Jul 15, 2016 10:00 am

The economy is a top issue for Latinos, and they’re more upbeat about it

The economy is at the forefront of Hispanic voters’ minds in this presidential election year, with 86% saying the economy is very important to their vote, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. But while Hispanics are on the same page with the overall population about the importance of the economy, they are more positive about its condition and their family’s finances than some other racial and ethnic groups.

A third (33%) of Hispanics rate the economic conditions in the country today as excellent or good, a share equal to that among blacks but higher than that among whites (25%), according to the June survey. In addition, Hispanics are less likely than others to say their family’s income is falling behind the cost of living – 45% say so, compared with 55% of whites and 56% of blacks who say the same.

Despite this economic optimism, about half (52%) of Latinos say jobs are difficult to find in their community, a share similar to blacks and whites. At the same time, the unemployment rate for Latinos has improved over the past year, standing at 5.8% in the second quarter of 2016, down from 6.7% a year ago. However, it remains above the 4.7% national average for non-Hispanics. Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, National Economy

Jul 14, 2016 10:00 am

Evangelicals increasingly say it’s becoming harder for them in America

The U.S. has long been a Christian-majority nation, but major social changes may be making at least one segment of Christians — evangelicals — feel like America is becoming a more difficult place for them to live.

Being evangelical Christian in the U.S.A growing share of self-identified “evangelical or born-again” Protestants (41%) say it has become more difficult to be an evangelical Christian in the U.S. in recent years; just 34% answered the question the same way in September 2014. Only about one-in-ten evangelicals now say it has become easier for their community in the U.S., while nearly half (47%) say it has not changed very much.

Some of this feeling may stem from the fact that the country is becoming more secular: A rising share of Americans do not identify with any religion, while a shrinking portion of the population is Christian. Another factor may be the spread of legal same-sex marriage nationwide and increasing social acceptance of homosexuality, developments with which many conservative Christians disagree. And other clashes with the values many conservative Christians hold continue to play out across the country, whether it be over the teaching of evolution in public schools, the presence of religious displays on public property for Christmas or whether public school cheerleaders can put Bible verses on their banners. Read More

Topics: Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation

Jul 14, 2016 7:00 am

Most Americans already feel election coverage fatigue

The November election is still about four months away, yet most Americans are already worn out by the amount of news coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Nearly 6-in-10 Americans worn out by the amount of election coverageA new Pew Research Center survey conducted June 7-July 5 finds that about six-in-ten Americans (59%) feel exhausted by the amount of election coverage, while 39% say they like getting a lot of coverage about the election. This feeling of fatigue is particularly true among those who aren’t following news about the election very closely – 69% of this group say they are worn out compared with about 41% of those who follow the election very closely.

That said, just because Americans are worn out by the amount of coverage does not imply that interest in or attention to the election itself is low. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center report showed that there was greater interest than during previous campaigns. Further, in February, we found that 91% of Americans had learned about the election from at least one type of source in the previous week.

With so many saying they are worn out by the coverage, what is it that Americans think has been getting too much attention? Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Election News, News Audience Trends and Attitudes

Jul 13, 2016 7:00 am

Is treatment of minorities a key election issue? Views differ by race, party

63% say treatment of minorities is very important to their vote for presidentRace figures prominently in the national debate as the Republican and Democratic national conventions near, but how important this issue is to American voters varies by their race and which presidential candidates they support.

Though a 63% majority of registered voters overall name treatment of racial and ethnic minorities as very important to their vote, it is not the top issue on the voters’ agenda: Eight-in-ten or more rank the economy (84%) and terrorism (80%) as very important issues to their vote. Other issues that rank highly on voters’ 2016 importance list include foreign policy (75% very important), health care (74%), gun policy (72%) and immigration (70%). (This Pew Research Center survey was conducted in late June, before the events of last week, including the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the deaths of five police officers in Dallas.) Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Vote, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Issue Priorities, Race and Ethnicity, Religion and U.S. Politics, U.S. Political Parties

Jul 12, 2016 9:55 am

In views of diversity, many Europeans are less positive than Americans

Americans more likely to say growing diversity makes their country a better place to liveThe surge of refugees to Europe has helped make it a region of increasing cultural diversity and foreign-born populations, just as immigration to the United States has pushed its foreign-born share to near record levels. But a new Pew Research Center survey paints a picture of a Europe that is far less positive about what greater diversity means for many of its countries.

The most common view among the 10 European countries surveyed is that cultural diversity is neither a plus nor a minus in terms of quality of life. In no nation does a majority say increasing diversity is a positive for their country. At most, roughly a third in Sweden (36%), the UK (33%) and Spain (31%) describe growing racial, ethnic and national diversity in favorable terms.

By contrast, more than half in Greece (63%) and Italy (53%) say that growing diversity makes their country a worse place to live. Roughly four-in-ten Hungarians (41%) and Poles (40%) agree.  Read More

Topics: Educational Attainment, Europe, Immigration Attitudes, Migration, Political Attitudes and Values

Jul 12, 2016 7:00 am

28% of Americans are ‘strong’ early adopters of technology

Technology is changing the ways people seek and get knowledge, communicate and work. But Americans still tend to embrace familiarity over newness when it comes to their choices of new products, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data.

When it comes to technology, a minority of Americans prefer the new over the familiar Overall, 52% of adults say they “feel more comfortable using familiar brands and products,” and 39% describe themselves as preferring to wait until they hear about others’ experiences before trying something new themselves. Similarly, 39% say they prefer their “tried and trusted” brands.

But 35% of Americans say they like the variety of trying new products, and three-in-ten like being able to tell others about their experiences with new technology. About one-in-six adults (15%) say they usually try technology products before others do. Read More

Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, Technology Adoption

Jul 11, 2016 7:00 am

Which U.S. religious groups are oldest and youngest?

The U.S. religious landscape is already in the midst of some dramatic changes when it comes to the growth or decline of people with certain religious identities. And while it is impossible to predict exactly how that landscape will shift in the future, some key demographic factors — particularly age — can provide a clue as to how things might unfold in the coming decades.

For example, religious groups whose members are younger may be more likely to grow, not only because those members will live longer, but also because more of them are still of childbearing age (and thus have a greater chance of passing on their religion to their descendants).

With this in mind, some of the groups that have already been growing in recent years may be primed for continued growth. This includes people with no religious affiliation: The median age of adults who say their religion is “nothing in particular” is 38, while for atheists and agnostics it is 34.

Age structure and median age of U.S. religious groups

Overall, these three groups together (often called religious “nones”) have a median age of 36 – fully a decade younger than the median age of U.S. adults overall (46), according to data from our 2014 Religious Landscape Study.

Members of some non-Christian faiths also are very young – U.S. Muslims and Hindus in the survey each have a median age of 33. About four-in-ten Muslim adults in the U.S. are under the age of 30, and nine-in-ten Hindu adults are under 50. Read More

Topics: Demographics, Generations and Age, Religion and Society

Jul 8, 2016 5:16 pm

How Americans view the Black Lives Matter movement

The Black Lives Matter movement, which came to national prominence in the wake of the 2014 police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, continues to gain attention following other incidents involving the deaths of black Americans during encounters with the police. A recent Pew Research Center survey conducted Feb. 29-May 8, 2016, found that general awareness of Black Lives Matter is widespread among black and white U.S. adults, but attitudes about the movement vary considerably between groups.

Here are some key findings about Americans’ views of the Black Lives Matter movement:

1Roughly four-in-ten Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement. All told, 43% support the movement, including 18% who strongly support it. About one-in-five Americans (22%) oppose the movement, and a sizable share (30%) said they have not heard anything about the Black Lives Matter movement or did not offer an opinion.

Support for Black Lives Matter is particularly high among blacks: 65% support the movement, including 41% who strongly support it; 12% of blacks say that they oppose the movement. Among whites, 40% express support, while 28% say they oppose Black Lives Matter. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: African Americans, Race and Ethnicity, Violence and Society

Jul 8, 2016 10:55 am

Trump faces challenge in getting a united GOP behind him

With the Republican National Convention set to open in just over a week in Cleveland, Ohio, there are widespread doubts within the GOP that the party will unite behind the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.

Most Republican voters continue to doubt GOP will unite behind TrumpA new Pew Research Center survey finds that 54% of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters think disagreements within the party will keep many Republicans from supporting Trump. Fewer (38%) think the party will solidly unite behind him.

It is unusual for partisans to doubt that their party will unite behind the nominee at this stage of the campaign. In 2012, a majority of Republicans (65%) thought their party would unite behind Mitt Romney in the spring of that year and about the same share (63%) believed that the party would unite behind John McCain in 2008.

On the Democratic side, sentiment is much more positive: 72% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters expect their party to unite solidly behind Hillary Clinton, compared with just 24% who think disagreements will keep many from supporting her. The share of Democrats who think the party will unite behind Clinton is up 8 percentage points from March; there has been no increase in the share of Republicans who expect their party to unite behind Trump over this period of time. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Elections and Campaigns, U.S. Political Figures, U.S. Political Parties

Jul 7, 2016 11:55 am

6 facts about religious hostilities in the Middle East and North Africa

Religious hostilities in Middle East-North Africa region

The Middle East is home to some of the world’s most chaotic and violent war zones – including in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq – as well as simmering conflicts in states such as Israel and Lebanon. And while these conflicts usually have multiple causes, religion and religious hostilities certainly are important factors.

A new Pew Research Center study, relying on information from 2014 (the most recent year data were available), carefully catalogued hostilities in the region’s 20 countries. For the first time since we began publishing these annual reports in 2007, the study also took into account activity by the Islamic militant group known as ISIS, which declared in June 2014 that it had established a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Here are six facts about religious hostilities in the Middle East and North Africa: Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Middle East and North Africa, Religion and Society, Religious Extremism, Restrictions on Religion