May 18, 2016 7:00 am

5 facts about the U.S. rank in worldwide migration

Global Migration

Global migration is no small-scale issue. 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. The number and shares of people leaving and entering countries is different for each country of the world. (Explore our updated interactive map based on data from the United Nations Population Division.)

Here are five facts about how the U.S. compares with the rest of the world’s countries on migration. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration

May 17, 2016 1:48 pm

Clinton, Sanders supporters differ sharply on U.S. global role

Democrats who back Hillary Clinton differ from those who support Bernie Sanders in their views of many foreign policy issues, with some of the starkest divisions on fundamental questions relating to the U.S.’s role in the world, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in March and April.

Two-thirds (66%) of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters who support Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination say that world problems would be even worse without U.S. involvement; just 28% say U.S. efforts usually make things worse. By contrast, Sanders supporters are divided: 49% say global problems would be even worse without the U.S. being involved, while nearly as many (45%) say U.S. efforts usually make matters worse.

From defense spending to Israel, Clinton and Sanders supporters differ on a number of foreign policy issuesSanders supporters also are less likely than Democratic voters who back Clinton to say that the U.S. should help other countries deal with their problems (41% vs. 52%). A majority of those who prefer Sanders (54%) say that the U.S. should deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own problems as best they can, while 45% of Clinton supporters hold this view. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Foreign Affairs and Policy, U.S. Political Parties

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 13, 2016 7:00 am

Immigrant naturalization applications up since October, but past years saw larger increases

Applications for U.S. citizenship, 1980-2015

The number of legal permanent residents applying for U.S. citizenship in the four months starting last October is at its highest level in four years, and it is up 5% from the same period before the 2012 elections. Although some organizers of naturalization and voter registration drives have suggested the increase is a reaction to Donald Trump’s candidacy, a Pew Research Center analysis of naturalization data shows there have been much larger percentage increases in past years, with jumps not always coming during election years.

Naturalization applications from October 2015 to January 2016 outpace years pastSo far this fiscal year – from October 2015 to January 2016 – 249,609 immigrants have applied for naturalization, a 13% increase over the same time period a year before, according to preliminary data released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. By comparison, from the full fiscal year 2011 to fiscal 2012, the most recent presidential election cycle before the current one, the number of naturalization applications increased by 19%.

But application numbers don’t always increase during presidential election years. In fact, many past spikes have occurred for more practical reasons, such as a pending fee increase.

Read More

Topics: Citizenship, Election News, Immigration Trends

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