Fewer than half of HS seniors attend the prom

June 4, 2018

What’s more important—getting a swoon-worthy date for the senior prom or acing your admission to a top college? It’s hard to tell when May and June arrive, heralding these rites of passage for many high school students.

But does every kid actually ache to paint the town red on prom night, or do some teenagers say they would rather take a pass?

A poll conducted back in 2014 by YouGov found that most Americans (53%) didn’t actually attend a prom; and among those who did, barely half (51%) went with a date. About 43% said they went with a friend.

In fact, overall, only 24% of teenagers culminated their secondary school social experience by attending the prom with their high school sweethearts.

As YouGov discovered, most Americans (59%) really think that proms are overrated However, 31% of those who didn’t attend the event say that they missed out on a formative experience.

In the lead-up to proms, high schools are awash with rumors of who is going with whom to the prom, who asked out whom and got turned down—and who never asked anyone at all.

Among boys who went to prom with a date, 79% asked a girl to the dance, while 19% were asked out. Among girls, 29% did the asking, while 67% got an invite.

One thing is for sure: Those who go to the will have a photograph of themselves and their dates to share with friends and family—to their everlasting embarrassment or glee.

Research contact: peter.moore@yougov.com

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