May 11, 2016 1:00 pm

The challenges of polling Asian Americans

One question we’re often asked is, Why aren’t Asian Americans shown as a separate group when differences among whites, blacks and Hispanics are discussed?

It’s worth noting that Asians are indeed included in our U.S. surveys. While we often do not break out their standalone views, Asians’ responses are still incorporated into the general population figures that we report.

Nonetheless, it’s a good question, and one we hear frequently, so we put together a summary of some of the methodological and other issues on accurately polling U.S. Asians.

The demographic challenge of polling Asian Americans

The most obvious hurdle is the relatively small number of Asians in the U.S. compared with other races and ethnicities. According to 2014 Census Bureau estimates, 5.4% of U.S. adults are Asian, compared with 11.7% who are black, 15.2% who are Hispanic and 65.1% who are white.

What does that mean when it comes to who is represented in a poll?

Margins of error by race and ethnicityA typical survey of the U.S. population consists of 1,000 adult respondents. This threshold reflects the way in which many researchers attempt to balance survey cost with survey quality: A national sample of 1,000 interviews yields reasonably good precision for major subgroups defined by gender, age, race and ethnicity; much larger sample sizes will reduce the margin of error minimally but also make polls much more expensive. (Pew Research Center samples are typically 1,500 respondents or more.)

A common rule of thumb used at Pew Research Center and elsewhere is to only report subgroup estimates if they are based on at least 100 respondents. In a perfectly representative survey with 1,000 adults, we would expect about 152 Hispanics, 117 blacks and just 54 Asians – with the latter subgroup falling well under the 100-respondent limit. The size of this Asian subgroup would simply be too small to make reliable estimates of the views and experiences of Asian American adults as a whole. Read More

Category: Social Studies

Topics: Asian Americans, Polling, Research Methods, Telephone Survey Methods

May 11, 2016 11:25 am

Trump supporters differ from other GOP voters on foreign policy, immigration issues

Supporters of Donald Trump differ substantially from other Republican voters in many of their foreign policy attitudes. And these differences extend to their views of immigration and government scrutiny of Muslims in the U.S.

Trump supporters have a distinct approach to global affairs, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in March and April. Fully 84% of those who support Trump for the GOP presidential nomination favor building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. That compares with 56% of Republican voters who preferred another candidate for the Republican nomination – those who supported Ted Cruz or John Kasich, who last week suspended their presidential campaigns, or volunteered someone else.

Trump supporters differ from other GOP voters on immigration, other issues

Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Globalization and Trade, Immigration Attitudes, Muslim-Western Relations, Terrorism

May 10, 2016 2:00 pm

5 facts about Israeli Christians

Christian Arab worshippers
Christian Arab worshipers carry a large wooden cross as they enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 6, 2012. (Photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Religion plays a significant role in Israeli society, and because so many Christians around the world look to the country where Jesus lived and died as a source of inspiration, Israel’s tiny Christian community is of special interest. Four of the five most recent popes have visited Israel; Pope Francis traveled there in 2014.

Christians currently make up just 2% of Israel’s adult population. Indeed, as of 2010, Christians made up a small share (4%) of the population in the Middle East-North Africa region as a whole.

A Pew Research Center survey of Israel provides a rare window into the religious beliefs and practices of this close-knit group. Here are five key takeaways from our survey: Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Christians and Christianity, Middle East and North Africa, Religion and Society, Religious Beliefs and Practices

May 10, 2016 1:19 pm

What kind of person runs for vice president?

FT_16.05.09_veeps (1)Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, reportedly has begun vetting potential choices for vice president. And with less than a month to go in the Democrats’ primary season, either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders (or possibly both) likely will start researching possible running mates – if they haven’t already.

Presidential candidates get a lot of public scrutiny during the United States’ extended nominating process, but like dandelions or mushrooms after a spring shower, vice presidential candidates seem to pop up suddenly in the political chatter once a party settles on a presidential nominee. We wondered what sort of people have gotten picked for the second spot on national tickets. To find out, we took a ramble through vice presidential history since 1868 (the first post-Civil War election). Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Federal Government

May 10, 2016 8:55 am

Europe sees rise in unaccompanied minors seeking asylum, with almost half from Afghanistan

Unaccompanied child migrants seeking asylum in Europe

Men and women, old and young have all been part of the recent surge of asylum seekers into the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. But a lesser-known story about this surge is the rapid rise in child migrants traveling without an adult guardian.

Since 2008, about 198,500 unaccompanied minors have entered Europe seeking asylum, according to data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency. The first significant jump came in 2014, when the number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum almost doubled compared with 2013, from 13,800 to 23,200. A year later, in 2015, the total quadrupled to a record 96,000. The 2015 total alone accounts for nearly half (48%) of unaccompanied minors that have entered Europe since 2008. Nearly 7% of all first-time asylum applications in 2015 were from unaccompanied minors, the highest share since data on accompanied minors became available in 2008. Read More

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration, Unauthorized Immigration

May 9, 2016 7:00 am

Facebook, Twitter play different roles in connecting mobile readers to news

Facebook sends by far the most mobile readers to news sites of any social media site, while Twitter mobile users spend more engaged time with news content, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of audience behavior metrics from 30 news sites. This gap holds true for both longer and shorter news articles.

Overall, our analysis of nearly 75,000 articles finds that mobile users spend more engaged time with long-form (1,000 words or more) than short-form (101-999 word) news stories – 123 seconds compared with 57 – and this gap holds true across all the different ways visitors arrive at news articles. The willingness of a mobile user to stay with a lengthier article on a small-screen device may have some implications for the future of long-form pieces and, in particular, the kind of long-form journalism that some publishers are investing in. While social media sites send the greatest amount of traffic to longer news stories (as well as shorter ones), the average engaged time from these readers is below that of other referral types like email links, links from within the same website and even search. However, a deeper look within the mix of social media sites reveals differences in the portion and engagement of their referrals. Read More

Topics: Mobile, News Audience Trends and Attitudes, Social Media

May 6, 2016 12:55 pm

How do American mothers feel about being a mom? It depends on how old their kids are

Parenting experiences differ for moms of teens and moms of preschoolers

This Mother’s Day, many moms may enjoy a restful day off, including breakfast in bed, handmade cards and a hiatus from housework and sibling squabbles. But how do moms feel about their roles the other 364 days of the year? The answers vary depending on how old their kids are.

Changing diapers and arranging play dates is a world apart from running the carpool and helping with college applications. And it’s true that moms of young children have different challenges than moms of teens.

For example, compared with mothers of preschoolers, parenting is less tiring for moms with teens. Nearly half (45%) of moms whose kids are all younger than 6 say parenting is tiring all or most of the time, perhaps not surprising given that their ranks include sleep-deprived parents to newborns and infants. Just 26% of moms who have only teens say the same. Read More

Topics: Parenthood, Teens and Youth

May 5, 2016 11:42 am

Who are the Democratic superdelegates?

FT_16.05.03_superDelegates_byCategoryThis year’s Democratic presidential primary contest has been surprisingly competitive, and it’s not over yet. As the race enters its final weeks, Bernie Sanders and his supporters are stepping up their efforts to pry loose some of the “superdelegates” who are backing rival Hillary Clinton. Which made us wonder: Just who are these 700-plus party officeholders and insiders who automatically get delegate spots at July’s convention and can vote for whomever they want?

In short, they’re the embodiment of the institutional Democratic Party – everyone from former presidents, congressional leaders and big-money fundraisers to mayors, labor leaders and longtime local party functionaries. Nearly six-in-ten are men, close to two-thirds are white, and their average age (as best we could tell) is around 60.

Superdelegates (not an official designation, by the way; their formal name is “unpledged party leaders and elected officials”) will account for just under 15% of all delegate votes at July’s Democratic National Convention. We worked from a list made public by the national Democratic Party (originally to Vox), and updated and corrected it to account for deaths, resignations and, in at least one case, criminal conviction. We came up with a total of 713 named superdelegates (a handful of slots are still vacant), then used a mix of official biographies, news reports, social-media postings and other sources to determine each superdelegate’s gender, race/ethnicity and, in most cases, age. Read More

Topics: Election News, U.S. Political Parties

May 5, 2016 7:00 am

Key findings on how Americans view the U.S. role in the world

Foreign policy and the role America should play in the world have been subjects of heated debate in both major parties during this year’s U.S. presidential election campaign. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that the American public is uncertain and divided over America’s place in the world, ranging from differences on the greatest threats to the U.S. to the measures the country should take to deal with them. Americans also have mixed views about how assertive a role the U.S. should play internationally.

Here are key findings from the survey:

1Americans wary of global involvementAmericans are wary about how much the U.S. should be involved globally. Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) want the U.S. “to deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own problems as best they can.” Just 37% say the U.S. should help other countries deal with their problems.

Still, on some measures, skepticism about U.S. global engagement is not as widespread as in 2013, when it reached historic levels. For instance, while more Americans say the U.S. does too much (41%) rather than too little (27%) to help solve world problems (28% say it does about the right amount), the share saying the U.S. does too much globally stood at 51% three years ago.   Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: 2016 Election, Global Balance of Power, Globalization and Trade, Political Attitudes and Values, Terrorism, U.S. Political Parties, Wars and International Conflicts

May 4, 2016 6:00 pm

5 facts about prayer

55% of Americans Say They Pray Every Day

May 5 is the National Day of Prayer, on which presidents annually proclaim that “the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.” The day has spawned a rival National Day of Reason on the same day, started by humanist groups and other opponents of the National Day of Prayer.

Here are five facts about prayer, including survey data on Americans’ prayer habits and historical instances of prayer intersecting with the government: Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Religion and Government, Religion and Society, Religion and U.S. Politics, Religious Beliefs and Practices