Feb 28, 2014 11:03 am

Data Feed: Millennials’ college payoff, Marcellus Shale job boom, global food waste

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

For Millennials, higher education really pays off, Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank
Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.4% in Q4 2013 in new estimate, BEA
Federal budget deficit falls to smallest level since 2008, New York Times
Realty check: Interactive guide to America’s housing market, The Economist
Jobless rates down in 43 states in 2013, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Effects of Marcellus Shale gas boom on employment, wages in Pa., BLS
The stock-picking skills of SEC employees, U. Va. via WaPost
Attracting customers and new business still top challenge in the U.S., Gallup
U.S.-NAFTA trade via pipeline up 6.4% from previous year, Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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Category: Data Feed

Feb 28, 2014 9:00 am

Chart of the Week: The decline of Yiddish, the rise of Tagalog

Chart of languages spoken in the U.S. over time

The United States has been a polyglot country since before it was a country. As early as 1646, no fewer than 18 languages were spoken on Manhattan Island. German was common in colonial-era Pennsylvania. New York’s Dutch community held onto their language long after the English takeover of what had been New Amsterdam. And African slaves spoke dozens of native languages and dialects. But the nation’s continuing linguistic diversity is ever evolving and it can still spark controversy, as Coca-Cola discovered with its recent Super Bowl ad.

Language charts, such as this one by the U.S. Census, reflect the nation’s changing demographics. Spanish is overwhelmingly the most common non-English language, as it has been since the Census Bureau began detailed language surveys in the 1970s. According to the 2011 American Community Survey, nearly 13% of the population (37.6 million people) spoke Spanish or a Spanish creole at home. Beyond that, though, the chart illustrates the changing composition of the U.S. population.

In 1980, for instance, only about 630,000 people spoke Chinese at home; by 2001 nearly 2.9 million did. The number of Tagalog speakers more than tripled over that span, to about 1.6 million. By contrast, languages spoken by older immigrant groups continue to decline. In 2011, for example, only about 161,000 people reported speaking Yiddish at home, about half as many as in 1980. Note that because the chart only displays languages for which comparable data were available for all time periods, other widely spoken languages such as Arabic (952,000 speakers in 2011), Hindi (645,000) and Urdu (374,000) aren’t shown.

As one might expect, language prevalence varies considerably by geography. Chicago, for instance, retains a concentration of Polish speakers, while Arabic is the predominant language (other than English and Spanish) in the Detroit area.

Category: Chart of the Week

Topics: Language, U.S. Census

Feb 28, 2014 7:00 am

For Millennials, a bachelor’s degree continues to pay off, but a master’s earns even more

Monthly earnings of Millennials, college graduates with bachelor's, master's, doctorate degreesMillennials are the nation’s most educated generation in history in terms of finishing college.  But despite the stereotype that today’s recent college graduates are largely underemployed, the data show that this generation of college grads earns more than ones that came before it.

In 2009 (the latest year available) the median monthly earnings of young adults with a bachelor’s degree and no further education was $3,836, a 13% increase from 1984 ($3,399), according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

The economic payoffs for obtaining a bachelor’s degree vary widely by major field of study.  It is certainly possible that earnings have declined since the early 1980s for specific major fields of study.  But given what young adults choose to study, the typical or median young adult with a bachelor’s degree earns more than they used to. Read More

Topics: College, Economics and Personal Finances, Educational Attainment

Feb 27, 2014 1:59 pm

Indians’ support for Modi, BJP shows an itch for change

When Indians go to the polls a few weeks from now they will decide who will lead the world’s second most populous nation and 10th largest economy. The new government will face challenges reviving economic growth, curbing inflation, narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor and protecting Indians from domestic terrorism. Success or failure may determine whether more and more Indians emerge from poverty and whether India plays an ever greater role on the world stage.

Indian public would prefer the Bharatiya Janata Party rather than the ruling Indian National Congress party to lead the next Indian government. According to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted between December 2013 and January 2014, the Indian public, by a margin of more than three-to-one, would prefer the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rather than the ruling Indian National Congress party to lead the next Indian government. Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific

Feb 27, 2014 11:28 am

Data Feed: Tax reform in charts, the Web at 25, GOP voters say no to marijuana

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

GOP, though deeply split, has election edge, with breakdowns, New York Times
Public split over increased deportation of unauthorized immigrants, Pew Research Center
The House GOP tax-reform proposal in four simple charts, The Washington Post
22% of likely GOP voters said smoking marijuana was acceptable, Winthrop
How Republicans lost non-religious voters, The Washington Post
In Pa., Clinton climbs as Christie crashes, Quinnipiac

Interactive: How have housing prices changed in your city?  Report, Demand Institute
Americans remain divided on military spending, Gallup
What wealth looks like by age group, The Washington Post

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Category: Data Feed

Feb 27, 2014 11:02 am

Strong support for Israel in U.S. cuts across religious lines

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which holds its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., beginning Sunday, is sometimes referred to as the “Jewish lobby.” But its mission is as an Israel lobby, and when it comes to public backing for that country in the U.S., evangelical Christians are even more supportive of Israel than American Jews by some measures.

U.S. support for Israel by religionAIPAC itself has taken note of that fact, making clear that its work is not limited to Jews. Its website refers to activists across all religions and says that “the evangelical Christian community plays an increasingly vital role.

Pew Research surveys find that similar shares of Christians (29%) and Jews (31%) say the U.S. is not supportive enough of Israel. Among white evangelical Protestants, nearly half (46%) say that the U.S. is not providing enough support for Israel.

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Topics: Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Middle East and North Africa, Religion and Politics

Feb 27, 2014 10:40 am

Americans increasingly view the internet, cellphones as essential

How hard would it be to give up your cellphone, the internet, your television or your landline telephone? When the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project posed that question to Americans, they found that internet users were the most attached to their communication platform — and that landline users are now much less attached than they were just eight years ago.

More Americans say giving up the internet and cellphones would be very hard or impossible.The survey asked Americans about a total of six different communication technologies: the internet, cellphones, television, email, landlines and social media. Over half of internet users now say the internet would be “very hard” to give up. And among this devoted group, 61% said the internet was essential to them, either for work or other reasons. Translated to the whole population, 39% of all Americans feel they absolutely need to have internet access.

And while cellphone owners were pretty attached to their phones in 2006 (43% said they would be very hard to give up), that attachment has since grown: 49% would now have a very hard time giving them up.

These findings contrast with a declining attachment to televisions and landline telephones. Only 35% of Americans say they’d have a very hard time giving up their television, down from 44% in 2006. And only 28% of landline telephone owners would find it difficult to cut the cord, a sharp drop from the 48% who said this in 2006.

This may not be surprising. Americans have been ditching their landlines for years, as more households rely solely on cellphones. And our digital devices are offering us more and more ways to consume content beyond the televisions parked in our living rooms.

What may come as a surprise, however, especially considering that a majority of Facebook users check in on the site on a daily basis, is the low level of attachment to social media. Only 11% of internet users say social media would be very hard to give up, while 40% said it wouldn’t be difficult at all.

Topics: Internet Activities, Social Media, Television

Feb 26, 2014 11:04 am

Data Feed: Democrats want Clinton, young children now less obese, California’s driest year on record

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

Most Democrats want Clinton to run in 2016, topline, New York Times/CBS News
Boehner’s favorability returns to pre-shutdown levels, Gallup
57% of Americans say UN is doing a poor job, Gallup
Pa. voters give governor low grades on their top priority – economy/jobs, Quinnipiac

Real average hourly earnings rose 0.4% in January, same as December, BLS
Federal revenues to increase significantly over next two years, then remain steady, CBO
How to read Obama’s new budget, Brookings
Value of natural gas net imports has declined dramatically in recent years, EIA

Health & Society
2013 is now California’s driest year on record, Public Policy Institute of California
Potential health-exchange customers lean toward narrower, low-cost plans, Fact Tank
More from Kaiser’s February health tracking poll, Kaiser Family Foundation
Obesity rate for young children plummets 43% in a decade, CDC via New York Times
1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes against disabled people in 2012, BJS
Male minorities struggle to succeed in community college, Chronicle of Higher Ed.
Mapping the battle over same-sex marriage, National Journal
Americans turn sharply favorable on gay issues, Religion News Service
Average age of U.S. farmers, 58.3 in 2012, continues three-decade rise, USDA
When one spouse has an affair, who is more likely to leave? Demographic Research

Ahead of elections, Indians want political change, Pew Research Center
Has the Venezuelan government helped or hurt the country’s poor? The Washington Post
Countries’ top trading partners are often their neighbors, Quartz
Map: Cocaine use and seizures around the world, The Economist
Which EU countries’ enterprises have greatest access to fast internet? Destatis
35.2% of Canadians live in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Statistics Canada

Got new data to share? Send it to us via email facttank@pewresearch.org or Tweet us @FactTank.

Category: Data Feed

Feb 26, 2014 9:00 am

The U.S. Hispanic population has increased sixfold since 1970


The U.S. Hispanic population in 2012 was 53,027,708, nearly six times the population in 1970.

The Hispanic population grew to 53 million in 2012, a 50% increase since 2000 and nearly six times the population in 1970, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, the overall U.S. population increased by only 12% from 2000 to 2012. Hispanic population growth accounted for more than half of the country’s growth in this time period.

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Category: Daily Number

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Demographics

Feb 26, 2014 7:00 am

Kaiser: Potential customers of health exchanges lean towards low-cost, narrower plans

Over half (54%) of the Americans who are most likely to sign up for health coverage through the  new health care exchanges —the uninsured and those who buy their own coverage — would opt for a plan that costs less even if the coverage is narrower, according to a new Kaiser Health Tracking poll released today. Broader plans at a higher cost would be the choice of 34%. The public, taken as a whole, leans the other way, with 51% saying they prefer a plan that costs more money but provides a broader network of providers while 37% would choose a lower-cost option with less choice. Americans who have employer-provided coverage prefer higher-cost/broader network plans by an even larger margin: 55% to 34%. Kaiser Health Tracking poll insurance coverage Read More

Topics: Health Care