Mar 14, 2018 2:00 pm

About a quarter of U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online

(Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
(Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

As smartphones and other mobile devices have become more widespread, 26% of American adults now report that they go online “almost constantly,” up from 21% in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January 2018.

Overall, 77% of Americans go online on a daily basis. That figure includes the 26% who go online almost constantly, as well as 43% who say they go online several times a day and 8% who go online about once a day. Some 11% go online several times a week or less often, while 11% of adults say they do not use the internet at all.

Adults with mobile connectivity are especially likely to be online a lot. Among mobile internet users – the 83% of Americans who use the internet at least occasionally using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device – 89% go online daily and 31% go online almost constantly. Among Americans who go online but not via a mobile device, by comparison, 54% go online daily and just 5% say they go online almost constantly.

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Topics: Internet Activities, Technology Adoption

Mar 14, 2018 6:59 am

It’s Pi Day – and there’s some good news for math teachers

Nalani Reid ponders a math word problem on the first day of fourth grade in September 2016 at David A. Ellis Elementary School in Boston. Classmate Alanis Vega sits at right. (Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Nalani Reid ponders a math word problem on the first day of fourth grade in September 2016 at David A. Ellis Elementary School in Boston. Classmate Alanis Vega sits at right. (Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

March 14 is that special time of year people pay homage to the mathematical constant pi (π). And a finding from a Pew Research Center survey should bring good cheer to educators nationwide: Most Americans (58%) say they actually liked studying math in grades K-12.

The fascination about pi – the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter – is that it is an infinitely long number beginning with 3.14.

Several days celebrating math are spread across the calendar. (It’s never too early to prepare for the next Pythagorean Triple Day, on 12/16/20.) But Pi Day in particular has grown into a popular cultural phenomenon since it was first introduced in 1988. The U.S. House of Representatives even passed a nonbinding resolution in 2009 commemorating the day, while also encouraging “schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about pi and engage them about the study of mathematics.”

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Topics: Science and Innovation, Education

Mar 13, 2018 7:01 am

U.S. Catholics offer wide range of answers when asked about Francis’ most notable action as pope

Pope Francis embraces a boy after a weekly audience in Vatican City in 2013. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis embraces a boy after a weekly audience in Vatican City in 2013. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Most U.S. Catholics continue to have a high opinion of Pope Francis as he marks his fifth year as pontiff, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January. And when we asked Catholics to tell us the most significant thing Francis has done so far – in their own words, regardless of their opinion of the pope – they offered a variety of responses that cover many facets of religious and public life.

For instance, about one-in-ten U.S. Catholics (9%) said Francis’ most notable action has been showing humility and setting a good Christian example. Individual U.S. Catholics told us Francis “is very humble with the people,” that he’s “humbling himself to teach Christianity,” and that “he’s a pope for the people.”

At the same time, an equal share of respondents (9%) credited Francis with opening up the church and making it more accepting. One respondent said, “He seems to get the idea across that all people are important and worthy of attention and rights.” Another said Francis is “teaching acceptance and diversity.”

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Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Religious Affiliation, Religious Leaders

Mar 12, 2018 11:01 am

People in less democratic countries are more likely to say China and Russia respect personal freedoms

Chinese President Xi Jinping, foreground, with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016 as world leaders assembled for the 11th G20 Summit. (Wang Zhou - Pool/Getty Images)
Chinese President Xi Jinping, foreground, with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016 as world leaders assembled for the 11th G20 Summit. (Wang Zhou – Pool/Getty Images)

Do the Russian and Chinese governments respect the personal freedoms of their people? Your opinion may depend on where you live.

People who live in countries where the political system is less than “fully democratic” tend to give Beijing and Moscow higher marks for upholding individual rights than people who live in full democracies, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of public opinion in 38 countries across the globe.

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Topics: Eastern Europe, China, Russia, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Democracy

Mar 9, 2018 9:58 am

How to access Pew Research Center survey data

Pew Research Center regularly makes available the full datasets that underlie most of our reports. We typically do not publish the dataset at the same time as the report. The lag time varies by study. That’s because it takes some time for us to complete all reporting for a given study and to prepare the data for public release. Survey datasets are cleaned to make them easier to use and to remove any information that could be used to identify individual respondents. Protecting confidentiality also means that some datasets of rare populations are never released (for instance, surveys of scientists or foreign policy experts).

In addition to releasing data from our phone surveys, we also now make available data from our online, nationally representative American Trends Panel (ATP). You can go to this page to see the list of available ATP datasets and the topics that they cover.

There are two ways to locate datasets that are available for download. Our Download Datasets page provides links to all datasets that are available from each of our research areas, as well as from our American Trends Panel. Each research area’s page on the Center’s website also includes a “Datasets” or “Data and Resources” tab which provides access to available data, listed in reverse chronological order by when the survey was fielded. When available, those pages also include a list of Pew Research Center publications based on each dataset. Read More

Topics: Research Methods

Mar 8, 2018 3:02 pm

Negative views of democracy more widespread in countries with low political affiliation

A system of competing political parties that gives citizens a voice is widely considered one of the core principles of liberal democracy, and this feature is common to a wide range of countries around the globe – even ones where the quality of choice at the ballot box is questionable. Parties appear to matter in practice, not just theory: In countries where more people are unaffiliated with any political party, popular support for representative democracy is also lower, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of public opinion in 35 countries.

Across the nations surveyed, a median of 26% do not identify with any political party in their country, though that percentage ranges from as low as 2% in India to as high as 78% in Chile.

And Chile is illustrative of the apparent link between skepticism of democracy and party unaffiliation. Although a global median of only 17% oppose representative democracy as a form of government, roughly a third (35%) of Chileans hold this view. Disenchantment with established democracy may help explain why less than half of registered voters turned out for Chile’s recent presidential election.

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Topics: Political Party Affiliation, Trust, Facts and Democracy, Democracy, Political Attitudes and Values

Mar 8, 2018 12:02 pm

Nearly one-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks

Adrian Malone, left, helps Gerald Elston adjust the volume on his headphones as the two listen to audiobooks at school in Washington, D.C. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Adrian Malone, left, helps Gerald Elston adjust the volume on his headphones as the two listen to audiobooks at school in Washington, D.C. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Americans are spreading their book consumption across several formats, and the use of audiobooks is rising.

About three-quarters (74%) of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January. Print books remain the most popular format for reading, with 67% of Americans having read a print book in the past year.

And while shares of print and e-book readers are similar to those from a survey conducted in 2016, there has been a modest but statistically significant increase in the share of Americans who read audiobooks, from 14% to 18%.

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Topics: E-reading, Internet Activities, Technology Adoption, Information Seeking

Mar 7, 2018 1:31 pm

Federal judicial picks have become more contentious, and Trump’s are no exception

Neil Gorsuch is sworn in as the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court by Justice Anthony Kennedy in a White House Rose Garden ceremony on April 10, 2017. President Donald Trump, who appointed him, looks on as Gorsuch's wife, Louise, holds the Bible. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu via Getty Images)
Neil Gorsuch is sworn in as the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court by Justice Anthony Kennedy in a White House Rose Garden ceremony on April 10, 2017. President Donald Trump, who appointed him, looks on as Gorsuch’s wife, Louise, holds the Bible. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has appointed 29 judges to the federal bench since his inauguration, including 14 appeals court judges and a Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch. While Trump has moved quickly to put his stamp on the federal judiciary, his judges have also faced a record amount of opposition, at least based on the average number of Senate votes cast against them.

The 23 men and six women Trump has successfully appointed so far have faced a total of 654 “no” votes on the floor of the Senate, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Judicial Center and the U.S. Senate. That works out to an average of nearly 23 votes against each confirmed judge – by far the highest average for any president’s judges since the Senate expanded to its current 100 members in 1959.

The 330 judges Barack Obama appointed during his eight years in office faced an average of six votes against them. George W. Bush’s 328 confirmed judges faced an average of two, and Bill Clinton’s 382 judges faced an average of just over one. (This analysis counts judges for each Senate confirmation vote they faced. Some judges held multiple judicial positions and are counted more than once. Clarence Thomas, for instance, is counted twice under George H.W. Bush’s total because Thomas was confirmed to two separate positions that each required a confirmation vote: first to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1990, then to the Supreme Court in 1991.)

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Topics: Federal Government, Donald Trump

Mar 7, 2018 12:03 pm

Women in majority-male workplaces report higher rates of gender discrimination

(Hero Images)
(Hero Images)

The gains women have made over the past several decades in labor force participation, wages and access to more lucrative positions have strengthened their position in the American workforce. Even so, there is gender imbalance in the workplace, and women who report that their workplace has more men than women have a very different set of experiences than their counterparts in work settings that are mostly female or have an even mix of men and women.

A plurality of women (48%) say they work in places where there are more women than men, while 18% say there are more men than women, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Similarly, 44% of men say their workplace is majority-male, and 19% say women outnumber men. About a third of women (33%) and men (36%) say both genders are about equally represented in their workplace.

The survey – conducted in 2017, prior to the recent outcry about sexual harassment by men in prominent positions – found that women employed in majority-male workplaces are more likely to say their gender has made it harder for them to get ahead at work, they are less likely to say women are treated fairly in personnel matters, and they report experiencing gender discrimination at significantly higher rates.

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Topics: Discrimination and Prejudice, Gender, Social Values, Work and Employment

Mar 6, 2018 10:09 am

6 facts about how U.S. Catholics see Pope Francis

Cartrice Haynesworth, center, has a selfie taken with Pope Francis as he visits Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington in September 2015 in Washington, D.C. (David Goldman-Pool/Getty Images)
Cartrice Haynesworth, center, has a selfie taken with Pope Francis as he visits Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington in September 2015 in Washington, D.C. (David Goldman-Pool/Getty Images)

Almost five years since his election, Pope Francis continues to make headlines around the world with his encyclicals and comments on a variety of issues, from the environment to human sexuality to poverty. At the same time, the first pontiff from Latin America has appointed many cardinals from the “global south” – that is, developing nations mostly in the Southern Hemisphere – which has shifted the church’s leadership structure away from Europe.

As Francis approaches the fifth anniversary of his papacy on March 13, here are six facts about how American Catholics view the pope.

1Pope Francis remains very popular among U.S. Catholics, with 84% saying they have a favorable opinion of him, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in January 2018. This is similar to the 85% of U.S. Catholics who had a positive opinion of Francis in 2014, just a year after the start of his papacy. Even larger shares of U.S. Catholics see the pope as compassionate (94%) and humble (91%), exactly the same as in 2015, the last time we asked about these attributes.

2The pope’s consistently high approval ratings haven’t led to an increase in Mass attendance among U.S. Catholics. About four-in-ten (38%) now say they attend Mass at least once a week, slightly less than the 41% who said so in a series of aggregated surveys conducted in 2012 and the beginning of 2013, right before Francis was elected pope.

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Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Religious Affiliation, Religious Leaders