Jan 28, 2016 9:55 am

Is Hillary Clinton religious? Republicans and Democrats have far different views

If Hillary Clinton ends up being the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, her politics won’t be the only thing many Republicans and Democrats disagree about during the coming campaign. The two parties have sharply different perspectives on whether Clinton is religious – as they do about Bernie Sanders and some of the Republican candidates. But what makes Clinton stand out is that views of her religiosity have changed significantly over the last nine years.

Democrats much more likely than Republicans to see Obama, Hillary Clinton as at least somewhat religiousAbout two-thirds (65%) of Americans who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party say they see Clinton as “very” or “somewhat” religious, compared with 27% who say she is “not too” or “not at all” religious. But among Republicans and Republican leaners, these figures are almost exactly reversed: 65% say she is not religious, while just 28% say she is at least somewhat religious, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Religion and U.S. Politics, U.S. Political Figures

Jan 28, 2016 7:00 am

Millions of young people in U.S. and EU are neither working nor learning

Teens and young adults were among the groups hit hardest by the global financial crisis. And while many young people have since regained their footing – as employees, students or both – there are still millions in the U.S. and abroad who are neither working nor in school. Though sometimes referred to as “disconnected” or “detached” youth, globally those young people often are called “NEETs” – because they are neither employed nor in education or training.

Although NEET rates rose both in the U.S. and the EU during and after the crisis, they jumped higher but have fallen faster in the U.S. By contrast, many EU countries’ NEET rates remain well above pre-crisis levels. (While similar, the U.S. and EU measures aren’t directly comparable – in part because the EU begins tracking young people’s labor-force participation at 15 rather than 16, and also because apprenticeships and other workplace-based training is more common in Europe than in the U.S.)

Labor economists are paying increasing attention to NEETs – especially when, as in much of Europe, NEET rates are persistently high. They fear that without assistance, economically inactive young people won’t gain critical job skills and will never fully integrate into the wider economy or achieve their full earning potential. Some observers also worry that large numbers of NEETs represent a potential source of social unrest.

Fewer NEET youth in U.S. as economy recoversIn 2015, there were nearly 10.2 million NEETS ages 16 to 29 in the U.S., or 16.9% of that age bracket’s total population, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That represents a modest decline over recent years: In 2013, there were just over 11 million NEETs in the U.S., representing 18.5% of the 16-to-29 population, according to our analysis.

Precisely corresponding data aren’t available for prior years, because the monthly Current Population Survey used by BLS only began collecting detailed school-enrollment data from Americans ages 25 and older in 2013.

However, longer-trend CPS data are available for 16- to 24-year-olds. Those numbers show that the NEET rate among that group generally follows the economic cycle. It fell between 1985 and 2000, from 19.5% to 14.3%, except for a bump during the early-1990s recession. The 16-to-24 NEET rate rose again following the early-2000s recession, fell back to 14.5% in 2007, then jumped during the Great Recession. The rate has ratcheted lower since peaking at 17.6% in 2010; last year it was 15.7%, a hair above what it was in 2008. Read More

Topics: Economic Recession, Teens and Youth, Work and Employment

Jan 27, 2016 1:55 pm

Crowdfunding enables diverse new frontier for journalism projects

In the digital age, new tools and pathways that attract the public’s eye – from YouTube to Twitter – can quickly be noticed by journalists and news organizations as important parts of the news landscape. A new study by Pew Research Center examines one of these emerging tools: crowdfunded journalism, in which projects can be proposed and funded through online appeals to the public. The report examined the 658 journalism projects funded through Kickstarter, one of the largest single platforms for crowdfunding journalism, from April 28, 2009 (the day it launched) through Sept. 15, 2015.

The public supports a wide range of crowdfunded journalism projectsThough the revenue involved and amount of content produced are nowhere near what comes through the more mainstream media, crowdfunding can help bring to reality work that might otherwise not see the light of day. One striking characteristic of these projects is the wide range of initiatives that have received funding, which we explore here.

Many serious journalism projects received crowdfunding, but the form allows for projects about less weighty matters as well. For instance, in early 2015, Kickstarter contributors kicked in $3,605 to help crime reporter Scott Thomas Anderson in his effort to turn material gathered during 16 months of work embedded with law enforcement agencies into a book about the intersection of prison culture, crime and the underfunding of mental health care.

Later in the year, backers pledged $4,676 in support for the production of a documentary to tell the stories of refugees at the Serbian-Hungarian border. At the same time, supporters pledged $10,032 for a story about the 2014 World Laser Tag Championships. And fans of Godzilla helped the host of a podcast about the movie monster raise over $19,000 – more than double his original goal – to travel to Japan’s Big Godzilla Special Effects Exhibition and produce a feature-length documentary. Read More

Topics: Media Revenue Models, News Media Sectors, Newsroom Investment and Resources

Jan 27, 2016 12:00 pm

The demographic trends shaping American politics in 2016 and beyond

“The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown,” by Paul Taylor and Pew Research Center, is being released this week in a paperback edition that includes nearly 100 pages of new text, charts and updates to the original 2014 hardcover edition. Here, Paul Taylor shares eight takeaways from the book’s all-new opening chapter, “Political Tribes.”

1The Rising Partisan Gap in Presidential ApprovalIn an era of head-snapping racial, social, cultural, economic, religious, gender, generational and technological change, Americans are increasingly sorted into think-alike communities that reflect not only their politics but their demographics. The result has been a rise in identity-based animus of one party toward the other that extends far beyond the issues. These days Democrats and Republicans no longer stop at disagreeing with each other’s ideas. Many in each party now deny the other’s facts, disapprove of each other’s lifestyles, avoid each other’s neighborhoods, impugn each other’s motives, doubt each other’s patriotism, can’t stomach each other’s news sources, and bring different value systems to such core social institutions as religion, marriage and parenthood. It’s as if they belong not to rival parties but alien tribes.

And their candidates in 2016 might seem to be running for president of different countries. As the chart above illustrates, the partisan gap in how Americans evaluate their presidents is wider now than at any time in the modern era. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Demographics, News Sources, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Polarization, Population Projections, U.S. Political Parties

Jan 27, 2016 10:04 am

5 key findings about faith and politics in the 2016 presidential race

The U.S. Constitution and other laws have attempted to draw lines separating certain official government functions from the nation’s religious life. But these same laws have largely steered clear of regulating religion in the political sphere. And indeed, religion has long been entangled in the nation’s politics and its political campaigns.

This election season comes at a time when there is evidence that the country is becoming less religious. At the same time, roughly three-quarters of Americans (77%) still identify with a religious group, and a growing number of people in both parties want their political leaders to publicly discuss their faith.

As the 2016 presidential contest continues to heat up, with the Iowa caucus just days away, the Pew Research Center has once again released a new survey attempting to gauge the current state of the relationship between faith and politics.

Here are key findings from the new report.

1Many Republicans say Trump would be good or great president despite not being religiousRoughly two-thirds of Republicans – as opposed to about four-in-ten Democrats – say it is important for a president to share their religious beliefs. However, Donald Trump — a candidate many Republicans view as a potentially good or great president —is seen by many in the GOP as not being a very religious person compared with other leading candidates. Just 44% of Republicans and those who lean Republican say Trump is “somewhat” or “very” religious.

2At least six-in-ten Americans and seven-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners view Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as being at least somewhat religious. This level of religiosity is more in line with the GOP electorate; more than eight-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners say that religion is at least somewhat important in their lives, including 61% who say it is very important. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Religion and Government, Religion and Society, Religion and U.S. Politics, Religious Beliefs and Practices, U.S. Political Figures

Jan 21, 2016 11:59 am

Americans may be getting less religious, but feelings of spirituality are on the rise

Growing share of people regularly feel spiritual peace, sense of wonderThe phrase “spiritual but not religious” has become widely used in recent years by some Americans who are trying to describe their religious identity. While Pew Research Center does not categorize survey respondents in such a way, our surveys do find that the U.S. public overall appears to be growing a bit less religious – but also somewhat more spiritual.

Americans have become less religious in recent years by standard measures such as how important they say religion is to them and their frequency of religious service attendance and prayer. But, at the same time, the share of people across a wide variety of religious identities who say they often feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being as well as a deep sense of wonder about the universe has risen. Read More

Topics: Religious Beliefs and Practices, Religiously Unaffiliated

Jan 21, 2016 10:00 am

Refugee crises, climate change are top risks in next 10 years, experts say

Large-scale refugee flows and lack of progress in slowing global warming are the top risks that the world faces in the coming decade, according to a survey by the World Economic Forum of executives and experts from the fields of business, academia, civil society, government and international organizations.

The more than 700 respondents to the survey named “large-scale involuntary migration” as the most likely global risk over the next 10 years, while pointing to “failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation” as the risk that could have the greatest impact on the world.

Top global risks

The poll was conducted in the fall of 2015, and the experts might have been responding, in part, to current events at the time. The refugee crisis spawned by the ongoing conflict in Syria has been a consistent thread in many news stories, from terrorist attacks in Paris and Turkey, to anti-refugee sentiments in Eastern Europe, to sexual assaults in Germany. Recently, much of the world was also focused on climate change, as 195 nations met in December at the United Nations’ Paris conference to agree on a plan that would keep the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.

Read More

Topics: Economic Recession, Energy and Environment, International Governments and Institutions, International Organizations, International Threats and Allies, Migration, Terrorism, World Economies

Jan 20, 2016 7:00 am

The state of privacy in America: What we learned

After the June 2013 leaks by government contractor Edward Snowden about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans’ online and phone communications, Pew Research Center began an in-depth exploration of people’s views and behaviors related to privacy. Our recent report about how Americans think about privacy and sharing personal information was a capstone of this two-and-a-half-year effort that examined how people viewed not only government surveillance but also commercial transactions involving the capture of personal information.

Here are some of the key findings that emerged from this work:

1Personal information onlineFully 91% of adults agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies. Half of internet users said they worry about the amount of information available about them online, and most said they knew about key pieces of their personal information that could be found on the internet. Only 9% say they feel they have “a lot” of control over how much information is collected about them and how it is used. Indeed, experts we canvassed about the future of privacy argued that privacy was no longer a “condition” of American life. Rather, they asserted that it was becoming a commodity to be purchased. Read More

Topics: National Security, Online Privacy and Safety

Jan 19, 2016 11:15 am

Key facts about immigrants eligible for deportation relief under Obama’s expanded executive actions

Who would benefit from Obama’s executive actions on deportation relief?The U.S. Supreme Court is expected in April to hear a lawsuit by Texas and 25 other states that seeks to block presidential executive actions offering deportation relief and work permits to unauthorized immigrants.

The executive actions build on 2012’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which granted relief to young adults who came to the U.S. as children. This program has resulted in nearly 700,000 people receiving relief, though advocates said the action did not go far enough.

The expanded programs, which include Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and an expanded DACA, were announced in November 2014 and are on hold due to the lawsuit. They could make an additional 3.9 million unauthorized immigrants eligible for deportation relief and work permits, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2012 data.

Here are key facts about those who could be newly eligible under Obama’s 2014 executive actions:

1The largest group who could be eligible for relief are the estimated 3.5 million unauthorized immigrant parents to whom DAPA would apply. Immigrants in this category have lived in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2010, and have children who either were born in the U.S. or are legal permanent residents. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Barack Obama, Immigration, Unauthorized Immigration

Jan 18, 2016 7:00 am

5 facts about race in America

Ever since it was first observed as a national holiday in 1986, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been a time for reflection on the state of race relations in the U.S. and how much progress has been made – or not – in achieving racial equality.

Pew Research Center has tracked this subject over time. Here are five of our key findings:

1About six-in-ten Americans say the country needs to continue making changes to assure that blacks have equal rights with whites, according to our July 2015 poll. This marks a substantial increase from 2014, when public opinion was much more closely divided. Underlying that majority is a significant racial divide: 86% of blacks say more needs to be done to achieve racial equality, compared with 53% of whites. However, the share of whites who see the need for change significantly increased from 39% a year earlier.

A majority of Americans says the nation needs to make changes to give blacks equal rights.

Growing share of Americans view racism as a "big problem."2A growing share of Americans say that racism in society is a big problem. Half of Americans now say this, up from 33% five years earlier, reflecting an increase across all demographic groups. Nearly three-quarters of blacks characterized racism as a big problem, as did 58% of Hispanics. Although whites were far less likely to say racism is a big problem (44%), the share of whites expressing this view has risen 17 percentage points since 2010. There is a partisan divide too: 61% of Democrats say racism is a big problem, compared with 41% of Republicans – though the share of Republicans saying racism is a big problem has doubled since 2010, when it was just 17%.  Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Income Inequality, Race and Ethnicity