In the nearly two years since the 2016 presidential election, Americans’ views of the seriousness of several national problems have changed, with concerns about drug addiction, college affordability, sexism and racism on the rise.
The share of U.S. adults saying drug addiction is a “very big” problem in the country has increased 12 percentage points since a survey conducted shortly before the November 2016 election, from 56% then to 68% today.
Increasing shares of Americans cite the affordability of a college education (up 11 percentage points) and sexism (also up 11 points) as “very big” problems in the country. The share who say racism is a very big problem has risen 7 points, while the share citing gun violence is up 5 points.
Drug addiction ranks near the top of the list of 18 national problems included in a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Sept. 24 to Oct. 7, along with the affordability of health care (70% say it is a very big problem) and ethics in government (67%).
Immigration concerns fall in Western Europe, but most see need for newcomers to integrate into society
As the surge in immigration to Europe drops back to pre-2015 levels, the fever pitch of concern has also abated across eight key countries in Western Europe, according to surveys conducted by the European Union’s Eurobarometer between 2014 and 2018. Today, a median of 23% in these countries name immigration as one of the top two problems facing their country, down from a median of almost half in November 2015.
But while anxieties have decreased dramatically across the EU as immigration flows have slowed, immigration still remains a top concern for many Western Europeans. For example, in both Denmark and Germany, more people name the issue as a problem facing their country than any other (34% and 38%, respectively). And while only a minority of people are concerned in most countries, they do tend to be vocal. Immigration issues, often raised by far-right parties, have rocked coalitions in Germany, and been front and center in recent elections in Italy and Sweden.
In the 40 years since China began opening its doors to more market-oriented economic policies, the country has experienced explosive growth that many refer to as nothing short of a miracle. The nation’s growing influence has been felt on every continent, and people have taken note that China continues to play an ever-larger role in world affairs. But more power brings more expectations and accountability, and in our most recent survey many people around the globe say they want an alternative to China as the world’s leading power.
1Globally, people differ in how positively or negatively they view China. Across the 25 countries polled in a recent Pew Research Center survey, a median of 45% have a favorable view of China, while 43% hold an unfavorable view. Majorities or pluralities in 12 countries give China positive marks, with favorable attitudes most prevalent in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. In the United States, 38% have a favorable opinion of China, a slight decrease from 44% in 2017, while nearly half expressed unfavorable attitudes.
2A global median of 70% say China plays a more important role in the world than it did 10 years ago. Russia is a distant second in this assessment, with only 41% saying that country is more important than it was a decade ago. A median of only 31% believe the U.S. plays a more important role than it did a decade ago – less than half of the share who say this of China. Only 8% of those surveyed say China plays a less important role than it did a decade ago, the lowest share across the seven countries tested. In the U.S., 72% believe China is more important now than it was a decade ago, while only 31% of Americans say the same about their own country. Read More →
The answer to almost any survey question depends on who you ask.
At Pew Research Center, we conduct surveys in the United States and dozens of other countries on topics ranging from politics and religion to science and technology. Given the wide range of people we speak to for our polls – and the many issues we ask them about – it’s important to be as clear as possible in our writing about exactly who says what.
In research circles, this practice is sometimes called “defining the universe” – that is, clearly identifying the population whose attitudes we’re studying, whether those people are police officers in the U.S., Christians in Western Europe or some other specific group. This kind of clarification can go a long way toward ensuring that readers interpret survey results correctly.
Topics: Research Methods
Abortion has long been a contentious issue in the U.S., and it is one that sharply divides Americans along partisan, ideological and religious lines.
Today, a 58% majority of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. These views are relatively unchanged in the past few years. The latest Pew Research Center political survey finds deep disagreement between – and within – the parties over abortion. In fact, the partisan divide on abortion is far wider than it was two decades ago.
Explore an interactive look at attitudes on abortion.
By a wide margin (59% to 36%), Republicans say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. In 1995, Republicans were evenly divided (49% legal vs. 48% illegal).
Immigration is a rich, complex topic that is front and center in public debates. If you combed through the Pew Research Center archives, you’d find that we have published hundreds of reports and blog posts about immigration in recent years.
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Perhaps you would like to have a better understanding of immigration, or maybe you would like to know what the latest research has found. The question is: Where do you begin? You probably don’t have time to read thousands of pages of our research, and our latest publications focus on what’s new, not necessarily the big picture.
If what you’re really looking for is a shortcut study guide to what Pew Research Center knows about immigration, we have good news!
Less than a month before the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans and Democrats hold positive outlooks about the future of their respective parties, and in both cases these views are more positive than they were a year ago.
Three-quarters of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are optimistic about the future of the Republican Party, up 16 percentage points from September 2017, when 59% felt this way, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Sept. 24-Oct. 7 among 10,683 adults on the American Trends Panel.
The current level of optimism among Republicans is similar to what it was immediately following Donald Trump’s election in December 2016 (79%).
More than 29 million Latinos are eligible to vote nationwide in 2018, making up 12.8% of all eligible voters – both new highs, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.
The pool of eligible Hispanic voters has steadily grown in recent years. Between 2014 and 2018, an additional 4 million Hispanics became eligible voters (U.S. citizens ages 18 and older). Much of this growth has been driven by young U.S.-born Hispanics coming of age. Since 2014, around 3 million have turned 18. Other sources of growth include Hispanic immigrant naturalizations – among Mexicans alone, 423,000 became U.S. citizens from 2014 to 2017 – as well as residents of Puerto Rico moving to one of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, especially Florida.
The number of Hispanic registered voters in Florida has increased 6.2% since the 2016 presidential election, to a record 2.1 million people. This is slightly faster growth than during the 2014 and 2010 midterm cycles, which saw 4.6% and 5.2% increases over the prior presidential election year, respectively, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Florida state government data.
Hispanics now make up a record 16.4% of Florida’s registered voters, up from 15.7% in 2016. The number of Hispanic registered voters has grown more than three times as fast as the overall number of registered voters in the past two years (6.2% growth vs. 1.8% growth, as of Aug. 31). Floridians had until Oct. 9 to register to vote, so the number of registered voters for this midterm cycle is likely to have increased further since August. (While the growth in Hispanic voters this year exceeds that of the past two midterm election years, it still trails the growth in recent presidential election years.)
The #MeToo hashtag first went viral on Twitter a year ago this month. Although the social movement of the same name existed beforehand, the hashtag was popularized on Oct. 15, 2017, when actress Alyssa Milano urged victims of sexual abuse to share their stories on Twitter in the wake of accusations of misconduct against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein.
Amid ongoing discussions about sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond, here are five findings about how these issues have been discussed on Twitter and other social media outlets in the past year:
1The #MeToo hashtag has been used more than 19 million times on Twitter from the date of Milano’s initial tweet through Sept. 30 of this year, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of publicly available English-language tweets. That works out to an average of 55,319 uses of the hashtag per day. The day with the single-greatest number of mentions was Sept. 9, when Leslie Moonves, chairman and chief executive of CBS, resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
2Personal stories and prominent celebrities have been key topics in #MeToo tweets. The Center conducted a separate analysis of five time periods with a high volume of English-language #MeToo tweets to examine how often three specific topics were mentioned in connection with the hashtag. The topics were: Twitter users sharing personal stories of harassment; users talking about the entertainment industry or celebrities in their tweets; and users discussing national politics or politicians. Some 15% of tweets across these specific time periods mentioned celebrities or the entertainment industry more broadly, while 14% referenced personal stories or narratives. A smaller share of these tweets (7%) mentioned politics or specific politicians. (The high-volume time periods in this analysis do not necessarily correspond with the above graphic. An individual tweet could mention one or more of these topics, and the tweets that mentioned multiple topics were counted in each relevant category. See methodology for more details on this analysis.)