Feb 14, 2017 1:34 pm

African immigrant population in U.S. steadily climbs

African immigrants make up a small share of the nation’s immigrant population, but their overall numbers are growing – roughly doubling every decade since 1970, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

There were 2.1 million African immigrants living in the United States in 2015, up from 881,000 in 2000 and a substantial increase from 1970 when the U.S. was home to only 80,000 foreign-born Africans. They accounted for 4.8% of the U.S. immigrant population in 2015, up from 0.8% in 1970.

The growth is evident among recently arrived immigrants. When compared with other major groups who arrived in the U.S. in the past five years, Africans had the fastest growth rate from 2000 to 2013, increasing by 41% during that period. (Africans are also a fast-growing segment of the black immigrant population in the U.S., increasing by 137% from 2000 to 2013.)

The transatlantic slave trade beginning in the 16th century brought hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans to the U.S., but significant voluntary migration from Africa is a relatively new trend.  Read More

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, African Americans

Feb 13, 2017 2:58 pm

5 facts on love and marriage in America

Americans may not be embracing the institution of marriage as they used to, but that doesn’t mean they are giving up on relationships. From online dating, to remarriage, to cohabitation, here are five facts about the state of love and marriage in the U.S.

1Love remains Americans’ top reason to marry. In a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 88% of Americans cited love as a very important reason to get married, ahead of making a lifelong commitment (81%) and companionship (76%). Fewer (28%) said financial stability was a very important reason to marry.

But while financial stability may not be an important reason to marry, it is an important factor in what people are looking for in a spouse – especially women who have never married but say they want to or are not sure if they want to: 78% say finding a spouse or partner with a steady job would be very important to them. Never-married men, however, have different priorities. While 46% say finding a spouse or partner with a steady job is very important, a larger share (62%) says that finding someone who shares their ideas about raising children is. (Seven-in-ten of their female counterparts say the same.)

And as far as what helps people stay married, married adults say having shared interests (64%) and a satisfying sexual relationship (61%) are very important to a successful marriage. More than half (56%) also name sharing household choresRead More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Gender, Economics and Personal Finances, Family and Relationships, Marriage and Divorce, Household and Family Structure

Feb 13, 2017 6:58 am

Americans are moving at historically low rates, in part because Millennials are staying put


Americans are moving at the lowest rate on record, and recently released Census Bureau data show that a primary reason is that Millennials are moving significantly less than earlier generations of young adults.

In 2016, only 20% of Millennial 25- to 35-year-olds reported having lived at a different address one year earlier. One-year migration rates were much higher for older generations when they were the same age. For example, when members of the Silent Generation were ages 25 to 35 back in 1963, 26% reported moving within the prior year. And in 2000, when those in Generation X were the age that older Millennials are today, 26% of them reported having moved in the previous year. (The analysis is limited to older young adults because the census data source does not accurately capture moves to and from college dormitories, which are more prevalent among 18- to 24-year-olds.)

It may seem counterintuitive that Millennials would be contributing to a trend toward less geographic mobility. After all, according to Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data, they are less likely than earlier generations to have three things that tend to be impediments to moving for a young adult:

A spouse. Millennials are less likely than previous generations of young adults to be married, so that should give them more flexibility than earlier generations. Married young adults are less likely to move than unmarried ones, in part because a married couple’s move may entail two people lining up new employment. Only 42% of Millennial 25- to 35-year-olds were married and living with their spouse in 2016. By comparison, 82% of Silent 25- to 35-year-olds were married and living with their spouse in 1963.  Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Generations and Age, Homeownership, Millennials

Feb 10, 2017 2:16 pm

Americans have grown more negative toward China over the past decade

While it remains to be seen whether President Donald Trump will act on campaign promises to get tough on Beijing, the American public has largely soured on China in recent years. In a January survey by Pew Research Center, 65% said China is either an adversary (22%) or a serious problem (43%), while only about a third (31%) said China is not a problem. And in a separate spring 2016 survey, a majority (55%) of Americans held an unfavorable opinion of their largest Asian rival.

In the United States, negative views of China increased by 26 percentage points between 2006 and 2016. And American negativity toward China has been higher than Chinese negativity toward the U.S. in every year since 2014. By comparison, Chinese unfavorable views of the U.S. remained below 50% for most of Barack Obama’s presidency.

In both countries, those ages 50 and older are more likely than those 18 to 34 to view the other nation unfavorably. But even among young Americans (as among all other age groups in the U.S.), negative views of China increased over time, rising 21 percentage points between 2006 and 2016. However, Chinese youth warmed to the U.S. over the same time period, with unfavorable views falling 12 points.  Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Country Image, International Threats and Allies, China, Foreign Affairs and Policy

Feb 10, 2017 9:40 am

For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate

Photograph of Charles Darwin by Maull and Polyblank for the Literary and Scientific Portrait Club (1855) via Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin#mediaviewer/File:Charles_Darwin_by_Maull_and_Polyblank,_1855-1.jpg
Photograph of Charles Darwin by Maull and Polyblank for the Literary and Scientific Portrait Club (1855) via Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday is the 208th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, a day now celebrated by some as Darwin Day. Darwin, of course, is best known for his theory of evolution through natural selection. When Darwin’s work was first made public in 1859, it shocked Britain’s religious establishment. And while today it is accepted by virtually all scientists, evolutionary theory still is rejected by many Americans, often because it conflicts with their religious beliefs about divine creation.

While not an official holiday, Darwin Day has been adopted by scientific and humanist groups to promote everything from scientific literacy to secularism. This year, more than 50 events have been planned worldwide, many of them anchored by scientific talks or symposia. Others, such as a children’s scavenger hunt at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., are a little less serious.

To mark the occasion, here are six facts about the public’s views on evolution, as well as other aspects of the debate in the U.S. and elsewhere: Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Science and Innovation, Religious Beliefs and Practices, Evolution

Feb 9, 2017 12:00 pm

20 metro areas are home to six-in-ten unauthorized immigrants in U.S.

Most of the United States’ 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants live in just 20 major metropolitan areas, with the largest populations in New York, Los Angeles and Houston, according to new Pew Research Center estimates based on government data.

The analysis shows that the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population is highly concentrated, more so than the U.S. population overall. In 2014, the 20 metro areas with most unauthorized immigrants were home to 6.8 million of them, or 61% of the estimated nationwide total. By contrast, only 36% of the total U.S. population lived in those metro areas.

But the analysis also shows that unauthorized immigrants tend to live where other immigrants live. Among lawful immigrants – including naturalized citizens and noncitizens – 65% lived in those top metros.

By far the biggest unauthorized immigrant populations were in the New York and Los Angeles metro areas (1.2 million and 1 million, respectively). No other metro area approached a million. Among the top 20 areas, the smallest unauthorized immigrant populations included Orlando (110,000) and Austin (100,000).  Read More

Topics: Immigration, Unauthorized Immigration, Immigration Trends, Population Trends, Population Geography, Migration

Feb 8, 2017 1:10 pm

Younger Supreme Court appointees stay on the bench longer, but there are plenty of exceptions

U.S. Supreme Court justices have lifetime tenure, so nominees to the court tend to draw attention for their age. The two most recent nominees are no exception. At 49, Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s choice, would be a relatively young new member of the court. Merrick Garland, who was 63 when Barack Obama nominated him last March, would have been among the oldest. (Gorsuch’s nomination is pending; Garland’s expired.)

That raises the question: Do justices who are younger when they join the court actually end up serving longer than older appointees?

Not surprisingly, the answer is yes, though there are plenty of exceptions.  Read More

Topics: Generations and Age, Supreme Court, Federal Government

Feb 8, 2017 12:32 pm

A closer look at police officers who have fired their weapon on duty


Many Americans believe it is common for police officers to fire their guns. About three-in-ten adults estimate that police fire their weapons a few times a year while on duty, and more than eight-in-ten (83%) estimate that the typical officer has fired his or her service weapon at least once in their careers, outside of firearms training or on a gun range, according to a recent Pew Research Center national survey.

In fact, only about a quarter (27%) of all officers say they have ever fired their service weapon while on the job, according to a separate Pew Research Center survey conducted by the National Police Research Platform. The survey was conducted May 19-Aug. 14, 2016, among a nationally representative sample of 7,917 sworn officers working in 54 police and sheriff’s departments with 100 or more officers.

But among police officers, are some more likely than others to have fired their weapon in the line of duty?

Overall, those who have fired a weapon on duty and those who haven’t are broadly similar in terms of their personal traits, the types of communities they serve and even their attitudes about crime-fighting. But an analysis of the survey results finds some modest but intriguing differences.

To start, male officers, white officers, those working in larger cities and those who are military veterans are more likely than female officers, racial and ethnic minorities, those in smaller communities and non-veterans to have ever fired their service weapon while on duty. Each relationship is significant after controlling for other factors that could be associated with firing a service weapon.  Read More

Topics: Criminal Justice, Violence and Society

Feb 7, 2017 3:04 pm

Majorities in all major religious groups support requiring childhood vaccination

Large majorities of U.S. adults from all major religious groups say healthy children should be required to be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella to attend school because of the potential health risk to others when children are not vaccinated. Still, there are some modest differences between religious groups, a new Pew Research Center survey finds.

White evangelical Protestants and religiously unaffiliated people are somewhat less likely than members of other religious groups to support a school-based MMR vaccine requirement, although about three-quarters of white evangelicals (76%) and religious “nones” (78%) do favor these requirements, according to the survey.  Read More

Topics: Education, Religion and Society, Health Care, Parenthood, Health, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices

Feb 7, 2017 11:18 am

Most refugees who enter the U.S. as religious minorities are Christians

A little over a third of the refugees who were admitted into the United States in fiscal 2016 (37%) were religious minorities in their home countries. Of those, 61% were Christians, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center.

Muslims, the next largest group, made up 22% of the religious minority refugees who were admitted to the U.S. Other, smaller world religions and Hindus made up the bulk of the remaining religious minority refugees (9% and 6%, respectively).

The analysis comes as Donald Trump’s administration has announced it will give priority to religious minorities who apply for refugee status in the U.S. Trump himself has said that Christians will be given preferenceRead More

Topics: Immigration, Religion and Society, Wars and International Conflicts, Immigration Trends, Religious Affiliation, Christians and Christianity, Muslims and Islam, Migration