Feb 22, 2019 10:00 am

Americans with higher education and income are more likely to be involved in community groups

Volunteers prepare a Thanksgiving meal for 1,500 people at an event sponsored by faith-based organizations in Florida. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) participate in some type of community group or organization, including about one-in-ten (11%) who say they participate in four or more community groups, according to a new analysis of data from a December 2017 Pew Research Center survey.

Americans participate in a wide range of community groupsParticipation rates are even higher among the roughly seven-in-ten Americans who say it is important to belong to a community that shares their values. Among this group, the share who participate in at least one organization (62%) is substantially higher than the 44% of all others who say they are involved in their community in one of these ways.

The December 2017 survey asked people if they were active in 10 specific types of community groups and organizations: church groups, hobby groups, charitable or volunteer organizations, professional associations, community groups, book clubs, parent groups or youth organizations, social clubs, performing arts groups and veterans’ groups. It also gave respondents the chance to say they are involved in some “other” type of group or organization (beyond the ones listed above).

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Topics: Religion and Society, Social Networking, Lifestyle

Feb 21, 2019 2:00 pm

Many immigrants with Temporary Protected Status face uncertain future in U.S.

Demonstrators call for renewal of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians
People protest the possibility that the Trump administration may overturn Temporary Protected Status for Haitians in front of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in May 2017 in Miami. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Many immigrants who have time-limited permission to live and work in the United States under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) face an uncertain future as the White House and lawmakers from both parties wrangle over immigration policy and border security issues.

Roughly 318,000 people currently have this protected status after fleeing their countries because of war, hurricanes, earthquakes or other extraordinary conditions that could make it dangerous for them to live in that country. Nearly all are expected to lose their benefits either this year or next. Federal officials have said that TPS is meant to provide temporary rather than long-term relief.

Immigrants from 10 nations have Temporary Protected Status in U.S.The Trump administration proposed extending Temporary Protected Status for 300,000 immigrants as part of a border wall deal to end the longest government shutdown in history earlier this year. Democrats opposed the proposed plan for several reasons, including new standards and higher fees for TPS applications.

The Department of Homeland Security said last year that it would not extend Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from six of the 10 nations that are now eligible. Of those six nations, five (Sudan, Nicaragua, Nepal, Haiti and El Salvador) will face TPS expirations this year. TPS for Honduras expires in 2020. Only those from South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Somalia have received TPS extensions with the possibility of future extension.

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Topics: Unauthorized Immigration, Global Migration and Demography, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Latin America, Donald Trump, Immigration

Feb 20, 2019 1:31 pm

Fewer Americans view deficit reduction as a top priority as the nation’s red ink increases

Public concern about the budget deficit has fallen, even as annual deficits have grownThe nation’s growing budget deficit has prompted little alarm among the U.S. public. In fact, the share of Americans who say reducing the budget deficit should be a top policy priority is much lower than it was during most of Barack Obama’s presidency. 

In a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January, about half of Americans (48%) said reducing the budget deficit should be a top policy priority this year for the president and Congress. That was unchanged from 2018, but 24 percentage points lower than in 2013, at the start of Obama’s second term. 

In this year’s survey, deficit reduction ranked well behind strengthening the economy (70% said this was a top priority), reducing health care costs (69%), improving the educational system (68%) and several other policy priorities. 

The Office of Management and Budget projects the federal government will run a deficit of $984 billion in the current fiscal year. That would be the highest in seven years and more than double the deficit in fiscal 2015 ($438 billion).  Read More

Topics: Economic Policy, Government Spending and the Deficit, Domestic Affairs and Policy, National Economy, Political Issue Priorities

Feb 20, 2019 10:01 am

The way U.S. teens spend their time is changing, but differences between boys and girls persist

Teens spend an average of 16 minutes more per day doing homework than they did around 2005. Above, a student works on homework while her sister hangs out. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Teens today are spending their time differently than they did a decade ago. They’re devoting more time to sleep and homework, and less time to paid work and socializing. But what has not changed are the differences between teen boys and girls in time spent on leisure, grooming, homework, housework and errands, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

More sleep and homework, less socializing and paid work for teens todayOverall, teens (ages 15 to 17) spend an hour a day, on average, doing homework during the school year, up from 44 minutes a day about a decade ago and 30 minutes in the mid-1990s.

Teens are also getting more shut-eye than they did in the past. They are clocking an average of over nine and a half hours of sleep a night, an increase of 22 minutes compared with teens a decade ago and almost an hour more than those in the mid-1990s. Sleep patterns fluctuate quite a bit – on weekends, teens average about 11 hours, while on weekdays they typically get just over nine hours a night. (While these findings are derived from time diaries in which respondents record the amount of time they slept on the prior night, results from other types of surveys suggest teens are getting fewer hours of sleep.)  Read More

Topics: Teens and Technology, Generation Z, Teens and Youth, Gender, Lifestyle, Leisure Activities

Feb 19, 2019 1:32 pm

Latinos have become less likely to say there are too many immigrants in U.S.

A quarter of Hispanics say there are too many immigrants living in the U.S. today, down since early 2000sThe share of Latinos who say there are too many immigrants living in the United States has declined sharply over the past decade and a half, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of Hispanic adults. This finding comes as the foreign-born share of the U.S. population approaches a record high and as the issue of immigration is a top policy priority for many Americans.

A quarter of Latinos in the U.S. say there are too many immigrants living in the country, while about half (48%) say there are the right amount and 14% say there are too few, according to the survey, conducted between July and September 2018. These numbers represent a dramatic shift from 2002 – the first time the Center asked this question – when 49% of Latinos said there were too many immigrants in the country, 37% said there were the right amount and 8% said there were too few.

Latino connections to the immigrant experience are strong. Just under half of Latino adults are foreign born and another 31% are the U.S.-born children of immigrant parents, according to a Center analysis of the Current Population Survey. Today, immigrants from Latin America make up more than half of the roughly 45 million immigrants living in the country, including the majority of unauthorized immigrants.

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Topics: Immigration Attitudes, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, National Survey of Latinos, Immigration, Political Attitudes and Values

Feb 19, 2019 10:00 am

British attitudes on national identity and religious minorities not unique in EU

Two women watch a 2017 parade in honor of St. George, England’s patron saint. His emblem, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Among the many reported reasons people in the United Kingdom voted in 2016 to leave the European Union are a sense of eroding national identity and increasingly negative attitudes toward religious minorities, particularly Muslims. But on these topics, British public opinion is not outside the EU mainstream, according to a recent Pew Research Center study. In fact, in a 2017 survey that asked about these issues, the views of British adults align very closely to general opinion across the EU, even though no other country has yet voted to leave.

Many in the UK and EU say their culture is superior to othersWhile a majority of British adults say that being born in their country and having family background from their country are important to truly share their national identity (57% and 58%, respectively), six-in-ten people across the EU also hold those views (both medians of 62%). And roughly one-third of people in both the UK and the EU would not be willing to have a Muslim family member (36% and median of 35%, respectively).

Indeed, while the British frequently are near the middle of EU opinion on some topics that featured in Brexit debates, other EU countries have much higher levels of nationalist feeling and anti-religious minority sentiment. For example, roughly eight-in-ten Czechs say they would be unwilling to have a Muslim family member (79% vs. 36% in the UK). And two-thirds of Romanians agree that, “Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others” (66% vs. 46% in the UK).

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Topics: Western Europe, Immigration Attitudes, Religion and Society, Muslim-Western Relations, Europe, Immigration, National and Cultural Identity

Feb 15, 2019 11:00 am

The changing face of Congress in 6 charts

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are sworn in during the Jan. 3 opening session of the 116th Congress. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

The 116th U.S. Congress took office in January, with Democrats taking control of the House while Republicans maintain an edge in the Senate.

Apart from its political makeup, the new Congress differs from prior ones in other ways, including its demographics. Here are six charts that show how Congress has changed over time, using historical data from CQ Roll Call, the Brookings Institution, the Congressional Research Service and other sources.

1Growing racial and ethnic diversity in CongressThe current Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse ever. Nonwhites – including blacks, Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans – now account for 22% of Congress, including a quarter of the House and 9% of the Senate. By comparison, when the 79th Congress took office in 1945, nonwhites represented just 1% of the House and Senate.

Despite this growing racial and ethnic diversity, Congress still lags the nation as a whole: The share of nonwhites in the United States is nearly double that of the country’s legislative body (39% vs. 22%).

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Topics: Congress, Federal Government, Demographics

Feb 14, 2019 12:08 pm

More people around the world see U.S. power and influence as a ‘major threat’ to their country

A growing share of people around the world see U.S. power and influence as a “major threat” to their country, and these views are linked with attitudes toward President Donald Trump and the United States as a whole, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 22 nations since 2013.

As confidence in president, favorable views of America have declined, more see U.S. power as a 'major threat'A median of 45% across the surveyed nations see U.S. power and influence as a major threat, up from 38% in the same countries during Trump’s first year as president in 2017 and 25% in 2013, during the administration of Barack Obama. The long-term increase in the share of people who see American power as a threat has occurred alongside declines in the shares of people who say they have confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing regarding world affairs and who have a favorable view of the United States. (For more about global views toward the U.S. president and the country he leads, see “Trump’s International Ratings Remain Low, Especially Among Key Allies.”)

Despite these changes, U.S. power and influence still ranks below other perceived threats around the world. Considerably larger shares of people point to global climate change (seen as a major threat by a median of 67%), the Islamic militant group known as ISIS (cited by 62%) and cyberattacks (cited by 61%). U.S. power and influence, in fact, is not seen as the top threat in any of the countries surveyed.

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Topics: U.S. Global Image and Anti-Americanism, International Threats and Allies, Country Image, Donald Trump

Feb 13, 2019 3:00 pm

8 facts about love and marriage in America

(Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The landscape of relationships in America has shifted dramatically in recent decades. From cohabitation to same-sex marriage to interracial and interethnic marriage, here are eight facts about love and marriage in the United States.

1Half of Americans ages 18 and older were married in 2017, a share that has remained relatively stable in recent years but is down 8 percentage points since 1990. One factor driving this change is that Americans are staying single longer. The median age at first marriage had reached its highest point on record: 30 years for men and 28 years for women in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As the U.S. marriage rate has declined, divorce rates have increased among older Americans. In 2015, for every 1,000 married adults ages 50 and older, 10 had divorced – up from five in 1990. Among those ages 65 and older, the divorce rate roughly tripled since 1990.

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Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Lifestyle, Family and Relationships, Marriage and Divorce

Feb 13, 2019 7:00 am

7 things we’ve learned about computer algorithms

(Degui Adil/EyeEm via Getty Images)

Algorithms are all around us, using massive stores of data and complex analytics to make decisions with often significant impacts on humans – from choosing the content people see on social media to judging whether a person is a good credit risk or job candidate. Pew Research Center released several reports in 2018 that explored the role and meaning of algorithms in people’s lives today. Here are some of the key themes that emerged from that research.

1Algorithmically generated content platforms play a prominent role in Americans’ information diets. Sizable shares of U.S. adults now get news on sites like Facebook or YouTube that use algorithms to curate the content they show to their users. A study by the Center found that 81% of YouTube users say they at least occasionally watch the videos suggested by the platform’s recommendation algorithm, and that these recommendations encourage users to watch progressively longer content as they click through the videos suggested by the site.

2Many Facebook users say they do not know the platform classifies their interests, and roughly half are not comfortable with being categorizedThe inner workings of even the most common algorithms can be confusing to users. Facebook is among the most popular social media platforms, but roughly half of Facebook users – including six-in-ten users ages 50 and older – say they do not understand how the site’s algorithmically generated news feed selects which posts to show them. And around three-quarters of Facebook users are not aware that the site automatically estimates their interests and preferences based on their online behaviors in order to deliver them targeted advertisements and other content.

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Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, Science and Innovation, Future of the Internet