December 23, 2013

13 data milestones for 2013

In the course of conducting public opinion surveys and demographic analyses, the Pew Research Center found a wide range of data milestones, breakthroughs, peaks and valleys in 2013, including record support for same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana; record levels of distrust of the federal government; record numbers of mothers who were the primary breadwinners for their families; and record numbers of Millennials living with their parents. Here is a look at the highs and lows Americans reached this year, according to our data.

1Just over half (51%) of the public now favors same-sex marriage, while 42% are opposed.

2A majority of Americans (52%) now favor legalizing the use of marijuana.

3A majority agrees the U.S. should mind its own business internationally, the highest measure in nearly a half century of polling.

4The share of Americans saying they do not want their own representative in Congress reelected – 38% – is at its highest point in two decades.

5For the first time, a majority of the public (53%) says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms.

636% of the nation’s young adults ages 18 to 31—the so-called Millennial generation— now live in their parents’ home, the highest share in at least four decades.

7A record 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.

8The U.S., which has a total population of 317 million, is now home to a record 40.4 million immigrants.

9A record seven-in-ten (69%) Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67%) among their white counterparts.

10The percentage of Americans who say the U.S. plays a more important and powerful role as a world leader than it did 10 years ago has fallen to a 40-year low of just 17%.

11The percentage of American Catholics calling themselves “strong” Catholics is at a four-decade low.

12For the first time since Pew Research Center began tracking smartphone adoption, a majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind.

1350% of the public now cites the internet as a main source for national and international news.

Browse all Pew Research Center 2013 reports by topic area and read our timeline of the year in public opinion.

  1. Photo of Andrea Caumont

    is the social media editor at Pew Research Center.