How People Feel About Bdays: Totally Reliable Birthday Statistics

flat lay photography of desserts
Photo by Karley Saagi on

Years ago I was surprised by the lack of scientific rigor (or would it be mathematical rigor) that went into some of the research I was finding about birthdays. Now, I changed my major in college to avoid taking statistics (no joke). But, I still can recognize a small sample size or faulty reasoning. So, at the time, I decided to make my own contribution to birthday science by posting a survey on this biggest of days online. I invited my readers to respond, so I could generate some birthday statistics. They did. What surprises me now, though? People are still responding.

Apparently there are people who go on Surveymonkey and just fill out random surveys. Weirdly, I’ve had a bump in responses to the survey since November of 2020. So maybe COVID-19 lockdown had something to do with it? 

Or maybe Surveymonkey itself has people do it so that I’ll be driven to pay the fee to “go pro” and see all the answers. As it is, I can only see 40 people’s answers and the rest are deleted if left too long. Since I don’t want to pay $25 a month (or more!) for what was a lark anyway, I can’t tell you how many responses I’ve lost since opening the survey in 2016. However, I do know I don’t want the kindness of strangers who have taken the time to answer to go unappreciated. 

Thus, forthwith, and with great fanfare, I will now share my highly reliable, uber-scientific/mathematic, rigorously tested answers to pressing questions about birthdays.

Completely Reliable Birthday Statistics

To my initial surprise, 9 of my 40 friendly respondents (or 23.08%) said they do not “actively celebrate” their own birthdays. What an opportunity missed, I say! But at least it makes my birthday statistics more credible.

However, the majority of respondents do make the biggest deal about their own birthday (41.03%) with a “family member’s birthday (not furry)” coming second (23.08%) and a friend’s birthday a close third (20.51%).

Parties and cake were tied for top way to celebrate, but dinner with family or friends was a really close second (the difference between 22 responses and 21). No one in the survey went for spending their birthday in “quiet introspection.” But those who picked other and shared their ideas suggested they would want to celebrate with:

  • A fake ID
  • Sleepover with friends
  • Get money
  • Gifts
  • A drive-by sweet 16 (obviously a COVID response, unless they really meant that they wanted a car to drive!)

When asked to rank what they’d prefer to receive, gifts were no. 1 with phone calls and a surprise party next on the list. Social media greetings was fourth…so that tells me you should just pick up the phone and share some birthday love next time around!

The birthday statistic that made me happiest? The vast majority (61.54%) said the time to stop celebrating birthdays was “never!” I couldn’t agree more. 

Next time I write, I’ll share what people responded when asked what their best birthday gifts were!


Totally Reliable Survey Data on Birthdays


Photo credit: Dan4th via BY


I hate drive time radio. I am not a morning person. I do not want to listen to vapid chatter as I drag myself to work each day.

Nevertheless, I did follow the link when a brief post by an Indiana radio station discussed a “new recent study on birthdays” that “had some interesting results.”

Furthering my annoyance with radio talk show hosts, there was no citing of the source of the study. Only the giphys were remotely sourced (as being “via Giphy”).

But with that vent out of the way, I’m not going to let the lack of authority of the source get in the way of my blogging a response to Jayson’s summary of the findings. After all, I simply must weigh in with my full distress to learn that “most people stop celebrating their birthday at age 31.”
Apparently, Jayson reports, after 31:

  • “People don’t want to be the center of attention and don’t like the idea of thinking about getting old.”
  • “In fact, only one in five people never have another birthday party after age 30.” OK, that one I shouldn’t have quoted since it’s so grammatically glaring. Presumably he is saying that only 1 in 5 people will have another birthday party after 30.

Oh, and most shocking to me? “Those with August and March birthdays go all out to celebrate while September, October and June birthdays are less likely to celebrate their b-days at all.”

Here’s an October birthday girl blogging exclusively about birthdays. You can bet I like to celebrate despite what other birthday shirkers want to do.

The study further found:

  • People on average receive eight cards, 10 well wishes on social media and five presents
  • Two out of three people get a cake on their b-day.
  • Weekend getaways with a spouse, dinner with the family, and a movie night at home with take-out food are the most common ways to celebrate.

These researchers sound like my kind of peeps! I only wish the blogger had offered even a few details about the study source for me to be able to track it down.

In the meantime, I am conducting my own informal research. Click this six-question survey to help me out.







Photo credit: Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha via / CC BY-SA