May 15, 2017 9:33 am

Four research highlights for 2017 from the largest U.S. demography conference

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
New research presented at the PAA conference in Chicago suggests that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program gives unauthorized-immigrant college students an incentive to drop out. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

At this year’s annual meeting of the Population Association of America, the nation’s largest demography conference, researchers explored some long-studied topics from new perspectives. For example, what is the impact on educational achievement when college-age unauthorized immigrants are offered protection from deportation? With same-sex marriage on the rise, how can the U.S. Census Bureau accurately count this relatively small group? And how is fertility – that is, the number of births – affected when a city has a winning Super Bowl team?

What follows is a summary of research related to these and other questions, as presented at the PAA conference in Chicago last month. Much of the work presented is preliminary, so results may change.  Read More

Topics: Education, Immigration, Demographics, Parenthood, Birth Rate and Fertility, Gay Marriage and Homosexuality

May 15, 2017 7:05 am

In Trump era, women’s views of nation’s prospects take a negative turn

Following a presidential election in which the gender gap was among the widest in recent history, women’s attitudes about prospects for the nation’s future have taken a sharply negative turn.

And the gender divide in Donald Trump’s job approval rating is larger than for most recent presidents at comparable points early in their administrations.

Men are now much more likely than women to say they have “quite a lot” of confidence in the future of the United States, according to an April survey by Pew Research Center. About half of men (53%) and just 29% of women say this.

In October 2015, comparable shares of men (47%) and women (43%) had quite a lot of confidence in the country’s future. Since then, the share of women expressing this degree of confidence has fallen 14 percentage points, while men’s views have shown less change.

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Topics: Gender, Political Attitudes and Values, Presidential Approval, Political Polarization, 2016 Election

May 12, 2017 10:00 am

How can a survey of 1,000 people tell you what the whole U.S. thinks?

Here at Pew Research Center, we are often asked about how we conduct our research. We work hard to make our methodologies transparent and understandable, but we also know that survey mode effects and data weighting aren’t on everyone’s short list of water-cooler conversation topics.

That’s why we’re launching Methods 101, a new occasional video series dedicated to explaining and educating the public about the basic methods we use to conduct our survey research. We hope this effort will make survey methods more accessible, even if you’re not a statistician or pollster. We also hope it will help give our audience the confidence to be savvy consumers of all polls.

Our first video is about random sampling, a concept that undergirds all probability-based survey research. The video explains what it means and why it’s important. We hope you’ll find it useful.

Topics: Research Methods, Telephone Survey Methods, Web Survey Methods

May 12, 2017 7:00 am

Black voter turnout fell in 2016, even as a record number of Americans cast ballots

A record 137.5 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall voter turnout – defined as the share of adult U.S. citizens who cast ballots – was 61.4% in 2016, a share similar to 2012 but below the 63.6% who say they voted in 2008.

A number of long-standing trends in presidential elections either reversed or stalled in 2016, as black voter turnout decreased, white turnout increased and the nonwhite share of the U.S. electorate remained flat since the 2012 election. Here are some key takeaways from the Census Bureau’s report, the data source with the most comprehensive demographic and statistical portrait of U.S. voters.

1The black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching a record-high 66.6% in 2012. The 7-percentage-point decline from the previous presidential election is the largest on record for blacks. (It’s also the largest percentage-point decline among any racial or ethnic group since white voter turnout dropped from 70.2% in 1992 to 60.7% in 1996.) The number of black voters also declined, falling by about 765,000 to 16.4 million in 2016, representing a sharp reversal from 2012. With Barack Obama on the ballot that year, the black voter turnout rate surpassed that of whites for the first time. Among whites, the 65.3% turnout rate in 2016 represented a slight increase from 64.1% in 2012.  Read More

Topics: Voter Participation, Elections and Campaigns, Hispanic/Latino Vote, Voter Demographics, Asian Americans, 2016 Election

May 11, 2017 3:00 pm

Buying spree brings more local TV stations to fewer big companies

The local television landscape in the U.S. has undergone major changes in recent years, as a wave of consolidations and station purchases have made some broadcast media owners considerably larger. On Monday, Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the biggest owners of local TV stations, announced that it has agreed to purchase Tribune Media’s 42 stations for $3.9 billion – a deal both Nexstar and 21st Century Fox were reportedly also pursuing.

The merger would give Sinclair an even bigger presence in local TV, which continues to reach more U.S. adults than any other news platform. In a 2016 Pew Research Center survey, 46% of Americans said they often get news from local TV, compared with 31% for cable and 20% for print newspapers.

In 2004, the five largest companies in local TV – Sinclair, Nexstar, Gray, Tegna and Tribune – owned, operated or serviced 179 full-power stations, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission filings data. That number grew to 378 in 2014 and to 443 in 2016. If approved by regulators, Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune would bring its total to 208, by far the largest among the media companies.

As of 2016, these five companies owned an estimated 37% of all full-power local TV stations in the country, as identified in a Pew Research Center analysis of BIA Kelsey data.

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Topics: Media Ownership, Media Revenue Models, News Media Sectors, News Media Trends, Television, Media Economics, State of the News Media

May 11, 2017 12:08 pm

6 facts about U.S. mothers

Cultura/Seb Oliver
Cultura/Seb Oliver

American motherhood has changed in many ways since Mother’s Day was first celebrated more than 100 years ago. Today’s moms are more educated than ever before. A majority of women with a young child are in the labor force, and more mothers are serving as their family’s sole or primary “breadwinner.” At the same time, the share of women who are stay-at-home moms has increased in recent years.

Here are some key findings about American mothers and motherhood from Pew Research Center reports:

1The number of Millennial moms is on the rise. Millennial women (those born from 1981 to 1997) accounted for 82% of U.S. births in 2015. The number of Millennial moms has grown rapidly in recent years and reached more than 16 million in 2015.

Although Millennial women now account for the vast majority of annual U.S. births, they appear to be waiting longer to become parents, compared with prior generations. Around four-in-ten Millennial women (42%) ages 18 to 33 were moms in 2014. When women from Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) were in the same age range, by contrast, 49% were already moms.

The delay in motherhood among Millennials reflects a broader long-term trend. Women’s mean age at first birth was 26 in 2013, up from 21 in 1970.

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Topics: Gender, Work and Employment, Family and Relationships, Family Roles, Parenthood, Household and Family Structure, Birth Rate and Fertility

May 11, 2017 10:03 am

Orthodox Christians in Central and Eastern Europe favor strong role for Russia in geopolitics, religion

Roughly a quarter century after the end of the Soviet era, Russia retains substantial influence throughout many parts of Central and Eastern Europe. Indeed, Russia is widely viewed by the region’s Orthodox Christians as an important counterweight to Western influences and as a global protector of Orthodox and ethnic Russian populations, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 18 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Majorities or pluralities in nearly all Orthodox-majority countries surveyed agree that a strong Russia is necessary to balance the influence of the West, and that Russia has an obligation to protect Orthodox Christians and ethnic Russians outside its borders.

This sentiment prevails even in the three Orthodox-majority countries surveyed that are members of the European Union: Bulgaria, Greece and Romania. But pro-Russia sentiment tends to run strongest in former Soviet republics that have Orthodox majorities and are not in the EU, including Armenia, Belarus and Moldova.

Read More

Topics: Eastern Europe, Europe, Religion and Society, Religion and Government, Religious Affiliation

May 10, 2017 12:10 pm

9 key findings about religion and politics in Central and Eastern Europe

Roughly a quarter century after the collapse of the Soviet Union, religion has reasserted itself as an important part of individual and national identity in many places where communist regimes once repressed religious worship and promoted atheism, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey of 18 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to religious identity, beliefs and practices, and national identity, the survey explores respondents’ views on social issues, democracy, the economy, religious and ethnic pluralism, and more.

Here are nine key findings from the report:

1 Shares of Orthodox Christians have risen sharply across the region, while shares of Catholics have declined. The percentage of Russians who identify as Orthodox Christians has risen substantially since the end of the USSR, from 37% in 1991 to 71% in the new survey. Consequently, the share of Russians who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” has fallen. And the trend is not limited to Russia. Similar patterns are evident in Ukraine and Bulgaria. At the same time, historically Catholic countries in Central and Eastern Europe have undergone a shift in the opposite direction: The Catholic share of the population in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic has declined at least modestly since 1991.

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Topics: Religion and Society, Religion and Government, Communism, Religious Affiliation

May 9, 2017 11:00 am

Views of NAFTA less positive – and more partisan – in U.S. than in Canada and Mexico

The Trump administration and governments in Ottawa and Mexico City have indicated they will renegotiate the trilateral, quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While the existing accord enjoys the support of roughly three-quarters of the Canadian public and six-in-ten Mexicans, it is viewed less favorably in the United States, with Republicans far less supportive than Democrats, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of all three countries.

About half of Americans (51%) say NAFTA has been a good thing for the U.S., including 11% who say it has been very good. That compares with 74% of Canadians who say the agreement has been good for Canada, including 20% who say it has been very good. Among Mexicans, 60% see NAFTA as being good for their country, including 10% who hold that view strongly. These differences in views may, in part, reflect the fact that both Canada and Mexico run merchandise trade surpluses with the U.S. In 2016, the U.S. ran a collective $74 billion trade goods deficit with its two NAFTA partners.
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Topics: Globalization and Trade, Economic Policy, U.S. Political Parties, National Economy, North America, Political Polarization

May 5, 2017 11:45 am

It’s becoming more common for young adults to live at home – and for longer stretches

Through both recession and recovery, the share of young adults living in their parents’ home continues to rise. Today’s young adults are also more likely to be at home for an extended stay compared with previous generations of young adults who resided with their parents, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. census data.

As of 2016, 15% of 25- to 35-year-old Millennials were living in their parents’ home. This is 5 percentage points higher than the share of Generation Xers who lived in their parents’ home in 2000 when they were the same age (10%), and nearly double the share of the Silent Generation who lived at home in 1964 (8%).

It doesn’t appear that a lack of jobs is keeping Millennials at home. As of the first quarter of 2016 (when the living arrangements data were collected), only 5.1% of older young adults were unemployed, down from 10.1% in the first quarter of 2010. Yet the share of 25- to 35-year-olds living at home rose during that span, increasing from 12% in 2010 to 15% in 2016.

Read More

Topics: Lifestyle, Family and Relationships, Generations and Age, Household and Family Structure, Millennials