Nov 7, 2017 6:57 am

Russians see World War II, not 1917 revolution, as nation’s most important historical event

Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution was one of the most important holidays on the Russian calendar. Today, on the centennial of the revolution, just 8% of Russians believe this event was the most important of the past century. Instead, a plurality of the public (34%) sees World War II as Russia’s most important historical touchstone.

After World War II, 20% of Russians rank the dissolution of the USSR as the single most significant event of the past 100 years. Just one-in-ten cite the country’s 1998 financial crisis. However, a quarter of the public volunteers that all four of the events tested were equally important historical developments for their nation.  Read More

Topics: Wars and International Conflicts, Russia

Nov 6, 2017 6:59 am

Dissatisfaction was widespread in Spain even before Catalan secession vote

People gather at Placa Sant Jaume in Barcelona, Spain, to celebrate after Catalonia's parliament declares an independent Catalan republic on Oct. 27. (Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather at Placa Sant Jaume in Barcelona, Spain, to celebrate after Catalonia’s parliament declares an independent Catalan republic on Oct. 27. (Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images)

Catalonia’s recent secession attempts come at a difficult time for Spain. Across the country, people distrust the national government and feel dissatisfied with the way democracy is working in their nation. And Catalans are even more negative on these issues than those living in other regions of Spain, according to a new analysis of data from a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March and April.

An overwhelming majority of the Spanish public (81%) does not trust the national government to do the right thing for their country. In Catalonia, this figure reaches 91%, including 53% who say they do not trust Madrid at all. In other regions of Spain, 79% lack trust in their government and only about four-in-ten express absolutely no trust.  Read More

Topics: Europe, International Governments and Institutions, World Economies

Nov 3, 2017 11:00 am

Asian countries on Trump’s trip have largely positive views of U.S. but disagree on policy

President Donald Trump embarks on a five-country tour of Asia this week with plans to address North Korea’s nuclear program, economic relations and other issues important to the region and the United States. Over 12 days, Trump will travel to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. While majorities in the region hold favorable views of the U.S., most disapprove of several of Trump’s signature policies, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in the spring.

Here are key findings related to Trump’s trip to Asia:

1Asian nations are divided when it comes to having confidence in Trump. Globally, a median of just 22% say they are confident Trump will do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. But of all 37 countries the Center surveyed, Trump’s greatest support comes from the Philippines, where 69% say they have confidence in him. A majority of people in Vietnam (58%) also express confidence in Trump. The shares are much smaller in Japan (24%) and South Korea (17%). In these two countries, confidence in the U.S. president is down dramatically from the end of the Obama administration. South Korea, for example, has seen a 71-percentage-point drop in confidence in the U.S. president since 2015.  Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Donald Trump

Nov 3, 2017 7:00 am

Many Central and Eastern Europeans see link between religion and national identity

Atheist regimes dominated much of Central and Eastern Europe until the fall of the Iron Curtain and collapse of the Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991. Today, however, many of the governments in the region have an official state religion or an unofficial preferred faith.

In such countries, people are more likely to see religion and national identity as entwined, compared with citizens of neighboring Central and Eastern European states that lack official or favored faiths, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Residents of states with official or favored religions also are more likely to support government subsidies and a public policy role for their country’s predominant church.

Of the 18 countries the Center recently surveyed in the region, two (Armenia and Greece) have an official state religion. Nine others, including Russia and Poland, unofficially “prefer” a religion, bestowing disproportionate benefits on a particular religious group, although they do not officially recognize it.  Read More

Topics: Eastern Europe, Europe, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices, National and Cultural Identity

Nov 2, 2017 2:01 pm

How U.S. refugee resettlement in each state has shifted since 2002

The resettlement of refugees in the U.S. has been fairly consistent across the country since 2002, with no state resettling a majority of them. In fiscal year 2017, no state resettled more than 10% of the 53,716 refugees the nation admitted that year. California, Texas, New York, Washington, Michigan and Ohio each accounted for at least 5% of refugees resettled, while all other states had a lower share. In fiscal 2002, the earliest year state-level data are publicly available, California resettled 16% of the nation’s 27,110 refugees, the only state to account for more than 15% of the nation’s total that year – or in any following year, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department data.

Most refugees today come from the Middle East and Africa, but this has not always been the case.

Explore the data with an interactive feature. 

In fiscal 2017, which ended Sept. 30, 2017, the U.S. admitted more refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (9,377) than from any other country, and this group made up the largest nationality of refugees in 15 states. Iraqis made up the second-largest nationality group of refugees admitted in fiscal 2017, with 6,886 refugees resettled. Refugees from Iraq accounted for the largest nationality group in six states, including Michigan, Nebraska and Massachusetts.

Some refugee nationalities with relatively low U.S. totals led only a handful of states in fiscal 2017. For example, Eritrea was the top refugee nationality in Delaware and Montana, even though fewer than 2,000 refugees from that country (or 4% of all refugees) entered the U.S. that year.

Read More

Topics: Immigration, Wars and International Conflicts, Population Trends

Nov 2, 2017 11:01 am

More Americans are turning to multiple social media sites for news

Americans are more likely than ever to get news from multiple social media sites, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. About a quarter of all U.S. adults (26%) get news from two or more social media sites, up from 15% in 2013 and 18% in 2016. But there is considerable variation in the extent to which each site’s news users get news from other sites, and which sites those are.

Facebook claims the largest share of social media news consumers, and its news users are much more likely to rely solely on that site for news. Just under half (45%) of U.S. adults use Facebook for news. Half of Facebook’s news users get news from that social media site alone, with just one-in-five relying on three or more sites for news.

By comparison, news users of LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp are particularly likely to get news on multiple social networks: Half or more of their news users get news on three or more social media sites.

In general, sites with a smaller number of news users also tend to have the most overlap with other social media sites for news. However, Reddit stands alone in having a small but more exclusive audience of news users. Only 4% of U.S. adults get news from this site, and of these users, just 38% use three or more social media sites for news.

Finer differences emerge in which sites share news users. Looking at sites that share at least 25% of their news users with another site, audience overlap most commonly exists among news users of smaller sites who also visit Facebook and/or YouTube for news, the two sites with the most news users overall. About half or more news users of each of the other sites studied also get news on Facebook, while about a quarter or more overlap on YouTube. Four of the sites have considerable overlap with Twitter: Roughly a third or more of news users of Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Reddit also get news on Twitter.  Read More

Topics: Digital Media, News Audience Trends and Attitudes, Social Media

Nov 1, 2017 1:00 pm

How wealth inequality has changed in the U.S. since the Great Recession, by race, ethnicity and income

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 triggered a sharp, prolonged decline in the wealth of American families, and an already large wealth gap between white households and black and Hispanic households widened further in its immediate aftermath. But the racial and ethnic wealth gap has evolved differently for families at different income levels, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

Among lower-income families, the gap between white households and their black and Hispanic counterparts shrank by about half from 2007 to 2016. But among middle-class families, it increased and shows no sign of retreating. (There are an insufficient number of observations in the SCF data to report on upper-income black and Hispanic families separately.)

Overall, American household wealth has not fully recovered from the Great Recession. In 2016, the median wealth of all U.S. households was $97,300, up 16% from 2013 but well below median wealth before the recession began in late 2007 ($139,700 in 2016 dollars). And even though overall racial and ethnic inequality in wealth narrowed from 2013 to 2016, the gap remains large. In 2016, the median wealth of white households was $171,000. That’s 10 times the wealth of black households ($17,100) – a larger gap than in 2007 – and eight times that of Hispanic households ($20,600), about the same gap as in 2007. (Asians and other racial groups are not separately identified in the SCF data.)

Here are some key trends in household wealth across income tiers and racial and ethnic groups. In this analysis, we categorized families by their household income, after adjusting their incomes for family size. Middle-income families have size-adjusted incomes between two-thirds and twice the national median size-adjusted income. Lower-income families have a size-adjusted household income less than two-thirds the median and upper-income families more than twice the median.

About this analysis

This analysis is based on data from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), conducted triennially from 1983 to 2016 (updated Oct. 12, 2017). The surveys from 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 span the duration of the Great Recession from December 2007 to June 2009 and the economic recovery thereafter.

The findings by race and ethnicity in this analysis are not comparable to previous analyses by Pew Research Center due to revisions in the racial and ethnic classifications in the SCF. There are an insufficient number of observations in the SCF data to report on upper-income black and Hispanic families separately. Also, Asians and other racial groups are not separately identified in the SCF data.

Wealth, or net worth, is the difference between the value of a family’s assets (such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, homes, cars and businesses) and its debts. Wealth is accumulated over time and differs from household income, or the annual inflow of wages, interests, profits and other sources of earnings. Wealth gaps between whites, blacks and Hispanics have always been much greater than income gaps and provide an alternative perspective on racial and ethnic inequality in household well-being.

In this analysis, we categorized families by their household income, after adjusting their incomes for family size. Middle-income families have size-adjusted incomes between two-thirds and twice the national median size-adjusted income. Lower-income families have a size-adjusted household income less than two-thirds the median and upper-income families more than twice the median.

For a family of three in 2016, a household income of about $42,500 to $127,600 qualifies as middle income, based on SCF data. Lower-income households live on less than $42,500 and upper-income households earn more than $127,600. This methodology results in 47% of America’s families being classified as middle income in 2016. About one-third of families (32%) were lower income and 21% were upper income.

The terms families and households are used interchangeably in the analysis (more formally, the SCF measures the wealth of primary economic units). Families are grouped according to the race and ethnicity of the head of the household. Ratios and other calculations are done before underlying estimates are rounded.

The Center has explored the size and economic well-being of the American middle class in greater depth in previous reports using data from the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey.

1Among lower- and middle-income households, white families have four times as much wealth as black families and three times as much as Hispanic families. In 2016, lower-income white households had a net worth of $22,900, compared with only $5,000 for black households and $7,900 for Hispanic households in this income tier. To some degree, this reflects differences in homeownership rates among families – 49% for lower-income whites, versus 31% for lower-income blacks and 30% for lower-income Hispanics. It is also important to note that only 25% of white households are in the lower-income tier, compared with about 50% each of black and Hispanic households. Thus, low levels of wealth are much more prevalent among black and Hispanic households than among white households.

About the same level of wealth inequality exists among middle-income households. White households in the middle-income tier had a median net worth of $154,400 in 2016, compared with $38,300 for middle-income blacks and $46,000 for middle-income Hispanics. Homeownership rates among middle-income blacks (53%) and Hispanics (60%) are also less than among middle-income whites (76%). Half of white households, 42% of black households and 40% of Hispanic households are in the middle-income tier.

Read More

Topics: Income, Race and Ethnicity, Wealth

Oct 31, 2017 1:30 pm

Most think the ‘American dream’ is within reach for them

Despite persistently low levels of public satisfaction with the state of the nation, most Americans say they have achieved the “American dream” or are on their way to achieving it. Only about one-in-five (17%) say the American dream is “out of reach” for their family.

The American dream means different things to different people, however. Far fewer Americans say “becoming wealthy” is essential to the American dream than say the same about personal freedom and a good family life.

Overall, 36% of U.S. adults say their family has achieved the American dream, while another 46% say they are “on their way” to achieving it, according to an August survey by Pew Research Center. (The survey asked people about the “American dream,” as they define it.) People who say they have already achieved the American dream are generally older, more affluent and better-educated than those who say they are on their way to achieving the American dream and those who say it’s out of reach.

Read More

Topics: Political Attitudes and Values, Lifestyle

Oct 31, 2017 11:31 am

Use of Spanish declines among Latinos in major U.S. metros

More than 37 million Latinos in the U.S. speak Spanish at home, making it the country’s most common non-English language. But while the number of Latinos who speak Spanish at home continues to increase due to the overall growth of the Latino population, the share of Latinos who speak the language has declined over the past decade or so: 73% of Latinos spoke Spanish at home in 2015, down from 78% in 2006, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.

The national decline in Spanish use among Latinos extended to all of the top 25 U.S. metro areas with the largest population of Latinos ages 5 and older. The San Antonio-New Braunfels and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro areas had some of the largest declines, with the shares who spoke Spanish in each declining by 9 percentage points. Some of the smallest declines came in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro areas, where the share who spoke Spanish at home declined by about 2 percentage points each from 2006 to 2015. (Click here for a sortable table of Spanish use by metro area.)

Despite this drop-off in use, most Latinos agree that speaking Spanish is a vital skill. In a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, nearly all Latinos said it was important that the next generation of Latinos in the U.S. speak Spanish. Yet many Latinos (71%) say it’s not necessary to speak Spanish to be considered Latino, a 2015 survey found.

Read More

Topics: Language, Hispanic/Latino Identity

Oct 30, 2017 10:01 am

How countries around the world view democracy, military rule and other political systems

A 38-nation Pew Research Center survey conducted this spring found reasons for optimism as well as concern about the future of democracy around the world. In every nation polled, more than half said representative democracy is a very or somewhat good way to run their country. But the survey also found openness, to varying degrees, to some nondemocratic forms of government.

Use our interactive feature below to compare views of political systems in each nation surveyed. It’s followed by six findings the Center found especially striking.


Explore global opinions on political systems by country


Here are six key findings:

1About nine-in-ten Swedes (92%) say representative democracy is a good way of governing their country, the highest share of any country in the survey. A majority of Swedes (57%) also say direct democracy – in which citizens, not elected officials, vote directly on major issues – is a good way to govern. People in Sweden are among the most likely of any in the survey to say they are satisfied with the way democracy is working in their country: About eight-in-ten Swedes (79%) hold this view, the same share as in India and Tanzania.

Read More

Topics: Democracy, Political Attitudes and Values, Trust in Government, International Governments and Institutions