Pew Research Center survey reports, demographic studies and data-driven analysis
The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families
Americans today are less likely to be married than at any time in the nation’s history. Rates have declined for all groups, but they have fallen most sharply among those on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder. A new survey finds that these less-advantaged adults are more likely than others to say that economic security is an important reason to marry. Even as marriage shrinks, family remains the most important and most satisfying element in the lives of most Americans.
Is the Recession Linked to Fewer Marriages?
When researchers look at possible links among social, economic and demographic trends — such as the current recession and declining marriage rates — they face a challenge. Two trends may be heading in the same direction, but are they related? Correlation, the statisticians frequently warn, is no guarantee of causation.
The Reversal of the College Marriage Gap
In a reversal of long-standing marital patterns, college-educated young adults are now slightly more likely than young adults lacking a bachelor’s degree to have married by the age of 30.
One Recession, Two Americas
For a narrow majority of Americans (55%), the Great Recession brought a mix of unemployment, missed mortgage or rent payments, shrinking paychecks and shattered household budgets. But for the other 45%, the recession was largely free of such difficulties.
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is “unacceptable” for homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments, but more than a third say the practice of “walking away” from a home mortgage is acceptable under certain circumstances. Homeowners whose home values declined during the recession and those who have spent time unemployed are more likely to say that “walking away” from a mortgage is acceptable.
Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents
One child in 10 in the U.S. lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession. About 40% of all children who live with a grandparent (or grandparents) are also being raised primarily by that grandparent.
Most ’Re-employed’ Workers Say They’re Overqualified for Their New Job
Workers who suffered a spell of unemployment during the recession are, on average, less satisfied with their new jobs than workers who didn’t. These re-employed workers also are more likely to consider themselves over-qualified for their current position. And six-in-ten say they changed careers or seriously thought about it while they were unemployed.
The Fading Glory of the Television and Telephone
The TV and the landline phone are both losing their cachet in the digital age, as fewer consider them necessities. But while phones are being dumped, Americans are stocking up on ever more television sets — especially the big flat ones
Media, Race and Obama’s First Year
A year-long study finds that, as a group, African Americans attracted relatively little attention in the U.S. mainstream news media during the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency — and what coverage there was tended to focus more on specific episodes than on broader issues and trends affecting the lives of blacks generally.
Lost Income, Lost Friends — and Loss of Self-Respect
A new Pew Research Center survey finds the long-term unemployed are more likely than the short-term unemployed not only to have lost income, but also to have lost contact with close friends, suffered strains in family relations and lost some self-respect and confidence in their long-term career prospects.