May 16, 2016 10:34 am

Millennials match Baby Boomers as largest generation in U.S. electorate, but will they vote?

Millennials, who already have surpassed Baby Boomers as the United States’ largest living generation, now have caught up to the Boomers when it comes to their share of the American electorate.

FT_16.05.13_eligibleMillennialVotersAs of April 2016, an estimated 69.2 million Millennials (adults ages 18-35 in 2016) were voting-age U.S. citizens – a number almost equal to the 69.7 million Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) in the nation’s electorate, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Both generations comprise roughly 31% of the voting-eligible population.

Last month, Generation X (ages 36-51) and members of the Silent and Greatest generations (ages 71 and older) comprised about 25% and 12% of the electorate, respectively.

The Baby Boomer voting-eligible population peaked in size at 72.9 million around 2004.  Since the Boomer electorate is declining in size, it is only a matter of time before Millennials are the largest generation in the electorate.  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Generations and Age, Millennials, Voter Demographics, Voter Participation

May 13, 2016 9:55 am

Gender gap in religious service attendance has narrowed in U.S.

U.S. gender gap in religious service attendance narrowed as smaller share of women attend at least once a weekThere are many different kinds of gender gaps, including one in religion. In the U.S., for instance, women are more likely than men to say they attend worship services regularly – a trend consistent with many predominantly Christian countries around the world.

But the U.S. gap in church attendance has been narrowing in recent decades as the share of women attending weekly has declined. Indeed, a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the General Social Survey (GSS) finds that between 1972 and 1974, an average of 36% of women and 26% of men reported attending religious services at least once a week – a 10-percentage-point gap. After initially widening to 13 points in the mid-1980s, the gap began to shrink in the late 1980s through the 1990s.

During this period, weekly attendance at religious services declined among all Americans, but it declined more among women than men. As a result, by the early 2010s, the gender gap in attendance had narrowed to just 6 points, with 28% of women and 22% of men saying they attend religious services at least weekly. Read More

Topics: Gender, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation

May 12, 2016 1:29 pm

Liberal Democrats most likely to have learned about election from Facebook

Reports that Facebook employees may have suppressed conservative news stories from the platform’s trending topics section have prompted the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee to ask the company for answers. News plays a prominent role on Facebook – 63% of Facebook users (or 41% of all U.S. adults) say they get news on the site, according to our 2015 survey. But political partisans differ in how they experience news there.

Liberal Democrats most likely to have learned about the 2016 election from FacebookIn January, we found that about four-in-ten Americans (37%) had learned about the election in the past week from Facebook. Liberal Democrats (51%) were more likely to say this than both conservative (34%) and moderate or liberal Republicans (33%). Liberal Democrats were also more likely to have learned from Facebook than conservative or moderate Democrats (28%).

More liberal Democrats use Facebook to begin with, which contributes to this partisan split. However, this difference persists among Facebook users. About half of conservative Republican Facebook users (51%) learned about the election on the platform, a smaller share than the 62% of liberal Democratic Facebook users who said the same. Moderate or liberal Republican Facebook users (46%) and conservative or moderate Democratic Facebook users (43%) were also less likely to have learned about the election on the site.  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Election News, Millennials, Political Party Affiliation, Social Media

May 12, 2016 10:32 am

Support steady for same-sex marriage and acceptance of homosexuality

Support for same-sex marriage holds steady after 2015 Supreme Court rulingNearly a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unprecedented ruling that determined same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry, a decision that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. While the public’s attitudes toward gay marriage remain unchanged from a year ago, they have changed dramatically over the past two decades.

Now, just over half of Americans (55%) say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 37% remain opposed, according to Pew Research Center’s March poll. A decade ago, the balance of opinion was reversed: 55% were opposed, while 35% were in favor.

(Interactive: See a slideshow illustrating changing attitudes on same-sex marriage.)  Read More

Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Political Attitudes and Values, Religion and Government, U.S. Political Parties

May 12, 2016 7:00 am

The shrinking middle class in U.S. metropolitan areas: 6 key findings

The American middle class is shrinking at the national level, as was documented in a previous study by Pew Research Center. Our new analysis of government data finds that the middle class is also losing ground in the vast majority of metropolitan areas in the country.

Metropolitan areas with the 10 highest shares of middle-income adults in 2014 are mostly in the Midwest

Here are six key takeaways from the new report: Read More

Topics: Income Inequality, National Economy, Socioeconomic Class

May 11, 2016 5:00 pm

Are you in the American middle class? Find out with our income calculator

About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2014, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 51% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 20% in upper-income households.

Our updated calculator below lets you find out which group you are in – first compared with other adults in your metropolitan area and among American adults overall, and then compared with other adults in the U.S. similar to you in education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status. Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Socioeconomic Class

May 11, 2016 1:00 pm

The challenges of polling Asian Americans

One question we’re often asked is, Why aren’t Asian Americans shown as a separate group when differences among whites, blacks and Hispanics are discussed?

It’s worth noting that Asians are indeed included in our U.S. surveys. While we often do not break out their standalone views, Asians’ responses are still incorporated into the general population figures that we report.

Nonetheless, it’s a good question, and one we hear frequently, so we put together a summary of some of the methodological and other issues on accurately polling U.S. Asians.

The demographic challenge of polling Asian Americans

The most obvious hurdle is the relatively small number of Asians in the U.S. compared with other races and ethnicities. According to 2014 Census Bureau estimates, 5.4% of U.S. adults are Asian, compared with 11.7% who are black, 15.2% who are Hispanic and 65.1% who are white.

What does that mean when it comes to who is represented in a poll?

Margins of error by race and ethnicityA typical survey of the U.S. population consists of 1,000 adult respondents. This threshold reflects the way in which many researchers attempt to balance survey cost with survey quality: A national sample of 1,000 interviews yields reasonably good precision for major subgroups defined by gender, age, race and ethnicity; much larger sample sizes will reduce the margin of error minimally but also make polls much more expensive. (Pew Research Center samples are typically 1,500 respondents or more.)

A common rule of thumb used at Pew Research Center and elsewhere is to only report subgroup estimates if they are based on at least 100 respondents. In a perfectly representative survey with 1,000 adults, we would expect about 152 Hispanics, 117 blacks and just 54 Asians – with the latter subgroup falling well under the 100-respondent limit. The size of this Asian subgroup would simply be too small to make reliable estimates of the views and experiences of Asian American adults as a whole. Read More

Category: Social Studies

Topics: Asian Americans, Polling, Research Methods, Telephone Survey Methods

May 11, 2016 11:25 am

Trump supporters differ from other GOP voters on foreign policy, immigration issues

Supporters of Donald Trump differ substantially from other Republican voters in many of their foreign policy attitudes. And these differences extend to their views of immigration and government scrutiny of Muslims in the U.S.

Trump supporters have a distinct approach to global affairs, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in March and April. Fully 84% of those who support Trump for the GOP presidential nomination favor building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. That compares with 56% of Republican voters who preferred another candidate for the Republican nomination – those who supported Ted Cruz or John Kasich, who last week suspended their presidential campaigns, or volunteered someone else.

Trump supporters differ from other GOP voters on immigration, other issues

Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Globalization and Trade, Immigration Attitudes, Muslim-Western Relations, Terrorism

May 10, 2016 2:00 pm

5 facts about Israeli Christians

Christian Arab worshippers
Christian Arab worshipers carry a large wooden cross as they enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 6, 2012. (Photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Religion plays a significant role in Israeli society, and because so many Christians around the world look to the country where Jesus lived and died as a source of inspiration, Israel’s tiny Christian community is of special interest. Four of the five most recent popes have visited Israel; Pope Francis traveled there in 2014.

Christians currently make up just 2% of Israel’s adult population. Indeed, as of 2010, Christians made up a small share (4%) of the population in the Middle East-North Africa region as a whole.

A Pew Research Center survey of Israel provides a rare window into the religious beliefs and practices of this close-knit group. Here are five key takeaways from our survey: Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Christians and Christianity, Middle East and North Africa, Religion and Society, Religious Beliefs and Practices

May 10, 2016 1:19 pm

What kind of person runs for vice president?

FT_16.05.09_veeps (1)Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, reportedly has begun vetting potential choices for vice president. And with less than a month to go in the Democrats’ primary season, either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders (or possibly both) likely will start researching possible running mates – if they haven’t already.

Presidential candidates get a lot of public scrutiny during the United States’ extended nominating process, but like dandelions or mushrooms after a spring shower, vice presidential candidates seem to pop up suddenly in the political chatter once a party settles on a presidential nominee. We wondered what sort of people have gotten picked for the second spot on national tickets. To find out, we took a ramble through vice presidential history since 1868 (the first post-Civil War election). Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Federal Government