Half of U.S. adults today are married, a share that has remained relatively stable in recent years but is down 9 percentage points over the past quarter century and dramatically different from the peak of 72% in 1960, according to newly released census data.
The decline in the share of married adults can be explained in part by the fact that Americans are marrying later in life these days. In 2016, the median age for a first marriage was 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men – roughly seven years more than the median ages in 1960 (20.3 for women and 22.8 for men).
But delayed marriage may not explain all of the drop-off. The share of Americans who have never married has been rising steadily in recent decades. At the same time, more adults are living with a partner instead of marrying and raising children outside of marriage.
Marriage rates are also more closely linked to socio-economic status than ever before, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data that shows that the education gap in marital status has continued to widen.
In 2015, among adults ages 25 and older, 65% with a four-year college degree were married, compared with 55% of those with some college education and 50% among those with no education beyond high school. Twenty-five years earlier, the marriage rate was above 60% for each of these groups.
Marriage rates continue to vary widely by race and ethnicity. In 2015, 54% of white adults ages 18 and older were married. This is lower than the share of Asians who were married (61%) but significantly higher than the share of Hispanics (46%) or blacks (30%). The gap between whites and blacks has remained fairly consistent over time.
The rise of online streaming services such as Netflix and HBO Go has dramatically altered the media habits of Americans, especially young adults.
About six-in-ten of those ages 18 to 29 (61%) say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet, compared with 31% who say they mostly watch via a cable or satellite subscription and 5% who mainly watch with a digital antenna, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August. Other age groups are less likely to use internet streaming services and are much more likely to cite cable TV as the primary way they watch television.
Republicans have recently turned negative in their assessments of the impact of colleges and universities, and a new survey finds that they also have a skeptical view of college professors. More Republicans offer a cold than warm view of professors on a “feeling thermometer” scale ranging from 0 to 100, with an average rating of 46.
Democrats, by contrast, give professors a warm rating (71 on average), consistent with their positive view of the impact of colleges and universities.
The Pew Research Center survey, conducted on the American Trends Panel in August, asks the public to rate a number of groups on a “feeling thermometer” from 0 to 100, where 0 is the coldest, most negative rating and 100 is the warmest, most positive. Overall, about half of the public (49%) gives college professors at least a somewhat warm rating, including a third (33%) who rate professors very warmly. Fewer (24%) give professors a cold rating, while 26% have a neutral view of professors.
About one-in-five Americans cite the country’s response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as the time in their lives when they felt most proud of their country, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in summer 2016.
The survey, a collaboration between the Center and A+E Networks’ HISTORY, asked U.S. adults in an open-ended format to name the times or events during their lifetimes when they felt most proud of and most disappointed in the United States.
The most commonly cited moment of pride – volunteered by 19% of respondents – was the national response to the 9/11 attacks. Those who cited the 9/11 response offered a range of specific reasons for feeling proud, including the bravery of first responders and the way the nation united in the event’s aftermath, as well as the outpouring of sympathy for the victims of the attacks. (Other responses to the attacks, such as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the killing of Osama bin Laden, were counted separately in the survey.)
Overall, the survey found that the Sept. 11 attacks united Americans in a way that few other historical events have. About three-quarters of Americans (76%) named the attacks as one of the 10 events in their lifetimes that had the greatest impact on the U.S., a far larger share than for any other event, including the tech revolution, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the moon landing. Regardless of gender, income or education level, or partisan affiliation, majorities of U.S. adults cited the 9/11 attacks among the 10 events that had the greatest impact on the country.
Young men make up a disproportionately large share of people who play video games in the United States. But about four-in-ten women and roughly a quarter of Americans ages 65 and older also say they play video games at least sometimes, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March and April.
As with other types of technology, video games are most popular among young adults. Six-in-ten Americans ages 18 to 29 and 53% of those ages 30 to 49 say they play video games often or sometimes, compared with smaller shares in older age groups. The survey counts video games played on a computer, TV, game console or portable device, such as a mobile phone.
The U.S. Asian population is diverse. A record 20 million Asian Americans trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with unique histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics.
The 19 largest origin groups together account for 94% of the total Asian population in the U.S. New fact sheets for each of these Asian origin groups accompany this blog post. Each describes key demographic and economic characteristics of each group.
Here are some key findings about the nation’s Asian-origin population:
The U.S. Asian population grew 72% between 2000 and 2015 (from 11.9 million to 20.4 million), the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. By comparison, the population of the second-fastest growing group, Hispanics, increased 60% during the same period.
Population growth varied across the 19 Asian origin groups in this analysis. Roughly half of the 19 groups more than doubled in size between 2000 and 2015, with Bhutanese-, Nepalese– and Burmese-origin populations showing the fastest growth over the period. Meanwhile, Laotians and Japanese had among the slowest growth rates among U.S. Asians in the past 15 years.
No single country-of-origin group dominates the U.S. Asian population, but the largest groups are of Chinese, Indian and Filipino origin. As of 2015, 24% of Asian Americans (4.9 million) were of Chinese origin, the largest single origin group. The next two largest origin groups are Indian-origin Asians, who accounted for 20% of the national Asian population (4.0 million), and Filipinos (19%, or 3.9 million). Those with roots in Vietnam, Korea and Japan easily clear the 1 million mark as well. The remaining 13 groups in this analysis account for just 12% of all U.S. Asians.
Seven months into President Donald Trump’s administration, nearly half of all Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters describe their political views as liberal. The share of Democrats who describe themselves this way has steadily risen and is now 20 percentage points higher than in 2000.
Through the first half of 2017, more Democratic voters identify as liberal (48%) than as moderate (36%) or conservative (15%), based on an average of Pew Research Center surveys. In 2008, 41% of Democratic voters called themselves moderate, while 33% said they were liberal and 23% said they were conservative. And in 2000, Democratic voters who called their views moderate outnumbered liberals by 44% to 28%, while 23% said they were conservative.
The gap between the share of Americans who get news online and those who do so on television is narrowing.
As of August, 43% of Americans report often getting news online, just 7 percentage points lower than the 50% who often get news on television, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August. This gap between the two news platforms was 19 points in early 2016, more than twice as large.
The share of Americans who often get news from TV – whether from local TV news, nightly network TV news or cable news – is down from 57% in early 2016. At the same time, the portion of Americans often getting news online, either from news websites/apps or social media, grew from 38% in early 2016 to 43% today.
What’s more, the decline in television news use occurs across all three types of TV news asked about in the survey – local, network and cable – but is greatest for local television news. As of August 2017, 37% of Americans said they often get local TV news, compared with 46% in early 2016.
The other two platforms asked about in the survey – radio and print newspapers – are about on par with last year in terms of reported consumption. A quarter of Americans often get news from radio and 18% do so from print newspapers. Read More →
Some people may see the term “spiritual but not religious” as indecisive and devoid of substance. Others embrace it as an accurate way to describe themselves. What is beyond dispute, however, is that the label applies to a growing share of Americans.
About a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) now say they think of themselves as spiritual but not religious, up 8 percentage points in five years, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted between April 25 and June 4 of this year. This growth has been broad-based: It has occurred among men and women; whites, blacks and Hispanics; people of many different ages and education levels; and among Republicans and Democrats. For instance, the share of whites who identify as spiritual but not religious has grown by 8 percentage points in the past five years.
To be clear, the survey did not directly ask respondents whether the label “spiritual but not religious” describes them. Instead, it asked two separate questions: “Do you think of yourself as a religious person, or not?” and “Do you think of yourself as a spiritual person, or not?” The results presented here are the product of combining responses to those two questions.
Millennials are the largest living generation by population size (79.8 million in 2016), but they trail Baby Boomers and Generation Xers when it comes to the number of households they head. Many Millennials still live under their parents’ roof or are in a college dorm or some other shared living situation. As of 2016, Millennials (ages 18 to 35 in 2016) headed only 28 million households, many fewer than were headed by Generation X (ages 36 to 51 in 2016) or Baby Boomers (ages 52 to 70).
Even so, the latest available Census Bureau data indicate that Millennial-run households represent the largest group in some key categories, such as the number of households living in poverty.
Looking at households is important because many economic and spending decisions, such as whether to own or rent a home, tend to revolve around the household rather than the individual adult. Here are five facts about Millennial households:
1More Millennial households are in poverty than households headed by any other generation. In 2016, an estimated 5.3 million of the nearly 17 million U.S. households living in poverty were headed by a Millennial, compared with 4.2 million headed by a Gen Xer and 5.0 million headed by a Baby Boomer. The relatively high number of Millennial households in poverty partly reflects the fact that the poverty rate among households headed by a young adult has been rising over the past half century while dramatically declining among households headed by those 65 and older. In addition, Millennials are more racially and ethnically diverse than the other adult generations, and a greater share of Millennial households are headed by minorities, who tend to have higher poverty rates. Millennial heads of households are also more likely to be unmarried, which is associated with higher poverty. Read More →