According to a Harris Poll in 2009, 26% of Americans 'believe' in Astrology.
Results of Harris Poll in the USA 2009
Belief in Astrology
The Harris Poll® #140, December 15, 2009
Conducted in November 2009 involved 2,303 adults.
By Humphrey Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive
Another poll suggests Men and Women are more divided in their belief
In a 2005 Gallup Poll on Paranormal Beliefs, respondents in the US, UK and Canada were asked about the statement that Astrology or the position of the stars (sic) and planets can affect people's lives. Subjects had to three choices:
Something you believe in.
Something you're not sure about.
Something you don't believe in.
Results of a Gallup Poll 2005: Belief in Astrology
Astrology or the position of the stars and planets can affect people's lives
Gallup quote a New Jersey counselor who accounts for the divergence in belief between men and women: Kathleen, a New Jersey counselor who treats both men and women for a variety of issues, isn't surprised by the finding that women are, in some cases, bigger believers in the paranormal. She suspects it's a function of how men's and women's brains work. "Women are just more receptive, more intuitive, and more plugged in, whereas men tend to be logical and sequential," she says. "In my work, I find that women are much more inclined to speculate about hypothetical situations."
Much depends on the question - most astrologers would probably say that they did not believe that the planets or the stars affect people's lives since they question the causal relationship as the basis of their astrological practice and see it as an acausal relationship such as synchronicity as proposed by Carl Jung. (Jung 1955)
Most women in the UK consider that their sign fits their personality
Research conducted amongst a sample of students in England found that 100% know their star sign, 70% read their horoscopes regularly and 85% agree that the description of their birth sign describes their personality. (Blackmore 2000)
Is Astrology a belief? Many people view astrology as a belief. However, it is not like a religion where followers believe in a God where there is no tangible or external proof of God's existence. Astrology can be tested and verified by solid evidence like choice of career or relationship experience. However, because astrology works on a unique individual level and the experimenter is part of the experiment, strict scientific tests are often fundamentally flawed. So for most practitioners the evidence must come from personal experience of an individual's birth chart and then from reviewing others. This evidence combined with the study of astrology becomes knowledge. So we can either know about astrology or we don't know. Any belief or disbelief without knowledge is prejudice.
So, in conclusion, these studies are interesting but limited as researchers failed to ask a real question. It's like asking do you believe in nutrition or do you believe there is a fish called Wanda in the Gobi Desert or asking non-drivers to comment on a car they have never seen.
If the researchers supplement these questions by asking whether their respondent has studied astrology, we might discover whether these answers are based on ignorance or prejudice. Maybe they could also ask "Have you had your astrological chart prepared and if so, do you think there may be something in astrology?"
Results in the United States are based on telephone interviews with 1,002 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted June 6-8, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup USA.
Results in Canada are based on telephone interviews with 1,005 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Aug. 22-31, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup Canada.
Results in Great Britain are based on telephone interviews with 1,010 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Aug. 26-Sept. 8, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup UK.
Jung, C.G. and Wolfgang Pauli, (1955), The Interpretation of Nature and Psyche, New York: Pantheon Books
Blackmore, Susan and Seebold, Marianne, (2000) 'The Effect of Horoscopes on Women's Relationships', Correlation, Vol. 19 no 2, Winter 2000-1, pp. 14-23).