More than half a million people were invited to a Friendsgiving party this year, and searches for Friendsgiving ideas have tripled since 2015, according to Evite and Google Trends data served up by Axios' Stef Kight.
- Friendsgivings, popular with young adults away from their hometowns, reach beyond the traditional family circle and include close friends in a potluck-style gathering, typically in the days leading up to Turkey Day.
- Why it matters: Changes to Thanksgiving celebrations reflect broader American transformations — booming cities and social media, a growing foreign-born population, delayed marriage and family building, and young adults relying on "urban tribes" of friends instead of kin.
Friendsgiving is more common in urban areas.
- The average size of each party is 21 people, per Evite.
- Almost a quarter of hosts ask guests to sign up to bring something.
- Use of "Friendsgiving" started rising in 2007, according to Merriam-Webster.
Friendsgivings often are just a pre-party to a family-centric holiday, but the trend also mirrors shifting lifestyles and demographics in the U.S.
- Many young, single adults move to cities where they work, make friends, pay off college debt, date on apps and wait longer to settle down.
- Journalist Ethan Watters has argued that tight-knit friend groups of young adults — or "urban tribes" — are replacing family.
Some city-dwelling adults prefer to spend Thanksgiving with their tribe rather than relatives.
- "Lots of people who live in cities moved away for a reason," University of Toronto professor and urban theorist Richard Florida told Axios. "Maybe they can't 'go home.'"
With the immigrant share of the population rising significantly, several Friendsgiving participants who work at Axios, or responded to an Axios Instagram question, said sharing the iconic American holiday with friends can be a special experience for foreign-born guests with different points of reference.