NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — A majority of Americans — 59 percent — say they prefer the greeting “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” during this season, according to a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll.

The nearly six in 10 who said they preferred “Merry Christmas” is slightly higher than last year’s 57 percent. This year 39 percent of the respondents said they preferred “Happy Holidays.”

The Marist Poll organization conducted the survey of 1,074 adults age 18 and older about their preferred greeting Nov. 6-9. Respondents, who had to reside in the contiguous United States, were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed in English by telephone using live interviewers.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The poll was conducted by Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York. Based in New Haven, the Knights of Columbus is an international organization with 1.9 million members.

A 2017 study by Pew reported that 55 percent of Americans said they celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday. That number included 46 percent who saw it primarily as a religious holiday and 9 percent who said it was both religious and cultural. Thirty-three percent celebrated it as primarily a cultural holiday, the study said.

(The Knights of Columbus are a principal sponsor of Crux.)