Feb 24, 2016 10:00 am

Hispanic, black parents see college degree as key for children’s success

Hispanic and black parents are significantly more likely than white parents to say it’s essential that their children earn a college degree, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

Hispanic and black parents place high value on a college degreeToday, 86% of Hispanic parents and 79% of black parents with children under 18 say it is either extremely or very important that their children earn a college degree. By comparison, about two-thirds (67%) of white parents say the same.

This gap may be linked to differing views on a college degree’s importance in moving up the economic ladder. Roughly half (49%) of Hispanics and 43% of blacks say that a college education is a requirement to be part of the middle class, compared with just 22% of whites. However, white adults are more likely than black or Hispanic adults to already be in the middle class or higher, which may account in part for the fact that fewer whites see college as essential.

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Topics: African Americans, Education, Educational Attainment, Hispanic/Latino Identity, Middle Class, Race and Ethnicity, Social Values

Feb 24, 2016 7:00 am

For 2020, Census Bureau plans to trade paper responses for digital ones

The 2020 census could be the first in which most Americans are counted over the internet. In fact, if all goes as planned, the Census Bureau won’t even send paper questionnaires to most households.

Technological innovation may save Census Bureau $5 billion in 2020The bureau’s goal is that 55% of the U.S. population will respond online using computers, mobile phones or other devices. It will mark the first time (apart from a small share of households in 2000) that any Americans will file their own census responses online. This shift toward online response is one of a number of technological innovations planned for the 2020 census, according to the agency’s recently released operational plan. The plan reflects the results of testing so far, but it could be changed based on future research, congressional reaction or other developments.

Starting next month, the agency will conduct test censuses of 225,000 households each in Los Angeles County and Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston. Further tests are planned into 2019. The bureau also is testing use of other government or third-party records to supplement the census-taking, as well as experimenting with new question wording on race, ethnicity and relationships.

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Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, Federal Government, Government Spending and the Deficit, U.S. Census

Feb 23, 2016 11:59 am

U.S. religious groups and their political leanings

Mormons are the most heavily Republican-leaning religious group in the U.S., while a pair of major historically black Protestant denominations – the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the National Baptist Convention – are two of the most reliably Democratic groups, according to data from Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study.

Explore the affiliations, demographics, religious practices and political beliefs of each group using our interactive database.

Seven-in-ten U.S. Mormons identify with the Republican Party or say they lean toward the GOP, compared with 19% who identify as or lean Democratic – a difference of 51 percentage points. That’s the biggest gap in favor of the GOP out of 30 religious groups we analyzed, which include Protestant denominations, other religious groups and three categories of people who are religiously unaffiliated.

At the other end of the spectrum, an overwhelming majority of members of the AME Church (92%) identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while just 4% say they favor the Republican Party (an 88-point gap). Similarly, 87% of members of the National Baptist Convention and 75% of members of the Church of God in Christ (another historically black denomination) identify as Democrats. Read More

Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Jews and Judaism, Mormons and Mormonism, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Party Affiliation, Religion and U.S. Politics

Feb 23, 2016 10:28 am

Broad support for internet freedom around the world

In a relatively short period of time, the internet has become an influential arena for public debates about political and social issues. And around the world, many consider free expression in cyberspace to be a fundamental right.

Globally, most say internet freedom is importantMajorities in 32 of 38 countries surveyed by Pew Research Center in 2015 believe that allowing people to use the internet without government censorship is important. And in 20 countries, at least 80% hold this view. Moreover, across the nations polled, a median of 50% say freedom on the internet is very important.

Support for internet freedom is especially strong in Argentina (71% very important), the U.S., Germany and Spain (each 69%), and Chile (68%). In many countries, young people, those with more years of education and high-income respondents tend to place a higher value on internet freedom.

Even though support for internet freedom is common around the globe, it is not as strong as support for other fundamental aspects of democracy. Across the 38 countries in our study, larger percentages of people say religious freedom (median of 74%), gender equality (65%), honest and competitive elections (61%), free speech (56%) and media freedom (55%) are very important. Read More

Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, Free Speech, Internet Activities

Feb 22, 2016 7:55 am

Emerging, developing countries gain ground in the tech revolution

A new Pew Research Center survey shows that across 40 countries surveyed in 2015, a median of 67% use the internet and 43% report owning a smartphone. But one trend stands out: People in emerging and developing nations are quickly catching up to those in advanced nations in terms of access to technology.

Here are five takeaways on technology use in the emerging and developing world:

1About half of adults across the 29 emerging and developing economies surveyed say that they use the internet. While many people are not yet experiencing the technology revolution, it also means most people in these countries now use the internet. Among the 21 countries surveyed in both 2013 and 2015, a median of only 45% had access in 2013, but that number had risen to 54% by 2015.

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Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, Internet Activities, Technology Adoption

Feb 19, 2016 4:57 pm

Americans feel the tensions between privacy and security concerns

Americans have long been divided in their views about the trade-off between security needs and personal privacy. Much of the focus has been on government surveillance, though there are also significant concerns about how businesses use data. The issue flared again this week when a federal court ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the suspects in the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, in December. Apple challenged the order to try to ensure that security of other iPhones remained protected, and also to provoke a wider national conversation about how far people would like technology firms to go in protecting their privacy or cooperating with law enforcement.

Public's shifting concerns on security and civil libertiesEvents have had a major impact on public attitudes on this issue. Terrorist attacks generate increased anxieties. For instance, the San Bernardino and Paris shootings in late 2015 had a striking impact. A Pew Research Center survey in December found that 56% of Americans were more concerned that the government’s anti-terror policies have not gone far enough to protect the country, compared with 28% who expressed concern that the policies have gone too far in restricting the average person’s civil liberties. Just two years earlier, amid the furor over Edward Snowden’s revelations about National Security Agency surveillance programs, more said their bigger concern was that anti-terror programs had gone too far in restricting civil liberties (47%) rather than not far enough in protecting the country (35%).

At the same time, there are other findings suggesting that Americans are becoming more anxious about their privacy, especially in the context of digital technologies that capture a wide array of data about them. Here is an overview of the state of play as the iPhone case moves further into legal proceedings. Read More

Topics: National Security, Online Privacy and Safety, Surveillance, Terrorism

Feb 19, 2016 12:00 pm

Is speaking Spanish necessary to be Hispanic? Most Hispanics say no

During Saturday’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, Marco Rubio questioned (in English) whether Ted Cruz speaks Spanish. Cruz responded in Spanish with a challenge to Rubio to discuss their views on immigration in that language.

Most Hispanics say speaking Spanish not necessary to be considered HispanicRubio’s confrontation with Cruz, who recently became the first Hispanic to win the Iowa caucuses, was interpreted by some as a challenge to how much Cruz belongs to or identifies with the Hispanic community in the U.S. (It’s worth noting that this is not a new tactic. Hispanic Democrats have been confronted before by fellow Latinos in a similar way.)

But what does the Hispanic public think when it comes to the question of whether it is necessary to speak Spanish in order to be considered Hispanic?

On the one hand, Spanish is an important part of Latino culture and identity, with 95% of Latinos saying it is important for future generations to speak Spanish.

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Topics: 2016 Election, Hispanic/Latino Identity, Language, U.S. Political Figures

Feb 18, 2016 2:00 pm

English-speaking Asian Americans stand out for their technology use

Discussions of the “digital divide” often touch on race and ethnicity – and the narrative is often that whites lead in technology adoption while other racial or ethnic groups struggle to keep up. But a new analysis of four Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2015 finds that this isn’t true for one group: English-speaking Asian Americans adopt a number of common technologies at rates that exceed the rest of the population, including whites.

It’s important to note that the figures reported here are based on surveys conducted only in English (and Spanish for non-English-speaking Hispanics); they do not include non-English-speaking Asian Americans. Our 2012 survey found that among all Asian Americans, 63.5% say they speak English “very well,” including about half of immigrant Asians.

Here are three key findings relating to English-speaking Asian Americans and technology use:

1English-speaking Asian Americans lead other racial, ethnic groups in use of several common technologies95% of English-speaking Asian Americans use the internet. English-speaking Asian Americans have long led other racial and ethnic groups when it comes to internet adoption, and that trend continues to hold true: This analysis shows that 95% of English-speaking Asian Americans reported using the internet in 2015, compared with 87% of whites, 81% of blacks and 82% of Hispanics.

284% of English-speaking Asian Americans have broadband service at home. The level of adoption of home broadband by English-speaking Asian Americans is nearly 20 percentage points higher than that of the overall population (67%) and is also higher than those of whites (72%), blacks (54%) and Hispanics (50%). Overall, home broadband use in the U.S. has plateaued in recent years after rising steadily since 2000. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Asian Americans, Broadband, Internet Activities, Mobile, Race and Ethnicity, Technology Adoption

Feb 18, 2016 10:00 am

The never-been-married are biggest users of online dating

Relatively few Americans had personal experience with dating online when Pew Research Center first asked about it in 2005. Today, 15% of Americans say they have ever used an online dating site or mobile dating app – and one of the largest groups using online dating are Americans who have never been married.

30% of never-married Americans have used online datingSome 30% of U.S. adults who have never been married say they have ever used an online dating site or mobile dating app. But it is not just never-married Millennials who are using online dating: 31% of never-married adults ages 35 and older have used an online dating site or mobile app, similar to the share (29%) of never-married 18- to 34-year-olds who have done so.

Indeed, an increasing number of Americans of all ages have never tied the knot. The share of Americans ages 25 and older who have never been married rose to 20% in 2012, up from just 9% in 1960, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center report.

Looking beyond the never-married population, 19% of those who are currently divorced, separated or widowed report ever using online dating. Read More

Topics: Internet Activities, Marriage and Divorce, Online Dating

Feb 17, 2016 1:36 pm

Near-record number of primaries this year, but not quite as early

The rise of presidential primariesThe 2016 presidential primary schedule is more crowded than ever: At least one primary will be held in 41 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, and another among overseas Democrats – a calendar that cements the primary’s dominance over the older caucus system. And while campaigning seems to start earlier and earlier each cycle (Sen. Ted Cruz kicked things off almost a year ago, announcing his candidacy on March 23, 2015), the actual voting part is coming a bit later in the year than it used to: As recently as 2008, more than half of both parties’ primaries and caucuses had been held by early February; this year, the halfway point won’t be reached till March 15.

Democrats will vote in a record 41 state and territorial primaries this year, four more than in 2008, the last year there was a wide-open nomination contest. (Guam calls its vote a caucus, but it operates more like a party-run primary.) Republicans will hold a total of 39 primaries, the same as in 2008 and one fewer than in 2012. Of the 41 states scheduled to hold at least one major-party primary (up from 40 in 2008), 35 will hold both Republican and Democratic primaries, though not necessarily on the same day.

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