Oct 2, 2014 11:44 am

U.S. high school dropout rate reaches record low, driven by improvements among Hispanics, blacks

US high school dropout rate reaches new low
AP Photo/Burlington Times-News, Sam Roberts

More U.S. high school students are staying in school, according to newly released data from the Census Bureau, as the national dropout rate reached a record low last year. Just 7% of the nation’s 18-to-24 year olds had dropped out of high school, continuing a steady decline in the nation’s dropout rate since 2000, when 12% of youth were dropouts.

Hispanic and Black High School Dropout Rates Lowest on RecordThe decline in the national dropout rate has been driven, in part, by substantially fewer Hispanic and black youth dropping out of school (the non-Hispanic white dropout rate has not fallen as sharply). Although Hispanics still have the highest dropout rate among all major racial and ethnic groups, it reached a record-low of 14% in 2013, compared with 32% of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds who were dropouts in 2000.

The new data show significant progress over the past decade at other measures of educational attainment among Hispanic youth: Not only are fewer dropping out of high school, but more are finishing high school and attending college. The only exception is that Hispanics continue to substantially trail white youth in obtaining bachelor’s degrees. Read More

Topics: College, Education

Oct 2, 2014 9:55 am

The best and worst cities for women looking to marry


Young adults who would like to get married naturally start looking for love in the community they live in, but in some parts of the country, the odds may be against them. A new Pew Research Center analysis finds pronounced differences in the ratio between men and women living in the largest U.S. metro areas, especially when it comes to singles who have an attractive characteristic: a job. Read More

Topics: Demographics, Lifestyle, Marriage and Divorce, Population Trends

Sep 30, 2014 7:00 am

5 facts about Indian Americans

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a rapturous reception in New York City on Sunday, speaking to more than 19,000 people — largely Indian Americans, according to The New York Times — at Madison Square Garden. During his packed five-day visit, Modi also addressed the UN General Assembly and met with a bevy of U.S. business leaders Monday morning before heading to an “intimate dinner” with President Obama.

This is the first official trip to the U.S. for Modi, who was elected in May. His visit not only marks an effort to repair strained U.S.-India relations, but also spotlights the growing presence of Indians and Indian Americans in American life. Two sitting governors (Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, both Republicans) are of Indian ancestry; so are Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Neel Kashkari, former Treasury Department official and current GOP candidate for California governor.

In 2012, the Pew Research Center released a pair of reports on Asian Americans — one focused on demographics and attitudes, the other on religion. The reports, which drew from 2010 census data and 2012 survey results, included much information about the country’s nearly 3.2 million Indian Americans; we’ve selected a sampling of facts from both reports:

1 Many Indian Americans are recent arrivals. 87.2% of Indian-American adults in 2010 were foreign-born, the highest percentage among the six largest Asian-American groups; 37.6% of those had been in the U.S. 10 years or less. One consequence of so many Indian Americans having arrived so recently: Only 56.2% of adults were U.S. citizens, the lowest share among the six subgroups studied in detail. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Asian Americans

Sep 26, 2014 12:13 pm

Hispanic immigrants more likely to lack health insurance than U.S.-born

Hispanic immigrants are more than twice as likely to not have health insurance as Hispanics born in the U.S., according figures recently released by the Census Bureau.

FT_14.09.26_HispanicHealthInsuranceThis year, one-in-four (25%) Hispanics lack health insurance, the highest rate of any racial or ethnic group, according to the Current Population Survey’s March 2014 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. About 14% of the general U.S. population is uninsured.

By contrast, among Hispanics without health insurance, 7 million are immigrants and 6 million are U.S. born. Four-in-ten (39%) Hispanic immigrants lack health insurance compared with 17% of U.S.-born Hispanics. The share is even higher among those without citizenship. Nearly half (49%) of Hispanic immigrants who are not U.S. citizens lack health insurance.

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Topics: Health Care, Hispanic/Latino Vote, Immigration Trends, Unauthorized Immigration

Sep 26, 2014 7:00 am

Modi’s visit to U.S. builds on positive feelings between Indians and Americans

India's BJP Leader Narendra Modi during his campaign for Prime Minister
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo by Kevin Frayer — Getty Images News)

While Madison Square Garden’s sold-out shows usually include headliners like Bruce Springsteen, Madonna or Arcade Fire, Sunday’s reception for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to draw an equally massive crowd of nearly 20,000 Indian Americans. Modi’s appearance at the midtown Manhattan entertainment venue is part of his first trip to the U.S. as leader of the world’s largest democracy and comes at a time when people of both countries continue to see each other in a largely positive light.

In India, a majority of the public (55%) has a favorable view of the U. S., including 30% with a very positive outlook, according to a Pew Research survey conducted last spring. Only 16% see the U.S. unfavorably, while 29% offer no opinion. These high ratings are essentially unchanged from late last year, when 56% of the Indian public gave the U.S. positive marks.

India and U.S. publics have generally favorable views of each other

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Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Asian Americans

Sep 25, 2014 12:34 pm

National Congregations Study finds more church acceptance of gays and lesbians

A new survey of American religious congregations conducted by researchers from Duke University and the University of Chicago finds that, in recent years, more churches have become welcoming to openly gay and lesbian couples. These findings parallel broader trends showing greater acceptance among the general public of both homosexuality and same-sex marriage during roughly the same period.

Growing acceptance of gays and lesbians among religious congregationsThe report, “Changing American Congregations,” is part of the ongoing National Congregations Study (NCS). The Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project contributed funding to the study, which involved interviews with a clergyperson or other key member of each of the 1331 congregations surveyed.

The survey found that between 2006 and 2012, the share of congregations allowing an openly gay or lesbian couple to become full-fledged members grew from 37% to 48%. In addition, the number of congregations that allowed openly gay and lesbian members to assume any lay leadership position also increased – from 18% in 2006 to 26% in 2012.

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Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Religion and Society

Sep 25, 2014 11:20 am

The GOP’s Millennial problem runs deep

Wide Ideological Divide by Generation, Particularly Stark Within the GOPThe Republican Party’s struggles in appealing to young people have been well documented. And even those Millennials who do identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP are decidedly less conservative than older Republicans.

Overall, Millennials (currently ages 18-33) are the most liberal age group. In our report on Political Polarization in the American Public, we used a scale based on 10 political values questions about the role of government, the environment, homosexuality and other issues to measure ideological consistency. This survey of more than 10,000 Americans finds that, on this scale, Millennials are considerably more liberal than other generations: About four-in-ten Millennials are mostly (28%) or consistently (13%) liberal in their views, compared with 15% who are mostly (12%) or consistently (3%) conservative (44% are ideologically mixed). Older generations are progressively more conservative.

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Topics: Political Attitudes and Values, Political Issue Priorities, Political Party Affiliation, Political Polarization, U.S. Political Parties

Sep 25, 2014 7:00 am

Texas moms are most likely to give birth in the same state they were born

How common is it for new parents to put down roots in the same areas that they themselves were born? The answer, according to a new Pew Research analysis, depends on which part of the country they hail from.

New moms who were born in the South are the most likely to nest in the same state their parents did. Texas tops the list — in 2010, 80% of moms who were born in Texas also gave birth in The Lone Star State. In fact, 7 of the 11 states with the highest share of “stayers” are in the South.

South, Rust Belt Moms Most Likely to 'Nest' in Home State

Moms born in four Midwestern states along the Rust Belt — Wisconsin (73%), Ohio (73%), Indiana (72%) and Michigan (72%) – are also in the top 11 states.

Read More

Topics: Birth Rate and Fertility, Demographics, Population Geography

Sep 24, 2014 9:51 am

How social media is reshaping news

The ever-growing digital native news world now boasts about 5,000 digital news sector jobs, according to our recent calculations, 3,000 of which are at 30 big digital-only news outlets. Many of these digital organizations emphasize the importance of social media in storytelling and engaging their audiences. As journalists gather for the annual Online News Association conference, here are answers to five questions about social media and the news.

1 How do social media sites stack up on news? When you take into account both the total reach of a site (the share of Americans who use it) and the proportion of users who get news on the site, Facebook is the obvious news powerhouse among the social media sites. Roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use the site, and half of those users get news there — amounting to 30% of the general population.

YouTube is the next biggest social news pathway — about half of Americans use the site, and a fifth of them get news there, which translates to 10% of the adult population and puts the site on par with Twitter. Twitter reaches 16% of Americans and half of those users say they get news there, or 8% of Americans. And although only 3% of the U.S. population use reddit, for those that do, getting news there is a major draw–62% have gotten news from the site.

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Sep 23, 2014 2:15 pm

Is religion’s declining influence good or bad? Those without religious affiliation are divided

We’ve known for some time that the number of Americans who say they have no religion has been growing. But while this group does not identify with a specific religious tradition or denomination, the “nones” are not uniformly against religion having a role in society, a new Pew Research Center survey finds.

Most View Religion's Waning Influence as Negative DevelopmentWe asked all respondents whether religion is gaining or losing influence in American life, and 72% of U.S. adults (including 70% of the religiously unaffiliated) said religion is losing influence. We then asked whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, and, not surprisingly, “nones” were much more likely than other major religious groups to say that the declining influence of religion in American life is a good thing.

The results, however, were not completely one-sided. In fact, religiously unaffiliated people who perceive religion’s influence as declining were split on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. About a third of “nones” overall (34%) said it is good that religion is losing influence, while a similar share (30%) said this is bad. Read More

Topics: Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation, Religiously Unaffiliated