Feb 17, 2017 6:56 am

For election news, young people turned to some national papers more than their elders

Younger Americans have long been less likely to read newspapers than their elders. But a Pew Research Center survey has revealed a significant twist, at least for certain newspapers with a more national focus: When we asked people if they regularly got news about the 2016 presidential election through either the print or online version of four specific U.S. newspapers, three of these papers – The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal – attracted more adults younger than 50 than 50 and older as regular readers. As for the fourth – USA Today – younger and older Americans regularly got election news there at about the same rate.

This reinforces earlier findings that when asked about reading, watching or listening to news, younger Americans are more likely than their elders to prefer reading it – though they overwhelmingly prefer to do this reading online. And the new data suggest that the digital outreach efforts for these national newspaper brands may have attracted enough younger online readers to overcome a long-standing age gap for newspapers.

By contrast, this shift is not evident for local newspapers. Older adults were much more likely than younger ones to regularly get election news from their local daily papers, according to the survey, conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 12, 2016, among 4,183 adults who are members of Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Election News, Media Economics, Media Performance, News Media Trends, News Sources, Newspapers

Feb 16, 2017 2:29 pm

A basic question when reading a poll: Does it include or exclude nonvoters?

The early days of a new presidential administration produce not just a blizzard of news but a blizzard of numbers. Pollsters of all stripes race to get and report Americans’ first impressions of their new president. But, frustratingly, those reports don’t always match up as precisely as the Type A among us might wish.

Take the past three weeks of polling on President Donald Trump. Depending on the poll, Trump’s approval rating between Feb. 5 and 13 could have been as high as 53% or as low as 39%. So which was it?

There are a number of possible reasons for polls arriving at different estimates – from the mode used to collect data to how people are selected for a survey – but here we’ll tackle one of the most basic: Did the poll include or exclude the 45% of adult Americans who didn’t cast a vote last November?

Typically, polls in the U.S. are designed to represent one of three populations. The broadest is the general population of all adults (GP). Surveys based only on adults who are registered to vote (RV) apply a narrower lens on the public. Narrower still is the filter applied with surveys that interview only registered voters who are deemed likely to vote (LV). Many pollsters might conduct surveys of all three, depending on where they find themselves in the election cycle.

In non-election years like this one, most pollsters survey all adults, but not all follow this convention. A number of pollsters continue to do surveys of registered or even likely voters. Why does this matter for Trump’s approval ratings? It’s about demographics. Voters as a group skew older and whiter than the general public. And older Americans, as well as white Americans, tilt more Republican than other groups. So, voter-only polls tend to get somewhat more favorable views of a Republican president or candidate and less favorable views of Democrats. This pattern was evident during Barack Obama’s presidency, with his overall ratings tending to be somewhat higher among the general public than among registered or likely voters.  Read More

Topics: Donald Trump, Political Attitudes and Values, Polling, Research Methods, Telephone Survey Methods, Web Survey Methods

Feb 16, 2017 12:09 pm

More favor than oppose Gorsuch nomination to Supreme Court

A few weeks after President Donald Trump’s announcement of Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to the Supreme Court, 44% of Americans say they favor the Senate confirming him to the high court, while 32% are opposed; roughly a quarter (24%) offer no opinion.

Initial reactions to past Supreme Court nominees have tended to be more positive than negative, though many of the justices were not well known by the public at the time of their nominations.

Overall views of Gorsuch’s nomination are similar to views of Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland nearly a year ago. Last March, 46% favored Senate confirmation of Garland, 30% were opposed and 24% had no opinion.  Read More

Topics: Criminal Justice, Donald Trump, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Party Affiliation, Supreme Court

Feb 16, 2017 7:35 am

Millennials in many countries are more open than their elders on questions of national identity

Across a number of countries that are wrestling with the politics of national identity, younger people are far more likely than their elders to take an inclusive view of what it takes for people to be truly considered “one of us” – whether the measure is being born in their country, sharing local customs and traditions or being Christian.

Among 18- to 34-year-olds in European Union countries surveyed, a median of 23% say being born in one’s country is very important to national identity. Four-in-ten of those ages 50 and older agree, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last spring. The divide between the young and the old over birthright nationality is quite wide in certain European countries: 21 percentage points in the United Kingdom and 16 points each in Greece and Spain.

Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Generations and Age, National and Cultural Identity, North America, Religion and Society, Social Values

Feb 15, 2017 5:08 pm

U.S. students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries

How do U.S. students compare with their peers around the world? Recently released data from international math and science assessments indicate that U.S. students continue to rank around the middle of the pack, and behind many other advanced industrial nations.

One of the biggest cross-national tests is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which every three years measures reading ability, math and science literacy and other key skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries. The most recent PISA results, from 2015, placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science.

Read More

Topics: Education, Educational Attainment, Science and Innovation

Feb 15, 2017 6:53 am

How Hispanic police officers view their jobs

Hispanics are the fastest-growing major racial or ethnic group in local police departments in the United States. In 2013, Hispanics made up 12% of full-time sworn officers, up 7 percentage points since the late 1980s, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. And they are still underrepresented relative to their share of the U.S. population, while black officers have gained parity on this measure.

A recent Pew Research Center survey highlights how Hispanic officers see their jobs, their communities and other key issues affecting police today. (The survey was conducted by the National Police Research Platform May 19-Aug. 14, 2016 and collected the views of a nationally representative sample of 7,917 sworn officers working in 54 police and sheriff’s departments with 100 or more officers.)

Overall, Hispanic officers hold views similar to those of white officers on a variety of issues related to recent high-profile incidents between blacks and police. But when it comes to working with federal authorities on enforcing immigration laws, the views of Hispanic officers align more closely with those of black officers. Here are four key findings about how Hispanic police officers see their jobs:  Read More

Topics: Criminal Justice, Hispanic/Latino Identity, Race and Ethnicity, Work and Employment

Feb 14, 2017 1:34 pm

African immigrant population in U.S. steadily climbs

African immigrants make up a small share of the nation’s immigrant population, but their overall numbers are growing – roughly doubling every decade since 1970, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

There were 2.1 million African immigrants living in the United States in 2015, up from 881,000 in 2000 and a substantial increase from 1970 when the U.S. was home to only 80,000 foreign-born Africans. They accounted for 4.8% of the U.S. immigrant population in 2015, up from 0.8% in 1970.

The growth is evident among recently arrived immigrants. When compared with other major groups who arrived in the U.S. in the past five years, Africans had the fastest growth rate from 2000 to 2013, increasing by 41% during that period. (Africans are also a fast-growing segment of the black immigrant population in the U.S., increasing by 137% from 2000 to 2013.)

The transatlantic slave trade beginning in the 16th century brought hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans to the U.S., but significant voluntary migration from Africa is a relatively new trend.  Read More

Topics: African Americans, Immigration, Immigration Trends, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, Sub-Saharan Africa

Feb 13, 2017 2:58 pm

5 facts on love and marriage in America

Americans may not be embracing the institution of marriage as they used to, but that doesn’t mean they are giving up on relationships. From online dating, to remarriage, to cohabitation, here are five facts about the state of love and marriage in the U.S.

1Love remains Americans’ top reason to marry. In a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 88% of Americans cited love as a very important reason to get married, ahead of making a lifelong commitment (81%) and companionship (76%). Fewer (28%) said financial stability was a very important reason to marry.

But while financial stability may not be an important reason to marry, it is an important factor in what people are looking for in a spouse – especially women who have never married but say they want to or are not sure if they want to: 78% say finding a spouse or partner with a steady job would be very important to them. Never-married men, however, have different priorities. While 46% say finding a spouse or partner with a steady job is very important, a larger share (62%) says that finding someone who shares their ideas about raising children is. (Seven-in-ten of their female counterparts say the same.)

And as far as what helps people stay married, married adults say having shared interests (64%) and a satisfying sexual relationship (61%) are very important to a successful marriage. More than half (56%) also name sharing household choresRead More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Family and Relationships, Gender, Household and Family Structure, Marriage and Divorce

Feb 13, 2017 6:58 am

Americans are moving at historically low rates, in part because Millennials are staying put


Americans are moving at the lowest rate on record, and recently released Census Bureau data show that a primary reason is that Millennials are moving significantly less than earlier generations of young adults.

In 2016, only 20% of Millennial 25- to 35-year-olds reported having lived at a different address one year earlier. One-year migration rates were much higher for older generations when they were the same age. For example, when members of the Silent Generation were ages 25 to 35 back in 1963, 26% reported moving within the prior year. And in 2000, when those in Generation X were the age that older Millennials are today, 26% of them reported having moved in the previous year. (The analysis is limited to older young adults because the census data source does not accurately capture moves to and from college dormitories, which are more prevalent among 18- to 24-year-olds.)

It may seem counterintuitive that Millennials would be contributing to a trend toward less geographic mobility. After all, according to Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data, they are less likely than earlier generations to have three things that tend to be impediments to moving for a young adult:

A spouse. Millennials are less likely than previous generations of young adults to be married, so that should give them more flexibility than earlier generations. Married young adults are less likely to move than unmarried ones, in part because a married couple’s move may entail two people lining up new employment. Only 42% of Millennial 25- to 35-year-olds were married and living with their spouse in 2016. By comparison, 82% of Silent 25- to 35-year-olds were married and living with their spouse in 1963.  Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Generations and Age, Homeownership, Millennials

Feb 10, 2017 2:16 pm

Americans have grown more negative toward China over the past decade

While it remains to be seen whether President Donald Trump will act on campaign promises to get tough on Beijing, the American public has largely soured on China in recent years. In a January survey by Pew Research Center, 65% said China is either an adversary (22%) or a serious problem (43%), while only about a third (31%) said China is not a problem. And in a separate spring 2016 survey, a majority (55%) of Americans held an unfavorable opinion of their largest Asian rival.

In the United States, negative views of China increased by 26 percentage points between 2006 and 2016. And American negativity toward China has been higher than Chinese negativity toward the U.S. in every year since 2014. By comparison, Chinese unfavorable views of the U.S. remained below 50% for most of Barack Obama’s presidency.

In both countries, those ages 50 and older are more likely than those 18 to 34 to view the other nation unfavorably. But even among young Americans (as among all other age groups in the U.S.), negative views of China increased over time, rising 21 percentage points between 2006 and 2016. However, Chinese youth warmed to the U.S. over the same time period, with unfavorable views falling 12 points.  Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, China, Foreign Affairs and Policy, International Threats and Allies