Fifth of adults choose pet over partner on V'Day

Sun Feb 7, 2010 11:41pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Rather than spending Valentine's Day with their partner, one-fifth of adults would prefer to be with their pet, although the French still came top for romance, according to a joint global poll by Reuters/Ipsos.

The survey of 24,000 people in 23 countries found 21 percent of adults would rather spend February 14 with their pet than their spouse, although the French were least likely to choose a furry friend over a human with only 10 percent taking that option.

But the survey found that age and income were more of a determining factor than nationality when it came to romance, with younger, less affluent people more likely to choose their pet as their Valentine's Day companion.

John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos, said 25 percent of people aged under 35 opted for their pet over their partner compared to 18 percent of those aged 35-54 and 14 percent of people aged 55 plus.

Men and women were evenly split over the question.

Those choosing pets over people were also more likely to be those who have a lower income (24 percent) compared to those who were middle or higher income earners (20 percent).

"Likely defying stereotype, the desire to spurn a partner for a pet is not rooted in gender but rather age and even there it seems the older you are, the least likely it is you'd choose pet over partner," said Wright.

"While there are country differences, it's more of a personal choice made by younger and less affluent individuals."

On a country-by-country basis, residents of Turkey were the most likely, at 49 percent, to choose their pet over their spouse or partner.   Continued...

<p>A man grooms a Toy Poodle dog during the 2010 FCI Chiba International Dog Show in Chiba, near Tokyo January 24, 2010. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon</p>