Mar 12, 2014 7:00 am

U.S. Catholics more hopeful than expectant of changes to church teachings

Thursday marks one year since Pope Francis was elected to the papacy — a year in which the former Argentine archbishop’s tone and approach raised expectations of change in the church’s direction.

There’s little question that, after a year, he’s extremely popular – at least in the United States, where the pope is seen favorably by the vast majority of Catholics and even 60% of non-Catholics. A strong majority of American Catholics (71%) say that Francis represents a major change for the church, and among those, nearly all (68% of U.S. Catholics overall) call him a change for the better.

Many Catholics would like to see changes on specific church teachings, and some family issues (including contraception) will be discussed at an upcoming synod this fall. But they are less certain that those changes will happen, even under Francis.

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Topics: Catholics and Catholicism

Mar 11, 2014 11:59 am

The Next America on ‘The Daily Show’

Pew Research Center’s Paul Taylor appeared on “The Daily Show” Monday night to discuss his new book, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown. Host Jon Stewart asked Taylor about Millennials and how they’re different from previous generations.

Stewart: “Showdown? Now, I gotta to say, I don’t think it’s going to be much of a showdown. I feel like the Millennials are younger, they’re healthier, they’re probably stronger…”

Taylor: “And here’s the other thing: They’re still living with mom and dad so it’s hard to mount a generational war from your childhood bedroom.”

Topics: Millennials

Mar 11, 2014 11:27 am

Data Feed: The U.S. and Ukraine, the big cost of small change, an ‘ambient’ internet in our future

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Most say U.S. should ‘not get too involved’ in Ukraine situation, Pew Research Center
Americans split on Obama’s handling of Russia, topline, ABC News/Washington Post
Congress’ low job approval persists, Gallup
Trust in Christie at all-time low, but N.J. voters still see strong leader, Rutgers-Eagleton
Women win special House elections at higher rate than general elections, U. of Minnesota
Republicans view their party much more negatively than Dems do their own, Roll Call
An updated analysis of Democrats’ Senate prospects this fall, Real Clear Politics

Taxpayers lost $105 million last year on minting pennies and nickels, Washington Post
Economic report of the President, The White House
Colorado took in $2 million from marijuana taxes in January, CNN Money
February’s Employment Trends Index suggests solid job growth ahead, Conference Board
Bringing home the bacon much more expensive in recent years, National Journal
What’s after rich baby boomers? Kids with a big inheritance, New York Times
How much slack is left in the U.S. economy? Bloomberg
CBO’s monthly budget review for February, CBO

Read More

Category: Data Feed

Topics: Russia

Mar 11, 2014 10:14 am

Americans split on deportations as Latinos press Obama on issue

The White House is under pressure from Democrats and Latino leaders to ease deportations, as the number of unauthorized immigrants sent home neared two million under the Obama administration. Last week, National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguía called the president the “deporter in chief.” Over the weekend, hundreds of detainees at a federal immigration detention center in Tacoma, Wash., called for an end to deportations with a hunger strike.US Public opinion on deportation of illegal immigrants

The American public is evenly divided on whether the increased number of deportations of undocumented immigrants in recent years is a good thing or a bad thing (45% each), according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults. About half of whites (49%) view the growing number of deportations positively. But Hispanics have a different view. By 60% to 35%, Hispanics view the increase negatively, according to the survey. Read More

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Attitudes, Unauthorized Immigration

Mar 10, 2014 12:48 pm

61% of young Republicans favor same-sex marriage

Young Republicans support gay marriage 2014Young people continue to be the strongest proponents of same-sex marriage. And as public support for same-sex marriage continues to grow, the gap between young and old is nowhere more striking than within the Republican coalition.

Today, 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

This generation gap among Republicans comes against a backdrop of rapidly changing public opinion overall on the issue. More than half the public (54%) now favors allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, a record high in Pew Research surveys, in keeping with findings from other recent polls. Democrats and Republicans remain on opposite sides of the issue, with 69% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents favoring same-sex marriage compared with 39% Republicans and Republican leaners.  Read More

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, U.S. Political Parties

Mar 10, 2014 11:29 am

Data Feed: Sanctions against Russia, visualizing the labor market, Congressional slackers

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

59% approve of sanctions against Russia, CNN/ORC International
50% in Iowa say Hillary Clinton should run for president, Des Moines Register
Keystone XL project is overwhelmingly favoredtopline, ABC News/Washington Post
How many days has Congress actually worked in 2014? Washington Post
Texas could flip from red to blue in next few years, The Wall Street Journal

Americans’ views on ‘quality job’ prospects still recovering, Gallup
Apartment share of new-home construction at four-decade high, The Wall Street Journal
Bull market turned 5 on Sunday, Associated Press
Interactive: Eight different ways to visualize the labor market, New York Fed
U.S. market for illegal drugs tops $100 billion, RAND Corporation

Read More

Category: Data Feed

Mar 10, 2014 7:00 am

Is the Mormon Church expanding the role of women?

The number of women signing up for Mormon missions has nearly tripled since October 2012, when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lowered its age requirement for female missionaries from 21 to 19. That change brought Mormon women closer to age parity with Mormon men, who can now be missionaries at age 18.

Mormons who have served in full time proselytizing missionThe change is one sign of the “small but significant steps” that church leaders have recently taken to facilitate an expanding role for women inside the church, according to a New York Times article that followed up on an earlier extensive piece by the newspaper on Mormon women.

Interest in women’s equality issues within Mormonism has grown both inside and outside LDS circles in recent years, and the Times articles come on the heels of a number of developments indicating that gender issues are receiving more attention among the all-male church leadership.

Mormon men and women have been much more supportive of traditional gender roles than other Americans, according to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey. Nearly six-in-ten Mormons (58%) – including 56% of LDS women – say that marriage is more satisfying when the husband provides for the family and the wife takes care of the house and children. Only 30% of the U.S. general public shares this view.

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Topics: Mormons and Mormonism

Mar 7, 2014 3:08 pm

Chart of the Week: Where international migrants are going to and coming from


Have more Canadians migrated to the United States or have more Americans moved north to Canada? Where are most of New Zealand’s migrants from? And what up with the 2,000 or so Argentines who’ve relocated to Bangladesh?

The Migration Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research group, has used United Nations migration estimates to produce this fascinating, and somewhat addictive, interactive map. Choose from the “Select Country” pull-down menu below the map, and it will show you (to the nearest thousand) how many immigrants to and emigrants from that country there were as of last year, along with those migrants’ countries of origin or destinations.

We learn, for instance, that Russia and Ukraine are each other’s leading sources of migrants, with more than 2.9 million Ukrainians now living in Russia and nearly 3.5 million Russians living in Ukraine. Saudi Arabia and the United States are the top destination countries for Syrian migrants (139,000 and 76,000, respectively). The U.S. draws immigrants from nearly every country in the world, from Mexico (nearly 13 million) to Mauritius (3,000).

Category: Chart of the Week

Topics: Immigration, Migration

Mar 7, 2014 10:01 am

Live blog: Generations in the Next America

Thanks to everyone who joined us on the live-blog of the Next America event at the Newseum. We now have an archived video of it, including the two panels.

UPDATE, 1:18 p.m. An audience member asked how Millennials’ support for a more active government (53% say they favor a bigger government that provides more services, versus 38% who’d rather have a smaller government that provides fewer services) squares with their distrust of government and reluctance to affiliate with organized politics.

Pew Research’s Doherty responded that such seemingly contradictory views aren’t all that unusual, among Millennials or other population groups. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, added that disinterest in affiliating with a political party is different from how you vote or how you feel about issues. She said it also reflects the long-running decline in parties’ institutional power and the role of non-party funders, consultants and other political infrastructure.

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Topics: Demographics, Generations and Age, Millennials

Mar 7, 2014 7:00 am

6 new findings about Millennials

America is in the throes of a huge demographic shift, and a major factor in this sea change is the Millennial generation, which is forging its own distinct path to adulthood compared with older Americans. Our new survey illustrates the differences between these 18- to 33- year-olds and their elders. Here are key takeaways:

FT_Millennials_politics_religion1Millennials have fewer attachments to traditional political and religious institutions, but they connect to personalized networks of friends, colleagues and affinity groups through social and digital media. Half of Millennials now describe themselves as political independents and 29% are not affiliated with any religion—numbers that are at or near the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the last quarter-century. Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Entitlements, Millennials, Race and Ethnicity