Conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere are driving hundreds of thousands of refugees to seek shelter in neighboring countries, Europe and the United States. These crises are the most recent in a long line of conflicts forcing people from their homes. According to data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center, more than 3 million refugees in total have arrived in the U.S. since 1975.
A look at where refugees to the U.S. have come from and their number provides a glimpse into global events and the U.S.’s role in providing a safe haven. Of the more than 40,000 refugees who have been admitted to the United States so far in 2016, the largest numbers have come from Burma (Myanmar), the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.
(For more on refugees, including those to the U.S., see Key facts about the world’s refugees.)
Historically, waves of refugees to the U.S. have ebbed and flowed with global conflict. In the 1990s, waves of refugees came to the U.S. in large numbers from the former Soviet Union. However, refugee admittance dropped off steeply in the wake of the terrorist attacks in 2001. The total annual number of refugees has trended upward since then. Read More →
The next frontier of public-opinion research is already visible in the “big data” revolution. Through the digital traces of our everyday activities, we are creating a massive volume of information that can tell us a lot about ourselves. Smart data science can identify patterns in our behaviors and interests. And in some domains, such as predicting consumer spending and who will vote, algorithms may already be surpassing what surveys can do on their own.
But in the age of big data, it’s important to remember what surveys are uniquely suited to do. Asking Americans about their values, beliefs and concerns can tease out meaning from mountains of data and uncover the motivations behind the choices we make – providing a path to understanding not just what we do, but why. If history is a guide, survey research will not only survive but thrive – by taking advantage of what big data provides, and delivering what it cannot.
The survey world is unquestionably facing disruption. Cellphones are replacing the home phones we relied on for decades, and online surveys – of varying quality – are flooding the marketplace with daily numbers, leaving consumers awash in data, and rightfully skeptical. But with every challenge comes a new opportunity. Cellphones have strengthened, not weakened, a pollster’s ability to reach a balanced cross-section of the American public. Online surveys allow researchers to ask new kinds of questions, track individuals’ views over time and reach key populations of interest, all without interrupting people with long phone calls during dinner. The market for information about ourselves will continue to drive innovation and the refinement of best practices in online surveys, just as it did for other survey methodologies in the past.
As the American family changes, fatherhood is changing in important and sometimes surprising ways. Today, fathers who live with their children are taking a more active role in caring for them and helping out around the house. And the ranks of stay-at-home and single fathers have grown significantly in recent decades. At the same time, more and more children are growing up without a father in the home.
The changing role of fathers has introduced new challenges as dads juggle the competing demands of family and work. Here are some key findings about fathers from Pew Research Center reports: Read More →
Category: 5 Facts
The recent historic migration surge into Europe has led to a large increase in the immigrant share of populations in many nations there, with the notable exceptions of the UK and France, which saw more modest increases, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of United Nations and Eurostat data.
From July 2015 to May 2016, more than 1 million people applied for asylum in Europe. The immigrant share of the population increased most during this time in Sweden, Hungary, Austria and Norway, which each saw an increase of at least 1 percentage point. While that rise might seem small, even a 1-point increase in a single year is rare, especially in Western countries. (The immigrant share of the U.S. population increased by about 1 point over a decade, from 13% in 2005 to about 14% in 2015.)
Recent migrants added to already substantial foreign-born populations living in Sweden, Norway and Austria – all nations in which the foreign born make up 15% or more of the population in 2016. Sweden had the greatest increase, rising from about 16.8% in 2015 to 18.3% in 2016, a 1.5-percentage-point increase. The foreign-born shares in Norway (15.3% in 2016) and Austria (18.5% in 2016) increased by about 1 point over the same period.
Countries with smaller immigrant populations like Hungary and Finland also saw their foreign-born shares increase significantly due to the 2015-2016 migration surge. Hungary’s foreign-born share rose from 4.6% in 2015 to 5.8% in 2016, a 1.3-point increase. In Finland, the share of foreign born rose an estimated 0.8 points, from 5.7% to 6.5%.
The State of the News Media in 2016 is uncertain, with daily newspapers looking shakier than ever, digital advertising and audiences continuing to grow, and TV news mostly seeing gains in revenue.
Here are five key takeaways from our latest annual State of the News Media report:
1Though the industry has been struggling for some time, 2015 was perhaps the worst year for newspapers since the Great Recession and its immediate aftermath. Daily circulation fell by 7%, the most since 2010, while advertising revenue at publicly traded newspaper companies fell by 8%, the most since 2009. At the same time, newsroom staffing fell by 10% in 2014, the last year for which data were available. Coming amid a wave of consolidation, this accelerating decline suggests the industry may be past its point of no return. Read More →
Category: 5 Facts
The United States and its European allies have maintained a strong transatlantic relationship for more than half a century, even if Americans and Europeans have not always seen eye-to-eye on foreign policy issues (the Iraq War nearly a decade ago being a prominent example). Today, there are some notable similarities between public opinion in the U.S. and Europe, although there are significant differences as well, a new Pew Research Center survey reveals. And on both sides of the Atlantic, there are sharp ideological divisions within nations over key foreign policy issues.
1Americans and Europeans are looking inward. Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) believe the U.S. should deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their problems as best they can; just 37% think the U.S. should help other countries solve problems. On balance, Europeans are also focused on their own challenges, although half or more in Spain, Germany and Sweden want to help other nations. While this nation-first sentiment has seen little change in recent years in Europe, it has grown by 11 percentage points since 2010 in the U.S.
Category: 5 Facts
Many Europeans are questioning their respective countries’ role in the world after contending with years of economic struggle, coping with waves of refugees, feeling under siege from terrorist attacks and facing a newly assertive Russia. A new Pew Research Center survey of 10 European nations finds a population looking inward, although views across the continent differ on specific questions such as the importance of global engagement and which issues constitute the greatest threats.
Here are six key findings from our survey:
Category: 5 Facts
Conflict in Syria has displaced millions of citizens from their homes since protests against the al-Assad government began more than five years ago. An estimated 12.5 million Syrians are now displaced, amounting to about six-in-ten of the country’s 2011 midyear population – and up from less than 1 million in 2011, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of global refugee data.
The displacement of Syrians is unprecedented in recent history for a single country, our analysis of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data found. For example, conflicts in Afghanistan during the Soviet incursion in the 1980s resulted in about half of the country’s population being displaced within or outside its borders. Less than a fifth of Iraq’s population was displaced when violence rose in 2007 and 2008. And more than 2.5 million Rwandans, or less than half of its population, were displaced during the 1994 genocide.
Previous estimates since 2014 have found that about half of Syria’s pre-conflict population had been displaced. That share has risen to about 60% as more than a million additional Syrians crossed international borders into neighboring countries like Turkey or left for more distant destinations in Europe. Read More →
More than 57.6 million people, or 28.5% of estimated eligible voters, voted in the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries that all but wrapped up Tuesday – close to but not quite at the record participation level set in 2008.
For a while it looked like this year’s primaries, driven by high turnout on the Republican side, might eclipse the turnout record set in 2008, when 30.4% of voting-age citizens cast ballots. The GOP did indeed have the highest primary turnout since at least 1980, according to our analysis – 14.8%, compared with 11% in 2008 and 9.8% in 2012. But turnout fell off markedly after Donald Trump won the May 3 Indiana primary and his two main rivals dropped out of the race.
Turnout in the first 29 GOP primaries – up to and including Indiana – averaged 16.6%, according to our analysis. But turnout in the final nine contests, after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, averaged only 8.4%.
A recent Pew Research Center analysis of census data found that in 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. were more likely to be living in their parents’ home than with a spouse or partner in their own household. A closer analysis of the data helps explain why: Adults in their late 20s and early 30s are living with their parents at record or near-record levels.
Since at least 1880, which is as far back as the census data go, the youngest group of young adults (those ages 18 to 24) have consistently been the most likely to live with their parents – which makes sense, given that they’re also the most likely to be unmarried and/or still in school. In 2014, half of all 18- to 24-year-olds lived in the home of one or both parents, up modestly from 46% in 2006.
But over that same period the share of 25- to 29-year-olds living in their parents’ home has risen more sharply – from 18% in 2006 to 25% in 2014, among the highest levels on record. And the 13% of 30- to 34-year-olds living with their parents in 2013 and 2014 (up from 9% in 2006) is the highest level for that group since 1940. (Other census data suggest that the share of 25- to 34-year-olds living with their parents continued to rise into 2015.) Read More →