Feb 4, 2014 1:23 pm

The countries that will be most impacted by aging population

FT_dependcy-agingAn aging population is a looming economic and social burden, particularly in Europe and Northeast Asia, and to a lesser extent in the United States. In many of these societies, the public recognizes the problem. How this recognition affects the emerging politics of global aging — the allocation of scarce fiscal resources to pay for the pensions and health care of the elderly – could prove a defining issue in graying economies around the world for decades to come.

In their views about their own aging population, Americans, in particular, stand out. They are less worried than most Europeans and Asians, reflecting the demographic reality that the U.S. population is aging more slowly. Nevertheless, Americans’ degree of concern mirrors that in much younger societies, suggesting they may not fully appreciate their aging challenge. Read More

Topics: Population Projections

Feb 4, 2014 11:46 am

Data Feed: Olympic skepticism, consumer confidence, Super Bowl tweets

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Public skeptical of decision to hold Winter Olympics in Russia, Pew Research Center
Deficit projected to fall in 2014 and 2015, then start rising again, CBO
Partisan voting trends in Congress, 1953-2013, CQ Roll Call
Why you shouldn’t blame polarization on partisan news, The Washington Post
Christie’s loss appears to be Clinton’s gain, CNN/ORC
Midwest business leaders back comprehensive immigration reform, Chicago Council
More House incumbents facing challenging primaries, Center for Responsive Politics
Voters prefer internet as source of election information, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Recent gains keep confidence warm in January, Reuters/University of Michigan
Federal job cuts aren’t just biting inside the Beltway, Tax Policy Center
Why more educated workers enjoy greater employment stability, Federal Reserve
Computer and electronic products are top U.S. exports to Mexico, Census Bureau
If car culture is really dying, it’s a long, slow, complicated death, Quartz

Read More

Category: Data Feed

Feb 4, 2014 11:02 am

Facebook is a news source for many, but only incidentally

Over the past decade, Facebook has evolved from a social network for college students to a source of information, connection, entertainment — and, sometimes, news — for 1.2 billion people around the world. But according to a Pew Research Center report from last year, most Americans who get news via Facebook do so as a byproduct of their other activities there — what one might call “drive-by news”.

About half (47%) of adult U.S. Facebook users said they had ever gotten news via the service — equivalent to 30% of the adult population, the survey found. But the overwhelming majority (78%) of that subgroup said they picked up news from Facebook when they were on the site for some other reason; just 4% said Facebook was their most important news source. Read More

Topics: News Sources, Social Media, Social Networking

Feb 4, 2014 10:05 am

Overseas users power Facebook’s growth; more going mobile-only


The number of Facebook users who log into the social-networking service or share content through it on any given day.

Facebook-Growth_1Ten years ago today, a little website called thefacebook.com was launched. Initially restricted to Harvard undergraduates, the site had 1 million users by the end of 2004. Today, Facebook (“the” was dropped in 2005) has more than 1.2 billion “monthly active users” around the world. As of December, the company says 757 million people used the social-networking service on any given day.

These days, Facebook’s strongest growth is coming from overseas. The monthly user base (defined as those who accessed the site at least once in the previous 30 days) grew just 4.1% in the U.S. and Canada last year, according to the company’s annual 10-K report. In Europe, it grew by 8%; in Asia, 23.5% (including Australia and New Zealand); and in the rest of the world, it grew by 23.7%. American and Canadian users, in fact, now make up less than a sixth of Facebook’s total user base. Read More

Category: Daily Number

Topics: Social Media, Social Networking

Feb 3, 2014 5:44 pm

Coke, “America the Beautiful,” and the language of diversity

Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” ad, that aired during Sunday night’s Super Bowl, sought to portray ethnic diversity in the U.S. by featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in several languages. The many different kinds of people in the ad – Hispanics, cowboys, Muslims, Jews and Asians – were all implicitly united by their identity as “American.”

But not everyone was happy with Coke’s celebration of diversity in the country. After the ad was aired, Twitter lit up with commentary  under various hashtags (such as #SpeakAmerican) critical of the company. Some commenters found it disrespectful to sing “America the Beautiful” in any language other than English, while others said immigrants need to learn English to live in the United States.

FT_Coke_LanguageSo how linguistically diverse is the United States? Data from the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) show that 21% of Americans age five or older  speak a language other than English at home. Among this group, a majority say they speak English “very well” (58%), and 19% say they speak English “well.” Roughly one-in-seven (15%) of those who speak a language other than English at home say they do not speak English well, and 7% report having no English language skill at all.

Other than English, the language most commonly spoken by Americans is Spanish. ACS data show that 37.6 million Americans age five or older speak Spanish in their home. Other languages, including ones highlighted by the Coke commercial, have a much more limited presence. Chinese is spoken by 2.8 million Americans, Tagalog by 1.7 million Americans and Korean by 1.1 million Americans age five or older.

The eight languages shown in the accompanying chart account for 83% of those Americans who speak a language other than English at home. In all,  there are 381 languages spoken in the U.S. that are counted by the Census Bureau, and detailed information is available for 106 of them.

Topics: Demographics, Internet Activities, Language, Television

Feb 3, 2014 1:08 pm

10 projections for the global population in 2050

A new Pew Research Center report examines global public opinion on the challenges posed by aging populations and analyzes projections for the populations in the U.S. and in 22 other countries. Here are 10 major findings regarding the demographic future of the world’s population in 2050.

1The global population is getting older: The number of people 65 and older is projected to triple by mid-century, from 531 million in 2010 to 1.5 billion in 2050. In the U.S., the population of seniors is expected to slightly more than double, from 41 to 86 million.


Read More

Topics: Population Geography, Population Projections, Population Trends

Feb 3, 2014 12:00 pm

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham: Are evolution and religion at odds?

FT-nye-ham-02-03-2014-03Religion and evolution will take center stage Tuesday evening in Petersburg, Ky., home of the Creation Museum and the site of a debate between Ken Ham, the museum’s founder, and Bill Nye. The topic: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

Nye is the former host of the children’s TV show “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and a science education advocate; he has spoken out against teaching creationism to children. Ham, meanwhile, is CEO of Answers in Genesis and a believer that Earth is several thousand years old (a movement known as young-Earth creationism). Read More

Topics: Evolution, Religious Beliefs and Practices

Feb 3, 2014 11:24 am

Data Feed: Geography of cancer risk, Antarctic tourism, old Mexico lives on

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Are Fox and MSNBC polarizing America? Yes, but it’s complicated, The Washington Post
Obama’s priorities face split nation, The Wall Street Journal

Who advertised during Sunday’s Super Bowl, and when? CNN Money
How much is the Super Bowl worth? By one count, $68.27/viewer, The Wall Street Journal
State-by-state look at long-term unemployment, The Pew Charitable Trusts
January spending sees normal post-holiday drop, Gallup
Bigger tax refunds appear to boost college enrollment, NBER
75% of Eurozone companies say corruption widespread in their countries, Eurobarometer
More than 1 billion smartphones shipped worldwide last year, The Economist

Read More

Category: Data Feed

Feb 3, 2014 10:00 am

6 new facts about Facebook

Facebook turns 10 tomorrow and reaches that milestone as the dominant social networking platform, used by 57% of all American adults and 73% of all those ages 12-17.  Adult Facebook use is intensifying: 64% of Facebook users visit the site on a daily basis, up from 51% of users who were daily users in 2010. Among teens, the total number of users remains high, according to Pew Research Center surveys, and they are not abandoning the site. But focus group interviews suggest that teens’ relationship with Facebook is complicated and may be evolving.

New Pew Research Center survey findings show how people are using Facebook and what they like and dislike about the site.

1Some users dislike certain aspects of Facebook, but fear of missing out on social activities (or “FOMO”) isn’t one of them.

FT_Facebook-user-dislikesTheir dislikes start with oversharing by friends and people posting one’s personal information (such as photos) without first asking permission are among the most common. Parents are especially protective of images of their children, as 57% of Facebook users with children under the age of 18 say that people posting pictures of their children without asking permission first is something they strongly dislike about using Facebook.

On the other hand, the “fear of missing out” phenomenon resonates with only a small proportion of the Facebook population. Just 5% of Facebook users strongly dislike the fact that Facebook allows them to see others taking part in social activities that they themselves were not included in—and 84% of users say that this aspect of Facebook life doesn’t bother them at all. Read More

Feb 3, 2014 7:00 am

About six-in-ten Americans looking forward to Olympics


The share of Americans who say they’re looking forward to the Winter Olympics.

On Feb. 7, the XXII Olympic Winter Games will open in Sochi on Russia’s Black Sea coast. Nearly six-in-ten Americans (58%) say they’re looking forward to the Winter Olympics, making it among the most anticipated 2014 events we asked about. And while intentions may not always line up with actions, the Olympics finding is in line with the share of Americans who’ve said they’ve closely followed previous Games.

Since the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, the Pew Research Center has covered five summer and three winter games as part of its regular news interest surveys, in which we ask whether people are following various news events and, if so, how closely. Overall, the level of Olympics interest varies within a clear range: More than half but less than two-thirds say they’ve followed that year’s Games “very” or “fairly” closely, with the average interest level slightly higher for Summer Games. (For this exercise, we considered only surveys conducted during or shortly after the Games; when more than one survey was conducted we took the highest interest level.)

FT_14.01.29_OlympicsDN_310pxThe two exceptions were the 1996 (Atlanta) and 2004 (Athens) Summer Olympics. In 1996, the bombing at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park occurred during our initial survey period; perhaps not surprisingly, 75% of people said they were following the Games closely — including 45% who said they were following them “very” closely, the highest interest level for any Olympics. In a follow-up survey in early September, a month after the Games concluded, interest had fallen back to 66%.

During the Athens Games, the public was evenly split between those who said they were following the Olympics very or fairly closely (50%) and those who said they were following them not too or not at all closely (50%).

Category: Daily Number

Topics: International Organizations