Dec 28, 2016 7:02 am

Health issues topped the list of scientific studies reaching wide audiences in 2016

About 2.5 million scientific journal articles are published annually, and the growth of social media and online news outlets have given scientists powerful ways to share their findings – so much so that new measures are being developed to help capture the impact these outlets have on scientific work.

A Pew Research Center analysis of the top 100 most-discussed scientific journal articles of 2016 shows that the science articles getting news and social media attention stretched across multiple fields. Health care policy, space and evolution led the way.

This analysis is based on data produced by Altmetric to capture the reach of scientific journal articles in online news outlets, social media and other online platforms. Articles are ranked according to their “Altmetric Attention Score,” a weighted average of the number of times the article was mentioned across a pool of more than 2,000 English and non-English global news outlets, blogs, Twitter posts and other online platforms.

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Topics: Health, Science and Innovation

Dec 27, 2016 6:54 am

The Muslim gender gap in educational attainment is shrinking

On average, Muslim men around the world have more formal schooling than women, a fact well-known by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai and other Muslim activists for female education. But while the Muslim gender gap in education remains large, relative to most other major religious groups, it has narrowed in recent generations: Muslim women have made greater educational gains than Muslim men in most regions of the world, according to Pew Research Center’s comprehensive new study on educational attainment among the world’s major religious groups.

The study looked at changes in educational attainment across three recent generations, finding that the youngest generation of Muslim adults analyzed (born 1976 to 1985) have far more formal education than those in the oldest generation analyzed (born 1936 to 1955). While both men and women are contributing to these gains, women have been gaining at a faster rate.

The oldest Muslim women in the study averaged just 2.5 years of schooling, compared with 4.6 years for men – a gap of 2.1 years. Young women (ages 25 to 34 as of 2010), by comparison, have averaged more than twice as many years of formal education as their female elders (6.1 years), and now trail young men (7.3 years) by just over a year.  Read More

Topics: Education, Educational Attainment, Gender, Muslims and Islam, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices

Dec 22, 2016 3:00 pm

How Americans are talking about Trump’s election in 6 charts

More than a month after the presidential election, Donald Trump’s victory and his plans for the presidency remain a topic of conversation for most – but not all – Americans. With the holidays approaching, 39% of U.S. adults say their families avoid conversations about politics.

Following one of the most divisive campaigns in recent memory, here are six charts that highlight some of the ways people are talking about the election and its aftermath.

Highly educated Democrats are especially likely to be talking about the election

Overall, most people (64%) say Trump’s election and plans for his presidency have come up very often or somewhat often in their conversations, according to the latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 12 among 4,183 adults on our nationally representative American Trends Panel.

Highly educated Democrats – those with at least a college degree – are more likely than Republicans and others in their own party to say they’ve discussed the election.

About four-in-ten Democrats and Democratic leaners with college degrees (43%) say the election comes up very often. About half as many (18%) Democrats with less education talk about it very often. Only about a quarter of Republicans and Republican leaners across educational levels say they have talked frequently about the election.

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Topics: 2016 Election, Gender, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Polarization, Social Media, U.S. Political Parties

Dec 21, 2016 3:02 pm

Apprehensions of migrants at U.S.-Mexico border rose sharply in October and November

The number of migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border rose by 42% in October and November of 2016 compared with the same two-month period in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. The 93,405 apprehensions were the most in any October-November period in at least five years.

The increase was fueled in part by a jump in the number of apprehensions of people traveling in family units. There were 28,691 apprehensions of individuals traveling with family members — defined as children, parents or a legal guardian — in October and November, a 130% increase from the same period in 2015. In November alone, the number of apprehensions of family units reached 15,573, the largest monthly total since June 2014, when a record 16,330 apprehensions were made during a surge in migration from Central America.  Read More

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Mexico, Migration, North America

Dec 21, 2016 10:02 am

16 striking findings from 2016

Every year, we publish a collection of facts about the important events, issues and trends we documented in our wide-ranging research over the past 12 months. In 2016,  Pew Research Center examined an array of topics in America – from immigration to the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats – as well as many from around the globe. Here are 16 of our most striking findings.

1 The American middle class is shrinking in most metropolitan areas. From 2000 to 2014, the share of adults living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas examined in a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. The decrease in the middle-class share was often substantial, measuring 6 percentage points or more in 53 metropolitan areas, compared with a 4-point drop nationally. However, the share of adults in the upper-income tier increased more than the share of adults in the lower-income tier in 119 of the 229 areas examined.

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Topics: 2016 Election, Demographics, Emerging Technology Impacts, Generations and Age, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Migration, News Audience Trends and Attitudes, Political Polarization, Population Trends, Religion and Society, Social Media, Social Values

Dec 20, 2016 2:15 pm

Trump’s victory another example of how Electoral College wins are bigger than popular vote ones

For the fifth time in U.S. history, and the second time this century, a presidential candidate has won the White House while losing the popular vote.

In this week’s Electoral College balloting, Donald Trump won 304 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 227, with five Democratic and two Republican “faithless electors” voting for other people. That result was despite the fact that Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more popular votes than Trump in November’s election, according to Pew Research Center’s tabulation of state election results. Our tally shows Clinton won 65.8 million votes (48.25%) to almost 63 million (46.15%) for Trump, with minor-party and independent candidates taking the rest. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Elections and Campaigns

Dec 19, 2016 10:06 am

Most Americans don’t pay extra to support worker-friendly businesses

The relationship between businesses and their employees is back in the news, with low-wage laborers recently protesting and striking for a higher minimum wage and independent contractors in the sharing economy suing for expanded rights. But for consumers, how important is it to know about working conditions at the businesses they frequent, and what impact does this knowledge have on their shopping decisions?

Around half of Americans say the question of working conditions is indeed important to them, though fewer are actually willing to pay more to support businesses that are seen as worker-friendly, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in late 2015.

A little more than half (53%) of U.S. adults say that when deciding whether to use a particular service or shop at a particular store, it’s important for them to know something about the pay and working conditions of those who work there. But only a slightly smaller share (46%) say that worker treatment is not important to their purchasing decisions.  Read More

Dec 19, 2016 7:05 am

The education gap between Hindus in India and the West

Hindus are among the least educated of the world’s major religious groups when looked at globally, but this is not true of Hindus everywhere, especially those who are living in economically advanced nations, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of religion and education.

Hindus ages 25 and older in India have an average of 5.5 years of formal schooling, while Hindus in Bangladesh (4.6 years) and Nepal (3.9 years) have even less education. These South Asian countries are all developing nations that have struggled to raise educational standards in the face of widespread poverty.  Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Education, Europe, North America, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices

Dec 16, 2016 3:29 pm

More voters will have access to non-English ballots in the next election cycle

The federal government has long required election ballots in some U.S. jurisdictions to be printed in languages other than English, based on the number of voting-age citizens who live in those communities and have limited English skills and low education levels. New data from the Census Bureau show that 263 counties, cities and other jurisdictions in 29 states will now be subject to this requirement in future elections, a slight increase from five years ago.

The language assistance, required by the federal Voting Rights Act since 1975, applies to places with Asian American, Latino, American Indian and Alaska Native populations that meet certain requirements. The Justice Department, which enforces the law, says the assistance helps more people “be informed voters and participate effectively in our representative democracy.” During the last reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, in 2006, Congress extended the language assistance provisions to 2032, and they were not affected by a Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that invalidated other sections of the law.

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Topics: Elections and Campaigns, Immigration, Migration, Voter Demographics, Voter Participation

Dec 16, 2016 1:05 pm

U.S. immigrant deportations fall to lowest level since 2007

The Obama administration deported 333,341 unauthorized immigrants in the 2015 fiscal year, a decline of about 81,000 (or 20%) from the prior year, according to newly released data from the Department of Homeland Security. The number of deportations fell for the second year in a row and reached its lowest level since 2007, during the George W. Bush administration.

The decline in deportations occurred among non-criminal and criminal immigrants alike. Deportations of immigrants without a criminal conviction fell from 247,000 in 2014 to 193,000 in 2015, a 22% drop and the first in four years. Deportations of immigrants with a criminal conviction fell 17% between fiscal 2014 and 2015, from 168,000 to 140,000. It is only the third time that the number of deportations of immigrants with a criminal conviction has fallen since at least 1981. (Fiscal 2016 data are not yet available.)

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Topics: Immigration, Mexico, Migration, National Security, North America