.

This is exactly what researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center did when they published a study this year — and it had similar results.

“Even though belief in their supernatural environment seems so intuitive, it is actually not so simple,” the researchers wrote.

And finally, here’s the Gallup poll on millennials — Americans who are the members of the oldest cohort of young people. Millennials think of ghost stories as fiction and that real ghosts don’t exist.

On average, 17 percent of millennials reported that they believed in ghosts, compared with 15 percent who didn’t, and 53 percent who don’t believe in ghosts.

Of note, though, a high percentage of millennials are surveyed on one specific question, because their age makes for a better result — the 20-29 year olds. Millennials with any knowledge of the U.S. survey methodology say that there was no age difference in responses.

According to the poll, 19 percent of Millennials say they personally believe in ghosts. By comparison, 37 percent of Baby Boomers, 44 percent of Gen Xers and 42 percent of those 45 and older report they don’t believe in ghosts.

That’s a big difference. To put it another way, 7 percent of Americans over 50 don’t believe in ghosts, compared with 36 percent of millennials.

Feel free to point out other discrepancies in the new polling data in the comments.

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