Apr 24, 2014 7:00 am

Among Hispanics, immigrants more likely to be stay-at-home moms and to believe that’s best for kids

Hispanic, Foreign Born MothersOf all U.S. mothers, Hispanics are among the most likely to report that they are at home with their children. Fully 38% of Hispanic moms living with their children younger than 18 are not working outside the home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Our recent report found a slight increase in the total share of all U.S. mothers who stay at home with their children, according to 2012 data. While a majority of all mothers work outside the home for pay, 29% stay home, an increase since 1999, when 23% did so.

But in a closer examination of the numbers, Hispanic women stood out as being especially likely to be at home, and this was even more pronounced among Hispanic immigrants, 44% of whom are not working outside the home. Among Asian mothers 36% are stay-at-home moms, but just one-fourth of black and white moms fit that category.  Read More

Topics: Parenthood, Work and Employment

Apr 23, 2014 12:22 pm

Obama visits Asia amid regional concerns about China

President Obama’s trip to Asia this week takes him to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia, but many of his discussions with foreign leaders will center around a country not on his itinerary: China. America’s allies in the region are nervous about China’s growing power and its increasing assertiveness, and as the Obama administration “pivots” American foreign policy toward Asia, many in the region would welcome closer ties with the United States.

Views of the U.S. and China among Asian countriesObama has received high ratings in the four nations he will visit. A Pew Research Center survey conducted last spring found big majorities of Filipinos (84%), South Koreans (77%) and Japanese (70%) expressing confidence in the American president to do the right thing in world affairs. He was somewhat less popular in Malaysia; still, roughly half (51%) in the Southeast Asian majority-Muslim nation gave Obama a positive rating.

In the Philippines, South Korea and Japan, Obama’s efforts to deepen security and economic ties with the U.S. are likely to find a receptive audience. When asked which is more important, having strong ties with China or the U.S., most of those surveyed in these three countries said the latter. In contrast, half of Malaysians volunteered that it’s equally important to maintain strong ties with both major powers.

America’s overall ratings are significantly higher than China’s in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. This is especially true in Japan, where 69% had a favorable view of the U.S., while only 5% said the same about China. Ratings for the U.S. were overwhelmingly positive in the Philippines and South Korea, while China received mixed reviews in both countries. Malaysia is again the exception: A narrow majority of Malaysians had a favorable opinion of the U.S., but roughly eight-in-ten (81%) gave China a positive rating.  Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Barack Obama, China, Global Balance of Power, Globalization and Trade

Apr 23, 2014 11:39 am

Data Feed: Tight Senate races in the South, fewer Baby Boomers, democracy in Africa

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

Answers on affirmative action depend on how question is posed, The Upshot/NYT
Polls show tight Senate races in four southern states, topline, New York Times/KFF
Black voters could decide who controls the Senate in 2015, Washington Post
Party loyalty begins at age 18, FiveThirtyEight
74% of Colorado voters support metal detectors, 50% support arming teachers, Quinnipiac
Most New Jerseyans still think state not back to normal post-Sandy, Rutgers-Eagleton

Read More

Category: Data Feed

Apr 23, 2014 11:12 am

Americans keen on space exploration, less so on paying for it

Apollo Moon Landing
Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr. stands with U.S. flag on the lunar surface during the Apollo 12 mission, in 1969. Credit: NASA/Reuters/Corbis

Many Americans are optimistic about the future of space travel, but they don’t necessarily want to pay for it.

It’s been that way for some time, actually. A Harris survey taken in 1970 – less than a year after the first moon landing – showed that a majority (56%) thought the landing was not worth the money spent. A separate Harris poll, in 1971, however, found that 81% of Americans agreed with the statement that “nothing can equal seeing the astronauts land and walk on the moon as it happened live on TV.” Read More

Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, Federal Government, Science and Innovation

Apr 22, 2014 4:27 pm

Supreme Court says states can ban affirmative action; 8 already have

AffirmativeAction2.2Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan’s ban on affirmative action affects more than college admissions, and more than just Michigan. Seven other states have similarly broad bans in their constitutions or statute books, and opponents of affirmative action have called on other states, and the federal government, to follow suit.

Read More

Topics: Education, Race and Ethnicity

Apr 22, 2014 2:36 pm

Public strongly backs affirmative action programs on campus

Americans Support Affirmative ActionThe use of affirmative action programs in college admissions has roiled campuses and the public for years, leading to state-passed laws banning the practice and to today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding a Michigan voter initiative banning the use of racial preferences. But while the debate and the battles continue, a new Pew Research Center poll finds that Americans overwhelmingly support these programs.

Americans say by roughly two-to-one (63% to 30%) that affirmative action programs designed to increase the number of black and minority students on college campuses are a “good thing,” according to the survey conducted Feb. 27-Mar. 16. This was almost the same result Pew Research found in 2003.

Behind those overall numbers is a racial and partisan divide.  Read More

Topics: Education, Race and Ethnicity

Apr 22, 2014 11:37 am

Data Feed: World’s richest middle class, first-term senators at risk, when the workday begins

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

As GOP chances decline, Senate control now a tossupmethodology, The Upshot/NYT
Not many swing voters in midterm elections, The Upshot/NYT
Independents more likely to back anti-Obamacare candidates, Fox News
History shows first-term senators likely most at risk for reelection, U. of Minnesota
In NY, wide Cuomo lead over Astorino would be cut by liberal 3rd party, topline, Siena

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Category: Data Feed

Apr 22, 2014 7:00 am

Census may change some questions after pushback from public

The U.S. Census Bureau is considering whether to drop some questions that it has used for decades from its largest household survey of Americans. First under review are four of the touchiest topics: Plumbing, commuting, income and disability.

Census questions in the American Community Survey on income that may be changedThe questions being rethought number more than a dozen that fall under those four topics, including: Does your house have a flush toilet? What time did you usually leave home to go to work last week? What was your total income during the past 12 months? Do you have trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions because of a physical, mental and emotional condition?

Three million households a year are asked these questions—and dozens of others—on the bureau’s American Community Survey. The survey’s annually updated data help guide the distribution of more than $416 billion in federal funds. Its data provide demographic, social, economic and housing estimates that are widely used by state and local officials, businesses, researchers and advocacy organizations. It is the only source of local and neighborhood-level data on these topics.

But some Americans who receive the survey are so angry about these questions and others that they complain to members of Congress.They say that they will refuse to answer, even though response is mandatory. They believe some questions are too nosy, or that the bureau should not collect more than basic data, or both. Some call their local TV station to ask whether the survey is a scam.

Read More

Topics: U.S. Census

Apr 21, 2014 2:54 pm

Men more optimistic than women about future technological changes

Our recent survey with Smithsonian magazine on Americans’ attitudes toward the future of science and technology found some striking differences between women and men in their hopes and fears about the future. Here are a few key themes:

1Men, especially those who are high-income and highly educated, are generally more optimistic than women are about the long-term impact of technological change.

Men, Women and Tech OptimismOverall, men have a more positive outlook than women have when it comes to the impact of future technological and scientific developments. Fully 67% of men (compared with 51% of women) said that technological changes will lead to a future where people’s lives are mostly better. Meanwhile, 36% of women (compared with 25% of men) expect those changes to make society worse.

These gender differences are especially pronounced among Americans with high levels of income and education. For example, men with an annual household income of $75,000 or more are overwhelmingly positive—80% expect changes in technology to make life better, while just 9% expect them to make life worse. Conversely, women in this same income group are much more divided on this question—just over half (55%) expect a better future thanks to technology, but a third (32%) envision a negative impact.  Read More

Topics: Gender, Technology Adoption, Technology User Types

Apr 21, 2014 12:56 pm

Majority in U.S. back trade treaty Obama likely to discuss on Japan trip

Americans believe U.S. trade with Japan is a good thingPresident Obama heads to Tokyo on Wednesday for the first state visit to Japan by an American president since Bill Clinton in 1996. As the initial stop on a weeklong tour of Asia that has long been in the making, the three day trip will provide the president and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with a crucial opportunity to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While trade officials from the two countries have already met in Washington in an attempt to resolve some of the thornier details of the free trade pact, publics in both nations have expressed support for the deal to go forward.

A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans (55%) believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a good thing, while just 25% think the agreement will be bad for the country and 19% don’t have an opinion. While more Democrats (59%) and independents (56%) support the trade pact, roughly half of Republicans (49%) also see U.S. membership in the TPP as positive. Americans ages 18-29 are also more likely than their older counterparts to view the agreement favorably.

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Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Barack Obama, Economic and Business News, Globalization and Trade