Jun 16, 2015 11:54 am

Ideological divide over global warming as wide as ever

Little Change in Views of Whether the Earth is WarmingPope Francis will publish an encyclical addressing environmental issues and climate change this Thursday, a subject that continues to deeply divide Americans, including Catholics, along partisan and ideological lines.

Overall, Americans’ views about whether the earth is warming have remained relatively stable in recent years, with about two-thirds of the public (68%) currently saying there is solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades while 25% say there is not solid evidence of this.

Even so, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that there has been a significant uptick over the past two years in the share of Americans who say global warming is a very serious problem. Currently, 46% say that global warming is a very serious problem, up 13 percentage points from the spring of 2013.

Partisanship and ideology remain some of the strongest factors underlying attitudes about whether Earth is warming, our survey finds. Today, roughly nine-in-ten liberal Democrats (92%) say that there is solid evidence Earth’s average temperature is rising, and 76% attribute this rise mostly to human activity. Very few liberal Democrats (5%) say there is not solid evidence of warming. A clear 83% majority of conservative and moderate Democrats also say Earth is warming, but just 55% say this is the result of human activity. Read More

Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Energy and Environment, Political Polarization, Religious Leaders, U.S. Political Parties

Jun 16, 2015 7:00 am

Among multiracial adults, racial identity can be fluid

Is race purely about the races in your family tree? A new Pew Research Center survey of multiracial adults suggests there’s more to racial identity that goes beyond one’s ancestry.

Attempts to Change How Others See Their RaceThe survey of 1,555 multiracial adults found that three-in-ten say they have changed how they viewed their racial identity over the course of their lifetimes.

About one-in-five multiracial Americans, including about a third of all black mixed-race adults, have dressed or behaved in a certain way in an attempt to influence how others see their race.

Taken together, these findings suggest that, for many multiracial Americans, racial identity can change over the life course. It is a mix of biology, family upbringing and the perceptions that others have about them.

According to our survey, fully 21% of mixed-race adults have attempted to influence how others saw their race. About one-in-ten multiracial adults have talked (12%), dressed (11%) or worn their hair (11%) in a certain way in order to affect how others saw their race. A similar share (11%) say they associated with certain people to alter how others saw their racial background. (The survey did not ask respondents to identify which race or races they sought to resemble.) Read More

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Identity, Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Census

Jun 15, 2015 10:00 am

Republicans and Democrats sharply divided on how tough to be with Russia

Partisan Divide in U.S. on What to Do About RussiaAs the Obama White House and its NATO allies discuss their responses to Russia’s activities in Ukraine, Washington faces its own internal divisions, some of which are being reflected in the early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign. Republicans and Democrats in the United States are strongly divided on the situation in Ukraine and what to do about it.

Members of both American political parties see Russia as a major military threat to neighboring countries, but to differing degrees, according to our latest survey. Read More

Topics: Elections and Campaigns, Europe, International Threats and Allies, Russia, U.S. Political Parties

Jun 15, 2015 7:00 am

Is being Hispanic a matter of race, ethnicity or both?

Two-Thirds of Hispanic Adults Say Being Hispanic is Part of Their Racial BackgroundWhen it comes to reporting their racial identity, Latinos stand out from other Americans. In the 2010 census, for example, 94% of the U.S. population selected at least one of the five standard, government-defined racial categories – white, black, Asian, American Indian or Pacific Islander. But among Latinos, just 63% selected at least one of these categories; 37% of Latinos, or 19 million, instead selected only “some other race,” with many offering write-in responses such as “Mexican,” Hispanic” or “Latin American.”

Federal policy defines “Hispanic” not as a race, but as an ethnicity. And it prescribes that Hispanics can in fact be of any race. But these census findings suggest that standard U.S. racial categories might either be confusing or not provide relevant options for Hispanics to describe their racial identity. They also raise an important question long pondered by social scientists and policymakers: Do Hispanics consider their Hispanic background to be part of their racial background, their ethnic background or both? Read More

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Hispanic/Latino Identity, Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Census

Jun 12, 2015 12:00 pm

6 charts showing how Russians see their country and the world

As part of our recent survey examining public opinion on the Ukraine crisis in NATO countries, we also looked at how Russians assessed the state of their own country and its place in the world. We found that while Russians are downbeat about their economy, they still strongly support President Vladimir Putin, have increasingly negative views of Western countries and leaders, and are nostalgic for the Soviet era.

Here are six charts that tell the story of the current mood in Russia:

Russian Views of Economy Souring1Nearly three-quarters in Russia (73%) say that their economy is in bad shape. Only around a quarter (24%) say the Russian economy is doing well. Over the past year, the fall in the price of oil and Western sanctions have led to a 20 percentage point drop in positive economic sentiment, despite recent signs that the economic downturn might prove less severe than anticipated.

Asked what the cause of the economic downturn is, one-third of Russians point to Western sanctions, while another third blame falling oil prices. Only a quarter blame current government policies. Read More

Topics: Europe, International Threats and Allies, Russia

Jun 12, 2015 9:55 am

Interracial marriage: Who is ‘marrying out’?

Interracial Marriages Vary by RaceToday marks the 48th anniversary of the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in 16 states. Interracial marriages have increased steadily since then.

In 2013, a record-high 12% of newlyweds married someone of a different race, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. (This share does not take into account the “interethnic” marriages between Hispanics and non-Hispanics, which we covered in an earlier report on intermarriage.)

Looking beyond newlyweds, 6.3% of all marriages were between spouses of different races in 2013, up from less than 1% in 1970.

Read More

Topics: Intermarriage, Race and Ethnicity

Jun 12, 2015 7:00 am

The changing categories the U.S. has used to measure race

What Census Calls Us: A Historical Timeline

The varying ways in which the U.S. government has counted Americans over time offer a glimpse into the country’s past, from the days of slavery to the waves of immigrants who arrived on its shores over the centuries. Racial categories, which have been included on every U.S. census since the first one in 1790, have changed from decade to decade, reflecting the politics and science of the times.

It was not until 1960 that people could select their own race. Prior to that, an individual’s race was determined by census takers, known as enumerators. And it was not until 2000 that Americans could choose more than one race to describe themselves, allowing for an estimate of the nation’s multiracial population. These changes continue today, as major revisions of the race question are being considered for the 2020 census.

Read More

Topics: African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino Identity, Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Census

Jun 11, 2015 12:00 pm

American Indian and white, but not ‘multiracial’

White and American Indian Biracial Adults Are the Largest Multiracial GroupAmerica’s multiracial population encompasses a multitude of racial combinations. But the largest share of multiracial adults by far – half – is non-Hispanic white and American Indian, a new Pew Research Center survey has found. Among the 1,555 multiracial adults surveyed, an additional 12% are non-Hispanic black and American Indian, while another 6% are non-Hispanic white, black and American Indian.

Yet the same survey shows that many of these multiracial American Indian adults have few connections with Native Americans. For example, among biracial adults who are white and American Indian, only 22% say they have a lot in common with American Indians; 61% say they have a lot in common with whites. And only 19% say they have had a lot of contact with their relatives who are American Indian.

Read More

Topics: Demographics, Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Census

Jun 11, 2015 11:00 am

5 facts about abortion

More than four decades after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, opponents and supporters of abortion rights are still battling over the issue in court. The most recent salvos were fired in New Orleans on June 9, when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas law that requires abortion clinics in the state to meet rigorous health and safety standards. Abortion opponents say the law is necessary to protect the health and safety of women. But abortion rights supporters contend the statute is intended to make it impossible for most abortion providers in Texas to remain open; they plan to ask the Supreme Court to review the 5th Circuit’s ruling.

Meanwhile, public opinion on abortion has held relatively steady, with Americans roughly divided on the issue. Here are a few key facts about Americans’ views on the topic, based on recent Pew Research Center polling: Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Abortion

Jun 11, 2015 7:00 am

How Pew Research conducted its survey of multiracial Americans

Rich Morin, senior editor, Pew Research Center
Rich Morin, senior editor, Pew Research Center

Today, Pew Research Center released its first report on American multiracial adults, a group that comprises an estimated 6.9% of the adult population, or nearly 17 million adults. The report looks at who they are demographically, their attitudes and experiences, and the spectrum of their racial identity.

Overall, America’s multiracial population is growing three times as fast as the population as a whole, and it is poised to triple by the middle of this century, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet just shy of 50 years ago, interracial marriage was illegal in more than a dozen Southern states. And it was not until 2000 that the Census Bureau began allowing people the option of selecting more than one race for themselves.

We asked researcher Rich Morin, one of the authors of the report, about Pew Research’s interest in studying this group, what researchers learned and how they conducted the study. Read More

Topics: Demographics, Hispanic/Latino Identity, Race and Ethnicity, Research Methods, U.S. Census