After bottoming out in 2011, incomes are rising for American households – and those headed by a Millennial (someone age 22 to 37) now earn more than young adult households did at nearly any time in the past 50 years, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new census data.
The growth in household incomes among young adults has been driven in part by Millennial women, who are working more – and being paid more – than young women were in previous years.
Incomes of households headed by 54- to 72-year-olds, Baby Boomers today, are at record levels, while those of current Generation X households (ages 38 to 53) are about the same as the peak earnings of similarly aged households in the past.
The median adjusted income in a household headed by a Millennial was $69,000 in 2017. That is a higher figure than for nearly every other year on record, apart from around 2000, when households headed by people ages 22 to 37 earned about the same amount – $67,600 in inflation-adjusted dollars. (A recent study by the Federal Reserve, which also looked at Millennials’ income, used a different methodology and data source.)
Social media sites have surpassed print newspapers as a news source for Americans: One-in-five U.S. adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than the share who often do so from print newspapers (16%) for the first time since Pew Research Center began asking these questions. In 2017, the portion who got news via social media was about equal to the portion who got news from print newspapers.
Social media’s small edge over print emerged after years of steady declines in newspaper circulation and modest increases in the portion of Americans who use social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year.
Overall, television is still the most popular platform for news consumption – even though its use has declined since 2016. News websites are the next most common source, followed by radio, and finally social media sites and print newspapers. And when looking at online news use combined – the percentage of Americans who get news often from either news websites or social media – the web has closed in on television as a source for news (43% of adults get news often from news websites or social media, compared with 49% for television).
As the number of international migrants reaches new highs, people around the world show little appetite for more migration – both into and out of their countries, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 27 nations conducted in the spring of 2018.
Across the countries surveyed, a median of 45% say fewer or no immigrants should be allowed to move to their country, while 36% say they want about the same number of immigrants. Just 14% say their countries should allow more immigrants. (Those who said no immigrants should be allowed volunteered this response.)
In Europe, majorities in Greece (82%), Hungary (72%), Italy (71%) and Germany (58%) say fewer immigrants or no immigrants at all should be allowed to move to their countries. Each of these countries served as some of the most popular transit or destination countries during Europe’s recent surge in asylum seekers. (In several countries, most disapprove of how the European Union has handled the refugee issue.)
People in other countries around the world hold views similar to those in Europe. Large majorities in Israel (73%), Russia (67%), South Africa (65%) and Argentina (61%) say their countries should let in fewer immigrants. In every country surveyed, less than a third say their nation should allow more immigrants to enter.
When Republicans lost their House majority in this year’s midterm elections, the toll was especially high among GOP moderates, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.
Among the Republican House incumbents who lost their re-election campaigns, 23 of 30 were more moderate than the median Republican in the chamber. No Democratic incumbents running for re-election in the House lost their seats. (This analysis excludes the election in New York’s 27th Congressional District, where votes are being recounted. Incumbent Republican Rep. Chris Collins ran for re-election against Democrat Nate McMurray.)
Have you smoked at least 100 cigarettes in your life? Have you practiced yoga in the past year? On average, how many hours of sleep do you get in a day?
At face value, these questions are not directly related to the topics Pew Research Center is most committed to studying. Yet our researchers have been periodically asking questions like these for years. Why? These are examples of benchmarking questions, which the Center uses as a check to ensure that our surveys are accurate.
Why and how we use benchmarking questions
Determining the accuracy of a survey requires some sort of objective standard against which the survey can be compared. In election polls and other measures of voting intent, the standard is the outcome of the election. But for surveys that don’t ask about elections or voting intent, researchers need to find another way to benchmark their findings. This is often done with the help of other surveys – usually large, expensive, government surveys conducted with great attention to data quality.
Pew Research Center surveys occasionally include questions about economic, demographic and lifestyle characteristics for which government statistics are available as a benchmark. This not only helps us check the accuracy of our findings, it also helps us study how surveys themselves can be better conducted.
Take, for example, a Pew Research Center study from last year that examined what low response rates – many potential respondents being contacted but far fewer of them participating – mean for the accuracy of telephone surveys. To help answer this question, the study compared the results of a telephone survey by the Center with those of high-response, benchmark surveys by the federal government to see what, if any, differences existed.
The report found that Pew Research Center surveys were closely aligned with federal surveys on key demographic and lifestyle benchmarks. Across 14 questions about personal traits, the average difference between the government estimate and the Center’s telephone survey estimate was 3 percentage points. Differences on individual questions ranged from 0 to 8 points. The largest was on a measure asking respondents about their health status: The government found that 59% of people rated their health as very good or excellent, while the Center’s telephone survey found 51% doing so.
Europeans generally are less religious than people in other parts of the world. But within Europe, there are sometimes sizable differences in levels of religious commitment, according to an analysis of recent Pew Research Center surveys in 34 countries.
To learn more about religion in the nations of Europe, select a country to see where it ranks in overall religiosity. While exploring the interactive, keep in mind that differences between two countries may not be statistically significant due to the margins of error inherent in survey data.
Young adults in many Western European nations are substantially less likely than older people to say that being Christian, being native to their country, or having ancestry there is important to national belonging – that is, to being “truly British,” “truly French,” and so on.
But in Central and Eastern Europe, there often are no such divides between young adults and older people. Indeed, in many countries in this part of Europe, people of different ages are about equally likely to say that Christianity, birthplace and ancestry are important to national identity.
In Russia, for example, 55% of adults under 35 say being Christian (specifically Orthodox Christian) is important to being truly Russian, roughly comparable to the 58% of older Russians who say this. And in Romania, similar shares of younger and older adults say being Christian (again, Orthodox Christian) is important to being truly Romanian (71% and 75%, respectively).
In Western Europe, by comparison, adults under 35 are considerably less likely than older people to view being Christian as important to national identity. In Finland, 15% of adults under 35 say being Christian is important to being truly Finnish, compared with 38% of older Finns who say this. And in Ireland, 35% of younger adults say being Christian is important to being truly Irish, compared with 55% of older adults who say this.
There were 12.0 million immigrants from Mexico living in the United States in 2016, and fewer than half of them (45%) were in the country illegally, according to Pew Research Center estimates. Mexico is the country’s largest source of immigrants, making up 26.6% of all U.S. immigrants.
With President Donald Trump’s administration taking steps to reduce the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. – including through the increase of law enforcement agents at the southern border – here’s what we know about illegal immigration from Mexico.
1The number of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. illegally has declined by more than 1 million since 2007. In 2016, 5.4 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico lived in the U.S., down from a peak of 6.9 million in 2007. Despite the drop, Mexicans still make up about half of the nation’s 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants (51% in 2016).
2There were more apprehensions of non-Mexicans than Mexicans at U.S. borders in fiscal year 2017 for the third time on record (the first was in fiscal 2014). In fiscal 2017, the Border Patrol made 130,454 apprehensions of Mexicans, a sharp drop from a peak of 1.6 million apprehensions in 2000. The decline in apprehensions reflects the decrease in the number of unauthorized Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S.
One-in-ten Americans say they feel lonely or isolated from those around them all or most of the time, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year. While this is a small share of U.S. adults overall, the share rises significantly for some groups, including those who feel weak ties to the communities they live in and those who are financially stressed.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, frequent loneliness is linked to dissatisfaction with one’s family, social and community life, the survey found. About three-in-ten (28%) of those dissatisfied with their family life feel lonely all or most of the time, compared with just 7% of those satisfied with their family life. Satisfaction with one’s social life follows a similar pattern: 26% of those dissatisfied with their social life are frequently lonely, compared with just 5% of those who are satisfied with their social life. It’s unclear whether dissatisfaction with particular areas of life leads to feelings of loneliness or vice versa – or whether something else entirely is driving reported feelings of loneliness and isolation.
As U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping prepare to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend, Americans have less positive views of China than in 2017, with a growing share concerned about China’s economic strength instead of its military capabilities.
Around four-in-ten Americans (38%) have a favorable opinion of China, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year. That’s down slightly from 44% in 2017. And nearly six-in-ten Americans (58%) say they are more concerned about China’s economic strength than its military capabilities, a 6-percentage-point increase from 2017, when 52% pointed to China’s economic power as the bigger concern.
The Trump administration has ramped up tariffs on Chinese imports over the past year, and this weekend’s meeting between Trump and Xi is expected to focus heavily on trade between the two nations. Peter Navarro, a Trump trade adviser who has been highly critical of China, is also expected to attend.