Jul 31, 2017 6:59 am

Millennials and Gen Xers outvoted Boomers and older generations in 2016 election

Baby Boomers and other older Americans are no longer the majority of voters in U.S. presidential elections.

Millennials and Generation Xers cast 69.6 million votes in the 2016 general election, a slight majority of the 137.5 million total votes cast, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, Boomers and older voters represented fewer than half of all votes for the first time in decades. The shift has occurred as Millennials accounted for a growing share of the electorate and as those in the Silent and Greatest generations aged and died.

Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 in 2016) reported casting 34 million votes last November, a steep rise from the 18.4 million votes they cast in 2008. But, despite the larger size of the Millennial generation, the Millennial vote has yet to eclipse the Gen X vote, as 35.7 million Gen Xers (ages 36 to 51 in 2016) reported voting last year.

It is likely, though not certain, that the size of the Millennial vote will surpass the Gen X vote in the 2020 presidential election. The Millennial generation as a whole is larger than Gen X (both in absolute size and in the number of birth years it spans). In addition, the ranks of the nation’s Millennials are growing faster than older generations due to immigration, which is likely to be accompanied by increased naturalizations. As a result, Millennials are likely to be the only adult generation whose number of eligible voters will appreciably increase in the coming years.

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Topics: Generations and Age, Voter Participation, Voter Demographics, 2016 Election

Jul 28, 2017 6:58 am

Border wall is Trump’s least popular policy internationally

People around the world strongly disapprove of President Donald Trump’s signature policies, according to a spring Pew Research Center survey of 37 countries and findings from the United States. But one policy stands out for its unpopularity: the president’s planned U.S.-Mexico border wall.

In 18 of the countries surveyed, the border wall draws the most disapproval of the specific Trump policies tested.

The wall generates the most disapproval in Latin America, where roughly three-quarters or more in each of the seven countries polled disagree with the proposal. This includes 94% in Mexico and 90% in Colombia. It is also the president’s least popular policy in Canada (84%).

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Topics: U.S. Global Image and Anti-Americanism, U.S. Political Figures, Foreign Affairs and Policy

Jul 27, 2017 2:39 pm

7 facts about Americans with disabilities

A Metro bus driver fastens a strap to secure a passenger's wheelchair in Portland, Oregon. (Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
A Metro bus driver fastens a strap to secure a passenger’s wheelchair in Portland, Oregon. (Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

There were nearly 40 million Americans with a disability in 2015, representing 12.6% of the civilian non-institutionalized population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet the share of Americans with disabilities varies widely across demographic groups and geography. (The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey defines disability status through six types of questions measuring serious difficulty with hearing, vision, cognition, walking or climbing stairs, as well as difficulty with self-care and independent living. Other surveys with different definitions have estimated that a considerably larger share of Americans have disabilities.)

Here are seven facts about Americans with disabilities.

1Older Americans are significantly more likely than younger Americans to have a disability, according to the American Community Survey. About half of Americans ages 75 and older (49.8%) reported living with a disability in 2015, as did about a quarter (25.4%) of those 65 to 74. In contrast, just 6% of Americans ages 18 to 34 and 13% of those 35 to 64 said they had a disability. In absolute numbers, however, those ages 35 to 64 accounted for more disabled Americans – nearly 16 million in 2015 – than any other age group.

2While there is little difference between men and women in the likelihood of having a disability, there are differences by race and ethnicity. Asians were least likely to say they had a disability (6.9%), followed by Hispanics (8.8%). American Indians or Alaskan Natives, on the other hand, were most likely to report a disability (17.7%). Similar shares of whites (13.9%) and blacks (14.1%) reported living with a disability.

3The most common types of disability involve difficulties with walking or independent living. More than 20 million people ages 18 and older reported having serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs in 2015, representing 7.1% of the civilian non-institutionalized population. Another 14 million people ages 18 and older reported having a difficult time doing errands alone (for example, shopping or visiting a doctor) due to physical, mental or emotional conditions.

About 13 million people reported cognitive difficulties. Around 11 million people in the U.S. reported significant hearing difficulty, while roughly 7 million reported significant difficulty with vision, even when wearing glasses.

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Topics: Demographics, Race and Ethnicity, Generations and Age, Population Geography, Asian Americans

Jul 27, 2017 10:00 am

U.S. Muslims see their relationship with Trump as strained

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

About three-quarters of Muslim Americans (74%) say President Donald Trump is unfriendly toward them, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. And they are no fans of Trump’s: Just 19% say they approve of the job Trump is doing as president, and among Muslims who reported voting last November, only 8% say they cast their ballots for him.

These findings come as the Supreme Court weighs Trump’s executive order blocking travel from several Muslim-majority countries, which the president originally signed shortly after his inauguration. But the tension has been building for much longer. Trump’s relationship with Muslims and Islam has been a point of media focus since before he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in December 2015 – one of a number of controversial statements then-candidate Trump made about Muslims and Islam.

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Topics: Political Attitudes and Values, Religion and U.S. Politics, Political Party Affiliation, Social Values, Muslims and Islam, Muslim Americans

Jul 26, 2017 10:02 am

American Muslims are concerned – but also satisfied with their lives

These are tense times for American Muslims. Majorities say that their religious group faces a lot of discrimination in the United States, that the media is unfair to Muslims and that other Americans do not view Islam as part of mainstream U.S. society. Nearly one-in-five (19%) say they have been called offensive names in the last year, and 6% say they have been physically threatened or attacked.

Yet for most American Muslims, these problems only partially define their personal experiences in the U.S. Four-in-five say they are satisfied with the way things are going in their lives, and 84% categorize Americans in general as “friendly” (55%) or “neutral” (30%) toward U.S. Muslims. About nine-in-ten (92%) say they are proud to be American.

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Topics: Religion and Society, Lifestyle, Religious Affiliation, Muslims and Islam, Muslim Americans, Discrimination and Prejudice

Jul 25, 2017 12:01 pm

1 in 4 black Americans have faced online harassment because of their race or ethnicity

A wide cross-section of Americans have experienced and encountered abusive behaviors online, according to a recently released Pew Research Center survey. And although this harassment can take many forms, some minority groups more frequently encounter harassment that carries racial overtones. This is particularly true for black Americans, a quarter of whom say they have been targeted online due to their race or ethnicity, compared with 10% of Hispanics and 3% of whites.

A number of survey respondents shared their personal experiences with racism online. One white respondent said, “Race issues seem to have a big market on Facebook and that really brings out ugliness and an issue that should not be on social media in my opinion.” A black respondent recalled seeing “a talk about police killings of unarmed black people [that] turned into a full-on verbal assault with racial slurs being hurled at the people who opposed the police killings.”

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Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Internet Activities, Online Privacy and Safety, Online Communities

Jul 25, 2017 7:00 am

Most Americans unaware that as U.S. manufacturing jobs have disappeared, output has grown

Manufacturing jobs in the United States have declined considerably over the past several decades, even as manufacturing output – the value of goods and products manufactured in the U.S. – has grown strongly. But while most Americans are aware of the decline in employment, relatively few know about the increase in output, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Four of every five Americans (81%) know that the total number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has decreased over the past three decades, according to the survey of 4,135 adults from Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel. But just 35% know that the nation’s manufacturing output has risen over the same time span, versus 47% who say output has decreased and 17% who say it’s stayed about the same. Only 26% of those surveyed got both questions right.

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Topics: Work and Employment, National Economy, Emerging Technology Impacts

Jul 24, 2017 12:00 pm

Ethnic Russians in some former Soviet republics feel a close connection to Russia

The Soviet Union came to a formal end in December 1991, leaving 25 million ethnic Russians living outside the borders of their nominal homeland.

Today, ethnic Russians are a sizable minority in several former Soviet republics, and many are more favorably inclined toward Russia than are their fellow citizens, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

In Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine – the three former republics in the survey that are home, proportionately, to the largest ethnic Russian populations outside of Russia – ethnic Russians are more likely than the rest of the population to agree with the statement, “A strong Russia is necessary to balance the influence of the West.” At the same time, ethnic Russians in these countries are less likely to view Russia as a major military threat or to place most of the blame for violence in eastern Ukraine on Russia or pro-Russian separatists.

The violence in Ukraine has raised concerns about potential Russian incursions in other former Soviet republics. The Center’s recent survey found that ethnic Russians are more likely than non-Russians in their countries to say that Russia has an obligation to protect ethnic Russians living outside its borders. In Estonia, for example, more than three times as many ethnic Russians as non-Russians hold this view (76% vs. 23%).

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Topics: Eastern Europe, Europe, Political Attitudes and Values, International Governments and Institutions, National and Cultural Identity, Russia

Jul 24, 2017 7:00 am

Democrats more likely than Republicans to say online harassment is a major problem

Some 14% of U.S. adults say they have been targeted for online harassment or abuse because of their political views, according to a new report from Pew Research Center. And while Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to have been harassed online because of their political views (15% vs. 13%), there are some notable partisan differences in their views of the issue.

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they have heard a great deal about the topic of online harassment (38% vs. 25%). In addition, a larger share of Democrats than Republicans (69% vs. 54%) consider online harassment to be a major problem. (Democrats and Republicans in this analysis include independents and nonpartisans who “lean” toward these parties.)

Americans’ attitudes toward offensive content online also tend to differ by political affiliation. The survey asked respondents to choose which statement came closer to their view: “Many people take offensive content they see online too seriously” or “offensive content online is too often excused as not a big deal.” By a 63%-36% margin, Republicans say people take offensive online content too seriously. By contrast, Democrats are more divided: 50% say offensive content is often taken too seriously, while 48% feel it is too often excused as not a big deal.

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Topics: U.S. Political Parties, Online Privacy and Safety, Online Communities

Jul 20, 2017 7:01 am

Republicans skeptical of colleges’ impact on U.S., but most see benefits for workforce preparation

Republicans have grown increasingly negative about the impact of colleges and universities on the United States. But last year, most Republicans said that colleges do well in preparing people for good jobs in today’s economy.

In addition, most Republican college graduates – like their Democratic counterparts – said their own college experience was valuable for developing skills for the workplace.

The change in Republicans’ views of the effect colleges and universities have on the country is striking. Currently, 58% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while just 36% say their effect is positive, according to a survey conducted last month by Pew Research Center. Just two years ago, attitudes were the reverse: a 54% majority of Republicans and Republican leaners said colleges were having a positive effect, while 37% said their effect was negative.

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Topics: Education, U.S. Political Parties, Political Attitudes and Values, Educational Attainment, Political Polarization