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.)

Read More

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

Dec 15, 2016 1:41 pm

International migration: Key findings from the U.S., Europe and the world

Migrants who have just crossed the border from Serbia into Hungary walk along a railway track on August 28, 2015 near Szeged, Hungary. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Migrants who have just crossed the border from Serbia into Hungary walk along a railway track in August 2015 near Szeged, Hungary. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Millions of people have migrated from their homes to other countries in recent years. Some migrants have moved voluntarily, seeking economic opportunities. Others have been forced from their homes by political turmoil, persecution or war and have left their countries to seek asylum elsewhere.

To mark International Migrants Day this Sunday, here are our key findings about international migration trends.

How many international migrants are there? Where are they from? Where do they live?

If all of the world’s international migrants (people living in a country that is different from their country or territory of birth) lived in a single country, it would be the world’s fifth largest, with around 244 million people. Overall, international migrants make up 3.3% of the world’s population today.

However, international migrants do not live in one country. Instead, they are dispersed across the world, with most having moved from middle-income to high-income countries. Top origins of international migrants include India (15.6 million), Mexico (12.3 million), Russia (10.6 million), China (9.5 million) and Bangladesh (7.2 million).

Among destination countries, the U.S. has more international migrants than any other country. It is home to about one-in-five international migrants (46.6 million). Other top destinations of migrants include Germany (12.0 million), Russia (11.6 million), Saudi Arabia (10.2 million) and the United Kingdom (8.5 million).

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Topics: Europe, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Immigration Attitudes, International Governments and Institutions, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, Unauthorized Immigration, Wars and International Conflicts

Dec 14, 2016 1:05 pm

Most Americans favor stricter environmental laws and regulations

Crews clean oil from the beach at Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015 north of Goleta, California. About 21,000 gallons spilled from a nearby pipeline. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images
Crews clean oil from the beach at Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015, north of Goleta, California. About 21,000 gallons spilled from a nearby pipeline. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

More Americans say environmental regulations are “worth the cost” than say such regulations come at too steep a price, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. These views come amid speculation about what President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees may mean for future regulatory policy.

A majority of U.S. adults (59%) say stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost, compared with roughly a third (34%) who say such regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy, according to the survey, conducted Nov. 30 to Dec. 5.

Education level and age are both associated with perceptions of environmental regulations. Younger adults and those with more education are more likely than older adults and those with less education to say stricter environmental laws are worth the cost.

Opinion also differs across party lines. Nearly eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (78%) see stricter environmental laws as worth the cost, while a majority of Republicans and Republican leaners (58%) say stricter environmental regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy.  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Business and Labor, Domestic Affairs and Policy, Energy and Environment, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Polarization

Dec 14, 2016 10:29 am

Q&A: The Muslim-Christian education gap in sub-Saharan Africa

(Courtesy of Melina Platas)
(Courtesy of Melina Platas)

Pew Research Center’s new study on educational attainment among the world’s major religious groups finds a large gap between Muslims and Christians in sub-Saharan Africa, a region in which the population is projected to grow rapidly over the next few decades. This gap has persisted for decades, and for more insight into possible reasons, we interviewed Melina Platas, an assistant professor of political science at New York University Abu Dhabi. Platas’ research centers on variations in economic and political development in developing countries; since 2005, she has focused on sub-Saharan Africa.

How do you think the history of Islam and Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa may have had an impact on education for Muslims and Christians?

The distribution of Christian missionary schools, many of which formed the basis of the education sector in independent Africa, had a profound and long-term effect on educational attainment. Missionary schools were often sparse in predominantly Muslim areas for political and geographic reasons. In many cases, Muslims had already established their own Islamic education systems, and sometimes political systems as well. In these areas, colonial authorities often limited educational investments, especially by Christians, either to avoid conflict or because of perceived low demand for Western-style education. These patterns of educational investment during the colonial period led, I believe, to the emergence of the education gap between Muslims and Christians.

Read More

Topics: Christians and Christianity, Education, Educational Attainment, Muslims and Islam, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation, Sub-Saharan Africa