Fact Tank Jul. 18, 2013

The most (and least) culturally diverse countries in the world

A new study of cultural diversity and economic development measures the amount of cultural diversity in each of more than 180 countries.

Fact Tank Jul. 12, 2013

The politics and demographics of food stamp recipients

The House on July 11 passed a farm bill stripped of funding for food stamps. A Pew Research survey last year found about one-in-five (22%) of Democrats say they had received food stamps compared with 10% of Republicans.

Fact Tank Jul. 11, 2013

Is childhood obesity contagious?

Every parent knows that young children catch lots of things at school: chicken pox, the flu and, of course, the annual back-to-school cold. Now there’s evidence that kids can catch something else from their classmates:  obesity. Of course there isn’t a fat virus, or at least one we know about.  But a research team from […]

Fact Tank Jul. 2, 2013

For states, gambling on casinos may be a bad bet

When casinos come to town, an increase in public corruption is likely to follow. Or so claim two economists who studied federal corruption conviction rates in states before and after they legalized casino gambling. They focused on the years 1985 to 2000, a period of intense efforts by the casino industry to legalize casinos in […]

Fact Tank Jun. 27, 2013

Why boys with sisters are more likely to be Republicans

Interesting things happen when little boys grow up with sisters: They are less likely to help mom with housekeeping chores—and they’re more likely to grow up to be Republicans, according to a new paper published in the latest issue of the Journal of Politics (doc). Young men who were raised with sisters also are more likely […]

Fact Tank Jun. 25, 2013

What’s killing the less-educated white women of America?

For nearly three decades researchers have known that better-educated adults are living increasingly longer than those with less education. (Kids: One more reason to stay in school.) Then in the mid-1980s a new trend emerged: The education-mortality gap began growing much faster among women than among men. By 2006, white women without a high school […]

Fact Tank Jun. 19, 2013

What Americans really want from their lawmakers

Americans often say they want their representatives in Congress to put the country’s needs over local concerns. But four novel experiments suggest that the public does just the opposite.  In a new study, respondents rated a member of Congress far more favorably if the lawmaker put the interests of his or her district or state […]

Fact Tank Jun. 17, 2013

Political views can drive wrong poll answers, unless there’s money involved

Do one’s political leanings blind people to the facts? Judging from decades of polling, the answer is sometimes yes—partisanship appears to lead some people to claim as facts things that aren’t particularly factual.