Aug 3, 2015 7:00 am

The real value of a $15 minimum wage depends on where you live

Where Paychecks Stretch the Most, and Least

The movement for a $15-an-hour minimum wage has scored several high-profile victories lately. New York state plans to phase in a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers over the next few years. Los Angeles County will raise its minimum to $15 for all workers by 2021, following a similar move by the city of Los Angeles. Seattle is phasing in the $15 minimum that was adopted last year. And the huge University of California system will raise the minimum wage for its workers to $15 by 2017.

While Americans generally support higher minimum wages – a Pew Research Center survey in January 2014, for instance, found 73% in favor of a then-current proposal to raise the federal minimum from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour – wide disparities in local living costs, familiar to anyone who’s relocated for a career, create practical complications. For example, a national $15 minimum would yield $17.08 worth of purchasing power in Macon, Georgia, but only $12.26 in New York City, once the differing price levels in the two cities are taken into account. Read More

Topics: Economic Policy, Economics and Personal Finances, Work and Employment

Jul 31, 2015 7:00 am

Democratic edge in Hispanic voter registration grows in Florida

Florida has long been a battleground state in presidential elections, with Hispanic voters playing a growing role in determining the outcome of the state’s presidential vote. If current trends hold, Hispanic voters will make up an even larger share of the state’s registered voters next year than in past years, but the profile of the Latino electorate has shifted over the past decade or so, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of state voter registration data.

Democrats Now Hold Registration Advantage Among Florida HispanicsDue to the state’s large Cuban voting bloc, the Latino vote had been reliably Republican. For example, President George W. Bush won both the Hispanic vote and the state in 2004. But 2008 represented a tipping point: More Latinos were registered as Democrats than Republicans, and the gap has only widened since then. This has led to the growing influence of Democrats among the state’s Hispanic voters in 2008 and 2012, two presidential elections in which Barack Obama carried both Hispanics and the state. At the same time, the number of Latino registered voters in Florida who indicate no party affiliation has also grown rapidly during this time, and by 2012 had surpassed Republican registrations.

Today, 4.5 million Hispanics live in Florida, making it the third-largest Hispanic population in the nation, behind California and Texas. It is also growing faster than Florida’s population. Today 24% of Floridians are Hispanic, up from 17% in 2000. Overall, 1.7 million Hispanics were registered to vote in Florida as of October 2014, according to the state’s Division of ElectionsRead More

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Hispanic/Latino Vote

Jul 30, 2015 11:00 am

Number of women leaders around the world has grown, but they’re still a small group

Most Americans believe a woman will be elected president within their lifetime, a milestone that would add the U.S. to a growing list of countries that have had a female leader. But the overall number of countries that have been led by women still remains relatively small, and in most of these countries, women haven’t held power for long.

Most of the World's Nations Have Never Had a Female Leader

There are currently 18 female world leaders, including 12 female heads of government and 11 elected female heads of state (some leaders are both, and figurehead monarchs are not included), according to United Nations data. These women account for about one-in-ten of today’s leaders of United Nations member states. Half of them are the first women to hold their country’s highest office. Read More

Topics: Gender, International Governments and Institutions, Non-U.S. Political Leaders

Jul 29, 2015 7:00 am

Major U.S. metropolitan areas differ in their religious profiles

The religious face of America is largely a Christian one, with roughly seven-in-ten Americans belonging to that faith. But some of the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas have a very different look.

Only about half of the residents in the Seattle (52%) and San Francisco (48%) metropolitan areas identify as Christians, as well as roughly six-in-ten or fewer of those living in Boston (57%) and New York (59%).

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study was designed to look at the religious affiliations of Americans overall as well as those in all 50 states and the 17 largest metropolitan areas in the country. While Christians make up between 65% and 75% of adults in most of those metro areas – and people with no religious affiliation generally make up roughly 20-25% of the population – some cities stand out for a variety of reasons.

Boston, Seattle and San Francisco Have Relatively Few Christians

Seattle, San Francisco and Boston are notable not only because they have relatively few Christians, but also for their considerable populations of religious “nones” (atheists, agnostics and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular”). A third or more of people in each of those metropolitan areas (37% in Seattle, 35% in San Francisco and 33% in Boston) are religious “nones.” Read More

Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Jews and Judaism, Mormons and Mormonism, Religious Affiliation, Religiously Unaffiliated

Jul 28, 2015 9:32 am

15% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they?

Who's Not Online?For many Americans, going online is an important way to connect with friends and family, shop, get news and search for information. Yet today, 15% of U.S. adults do not use the internet, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of survey data.

The size of this group has changed little over the past three years, despite recent government and social service programs to encourage internet adoption. But that 15% figure is substantially lower than in 2000, when Pew Research first began to study the social impact of technology. That year, nearly half (48%) of American adults did not use the internet.

A 2013 Pew Research survey found some key reasons that some people do not use the internet. A third of non-internet users (34%) did not go online because they had no interest in doing so or did not think the internet was relevant to their lives. Another 32% of non-internet users said the internet was too difficult to use, including 8% of this group who said they were “too old to learn.” Cost was also a barrier for some adults who were offline – 19% cited the expense of internet service or owning a computer.

The latest Pew Research analysis also shows that internet non-adoption is correlated to a number of demographic variables, including age, educational attainment, household income, race and ethnicity, and community type.

Seniors are the group most likely to say they never go online. About four-in-ten adults ages 65 and older (39%) do not use the internet, compared with only 3% of 18- to 29-year-olds. Household income and education are also indicators of a person’s likelihood to be offline. A third of adults with less than a high school education do not use the internet, but that share falls as the level of educational attainment increases. Adults from households earning less than $30,000 a year are roughly eight times more likely than the most affluent adults to not use the internet. Read More

Topics: Demographics, Generations and Age, Income, Internet Activities, Technology Adoption

Jul 27, 2015 11:00 am

The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups

The nation’s population is growing more racially and ethnically diverse – and so are many of its religious groups, both at the congregational level and among broader Christian traditions.  But a new analysis of data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study also finds that these levels of diversity vary widely within U.S. religious groups.

We looked at 29 groups – including Protestant denominations, other religious groups and three subsets of people who are religiously unaffiliated – based on a methodology used in our 2014 Pew Research Center report on global religious diversity. This analysis includes five racial and ethnic groups: Hispanics, as well as non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asians and an umbrella category of other races and mixed-race Americans.

How Racially Diverse are U.S. Religious Groups? Read More

Topics: Christians and Christianity, Hindus and Hinduism, Jews and Judaism, Muslims and Islam, Race and Ethnicity, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation

Jul 23, 2015 2:30 pm

5 facts about the minimum wage

U.S. minimum wage value over time, adjusted
As efforts to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour have stalled repeatedly, several states and cities – from Los Angeles to New York state to Washington, D.C. – are acting on their own to raise minimum pay rates. Although some proposals target fast-food workers specifically, organized labor and anti-poverty groups are pushing for $15 an hour as the new standard for all workers paid hourly.

While the idea of raising the minimum wage is broadly popular, a Pew Research Center survey from January 2014 found clear partisan differences in support. Overall, 73% of people favored an increase in the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, mirroring a Democratic-backed proposal that failed to move ahead in Congress last year. But while large majorities of Democrats (90%) and independents (71%) said they favored such an increase, Republicans were more evenly split (53% in favor and 43% opposed).

Here are five facts about the minimum wage and the people who earn it:

Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Business and Labor, Economics and Personal Finances

Jul 23, 2015 12:00 pm

The 2016 GOP field has a bumper crop of Catholic candidates

GOP Catholics Running for President Since 1960

Only three Roman Catholics have ever run for president on a major party ticket, and all were Democrats. But that may be about to change. So far six Catholics (including some early favorites) are running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

This bumper crop of Catholic presidential candidates comes at a time when the leadership of the Republican Party is, by many measures, becoming increasingly Catholic. For instance, the House of Representatives had 69 Catholic Republicans at the beginning of the current, 114th Congress – a group that has nearly doubled in size in the last six years and includes House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

In addition, a Roman Catholic, Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan, was the GOP’s vice presidential candidate in 2012. Ryan was only the second Catholic ever to run on the Republican ticket, the first being William Edward Miller (a New York representative who was Barry Goldwater’s running mate in 1964). Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Catholics and Catholicism, Elections and Campaigns, Religious Affiliation

Jul 23, 2015 9:59 am

Around the world, dissatisfaction with economy and concern for its future

Economy Seen as in Poor Shape Nearly EverywherePeople around the world are generally disgruntled about the state of their economy, but levels of dissatisfaction vary widely by region, according to a new Pew Research Center report. And many of those who are dispirited about current economic conditions are also quite pessimistic about the financial prospects of the next generation.

Europeans are by far the most dissatisfied: A median of 70% in six countries say current economic conditions in their countries are bad. The Italians (88%), French (85%) and Spanish (81%) are the most downbeat. Only the Germans are particularly satisfied, with 75% believing their economy is in good shape.

In the Middle East, views are also negative. A median of two-thirds lament the state of their economy. Most concerned are Lebanese (89% say the economy is bad), Jordanians (73%) and Palestinians (67%).

Similarly, Latin Americans (median of 63%) say their economy is in bad shape. Brazilians (87%) and Venezuelans (83%) have particularly negative views.

Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, National Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa, World Economies

Jul 23, 2015 7:00 am

5 charts on America’s (very positive) image in Africa

When President Barack Obama travels to Kenya and Ethiopia later this week, he will likely receive a warm public reception. Obama, whose father was Kenyan, is very popular in both countries, as well as in many other nations in sub-Saharan Africa. But it’s not just Obama – as Pew Research Center surveys have shown over the years, the United States consistently receives high marks throughout the region.

Below are five charts illustrating how the U.S. is viewed in Africa.

1The U.S. receives higher favorable ratings in Africa than in any other region. Our 2015 survey found mostly positive ratings for the U.S. around the globe, but they were especially high in Africa – across the nine nations surveyed in the region, a median of 79% expressed a favorable opinion of the U.S., while just 10% had an unfavorable view.

Views of U.S. Most Favorable in Africa

Read More

Topics: Barack Obama, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. Global Image and Anti-Americanism