Apr 29, 2015 9:37 am

5 key takeaways from State of the News Media 2015

Pew Research Center today released State of the News Media 2015, our annual report surveying the landscape of U.S. journalism, covering topics ranging from the changes driven by mobile devices to the ups and downs of legacy news organizations. Here are five key takeaways drawn from 13 media sectors we looked at.

Mobile Drives Online Traffic1Among the top 50 digital news sites based on an analysis of comScore data, 39 get more traffic to their sites and associated applications from mobile devices than from desktop. But mobile visitors don’t stick around as long: On only 10 of the top 50 digital sites did mobile users spend more time than desktop visitors. (In both cases, the mobile figure exceeded the desktop figure by at least 10%.) Read More

Topics: Audio and Radio, Digital Media, Local News, Media Performance, Newspapers, Television

Apr 28, 2015 5:29 pm

Divide between blacks and whites on police runs deep

From this month’s death of a 25-year-old black man in Baltimore while in police custody to the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., last August, race and community relations have become the focal point of tension in a series of incidents over the past year.

One constant serving as a backdrop to the discussions about policing is how differently the issue is viewed by blacks and whites.

Pew Research Center polling has consistently found that blacks and whites have very different views about many aspects of race overall — from confidence in the police to progress on racial equality. For example, 48% of whites said a lot of progress has been made since 1963, compared with 32% of blacks, according to a 2013 survey conducted just before the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington. Read More

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Violence and Society

Apr 28, 2015 10:07 am

With help from Mexico, number of child migrants crossing U.S. border falls

Mexico Deportations Trim Flow of Child Migrants to U.S.The Mexican government has deported a record number of Central American children traveling without a guardian since last fall, which President Obama and other U.S. officials say has contributed to a significant drop in children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexico’s 3,819 deportations of unaccompanied minors from Central America during the first five months of the fiscal year represent a 56% increase over the same period a year earlier, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Mexican and U.S. government data. The stepped up security was a result of a plan by Mexican officials to address the record surge in child migrants last year.

Overall, U.S. officials apprehended 12,509 unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border in the first five months of the fiscal year that began in October, down from 21,403 over the same time period a year ago. (Most children apprehended during this fiscal year — 7,771 — came from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, with nearly all of the rest coming from Mexico.) Read More

Topics: Immigration Trends, Latin America, Migration, Unauthorized Immigration

Apr 28, 2015 7:00 am

Among transgender adults, stories about a ‘difficult’ transition

Bruce Jenner first became famous by winning the gold in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Olympics, but in a recent interview with ABC News, he transformed his fame into something else — immediately raising the visibility of transgender adults in America. By one reputable estimate, transgender adults represent about 0.3% of the U.S. adult population, and about 5% of the adult lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population identifies primarily as transgender.

In 2013, Pew Research Center surveyed more than 1,100 LGBT adults to better understand their views and experiences. Among the 43 transgender respondents we interviewed, most said they first felt their gender was different from their birth sex before puberty. For many, being transgender is a core part of their overall identity, even if they may not widely share this fact about themselves with many people in their lives. Read More

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Social Values

Apr 27, 2015 9:53 am

Job categories where union membership has fallen off most

Unionization rates by job category

For nearly all of the past three decades, Americans have looked somewhat more favorably upon labor unions than unfavorably, according to Pew Research Center polling. In a new survey, for instance, nearly half of Americans (48%) held favorable views of unions, versus 39% who had unfavorable views. But those fairly benign views come as union membership continues to plummet, with certain job categories hit particularly hard. Read More

Topics: Business and Labor

Apr 24, 2015 7:00 am

Refugees stream into Europe, where they are not welcomed with open arms

Many in EU Want Less ImmigrationA humanitarian crisis is developing in Europe as refugees traveling through Libya and other countries seek to enter the European Union via the Mediterranean Sea, resulting in a tragic loss of life for those on overcrowded boats. Most people are fleeing countries in the Middle East and Africa, either because of civil war (Syria and Libya), poverty (sub-Saharan Africa) or other domestic troubles.

But two surveys last year of Europeans show that many, especially Greeks, Italians and others in the continent’s south, hold negative views of immigrants and are concerned about new arrivals from outside the EU.

Read More

Topics: Europe, Immigration Attitudes, Wars and International Conflicts

Apr 23, 2015 1:30 pm

Why Muslims are the world’s fastest-growing religious group

The expected growth of Islam around the world is perhaps the most striking finding in the recent Pew Research Center report projecting the future of religious groups. Indeed, Muslims will grow more than twice as fast as the overall world population between 2010 and 2050 and, in the second half of this century, will likely surpass Christians as the world’s largest religious group.

Islam Growing FastestWhile the world’s population is projected to grow 35% in the coming decades, the number of Muslims is expected to increase by 73% – from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion in 2050. In 2010, Muslims made up 23.2% of the global population. Four decades later, they are expected to make up about three-in-ten of the world’s people (29.7%).

By 2050, Muslims will be nearly as numerous as Christians, who are projected to remain the world’s largest religious group at 31.4% of the global population.

Read More

Topics: Christians and Christianity, Demographics, Muslims and Islam, Population Projections, Population Trends, Religious Affiliation

Apr 22, 2015 10:00 am

Conservatives are among the most politically active Americans

Political Interest Highest at Ideological Extremes

As the 2016 presidential field starts to take shape, many on the Republican side are pitching themselves squarely to the most conservative wing of the GOP. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, in particular, has argued that the key to Republican victory next year will be nominating someone – presumably himself – who can inspire “millions of courageous conservatives” to vote. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Typology

Apr 22, 2015 7:00 am

America’s death row population is shrinking

Death row population falls since 2000

America’s complicated, conflicted relationship with the death penalty is once more in the news, for a couple of reasons. First, the penalty phase for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began this week. Although Massachusetts abolished capital punishment in 1984, Tsarnaev is being tried in federal court, where the death penalty is still an option for more than 40 federal crimes. Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Glossip v. Gross, in which three prisoners on Oklahoma’s death row are challenging the constitutionality of that state’s three-drug execution protocol.

While a majority of Americans continue to favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder – 56%, according to a new Pew Research Center survey – far fewer people are receiving death sentences nowadays than in years past. As a result, fewer U.S. prisoners are facing the possibility of execution than at any time in the past two decades.

Read More

Topics: Criminal Justice, Death Penalty

Apr 21, 2015 7:00 am

By 2050, India to have world’s largest populations of Hindus and Muslims

In the coming decades, India will have the distinction of having the largest populations of two of the three largest religions in the world – Islam and Hinduism – according to new religious projections data from Pew Research Center.

India is already home to most of the world’s Hindus. In 2010, 94% of the world’s Hindus lived in India, and this is expected to remain true in 2050, when 1.3 billion Hindus are projected to live in the country.

But India also is expected have 311 million Muslims in 2050 (11% of the global total), making it the country with the largest population of Muslims in the world. Currently, Indonesia has the world’s largest number of Muslims. Read More

Topics: Hindus and Hinduism, Muslims and Islam, Population Projections, Religion and Society