Jun 14, 2016 7:00 am

Where Americans and Europeans agree, disagree on foreign policy

The United States and its European allies have maintained a strong transatlantic relationship for more than half a century, even if Americans and Europeans have not always seen eye-to-eye on foreign policy issues (the Iraq War nearly a decade ago being a prominent example). Today, there are some notable similarities between public opinion in the U.S. and Europe, although there are significant differences as well, a new Pew Research Center survey reveals. And on both sides of the Atlantic, there are sharp ideological divisions within nations over key foreign policy issues.

1Americans, many Europeans want to focus on own country's problemsAmericans and Europeans are looking inward. Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) believe the U.S. should deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their problems as best they can; just 37% think the U.S. should help other countries solve problems. On balance, Europeans are also focused on their own challenges, although half or more in Spain, Germany and Sweden want to help other nations. While this nation-first sentiment has seen little change in recent years in Europe, it has grown by 11 percentage points since 2010 in the U.S.

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Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Europe, Foreign Affairs and Policy, International Threats and Allies, World Economies

Jun 13, 2016 5:55 pm

Key findings on how Europeans see their place in the world

Many Europeans are questioning their respective countries’ role in the world after contending with years of economic struggle, coping with waves of refugees, feeling under siege from terrorist attacks and facing a newly assertive Russia. A new Pew Research Center survey of 10 European nations finds a population looking inward, although views across the continent differ on specific questions such as the importance of global engagement and which issues constitute the greatest threats.

Here are six key findings from our survey:

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Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Europe, Foreign Affairs and Policy, International Governments and Institutions, Terrorism

Jun 13, 2016 10:00 am

About six-in-ten Syrians are now displaced from their homes

Conflict in Syria has displaced millions of citizens from their homes since protests against the al-Assad government began more than five years ago. An estimated 12.5 million Syrians are now displaced, amounting to about six-in-ten of the country’s 2011 midyear population – and up from less than 1 million in 2011, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of global refugee data.

12.5 million Syrians now displaced from their homeThe displacement of Syrians is unprecedented in recent history for a single country, our analysis of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data found. For example, conflicts in Afghanistan during the Soviet incursion in the 1980s resulted in about half of the country’s population being displaced within or outside its borders. Less than a fifth of Iraq’s population was displaced when violence rose in 2007 and 2008. And more than 2.5 million Rwandans, or less than half of its population, were displaced during the 1994 genocide.

Previous estimates since 2014 have found that about half of Syria’s pre-conflict population had been displaced. That share has risen to about 60% as more than a million additional Syrians crossed international borders into neighboring countries like Turkey or left for more distant destinations in Europe. Read More

Topics: Middle East and North Africa, Migration, Wars and International Conflicts

Jun 10, 2016 10:30 am

Turnout was high in the 2016 primary season, but just short of 2008 record

More than 57.6 million people, or 28.5% of estimated eligible voters, voted in the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries that all but wrapped up Tuesday – close to but not quite at the record participation level set in 2008.

After a long decline, primary turnout reboundsFor a while it looked like this year’s primaries, driven by high turnout on the Republican side, might eclipse the turnout record set in 2008, when 30.4% of voting-age citizens cast ballots. The GOP did indeed have the highest primary turnout since at least 1980, according to our analysis – 14.8%, compared with 11% in 2008 and 9.8% in 2012. But turnout fell off markedly after Donald Trump won the May 3 Indiana primary and his two main rivals dropped out of the race.

Turnout in the first 29 GOP primaries – up to and including Indiana – averaged 16.6%, according to our analysis. But turnout in the final nine contests, after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, averaged only 8.4%.

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Topics: 2016 Election, U.S. Political Figures, U.S. Political Parties

Jun 8, 2016 10:46 am

Increase in living with parents driven by those ages 25-34, non-college grads

A recent Pew Research Center analysis of census data found that in 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. were more likely to be living in their parents’ home than with a spouse or partner in their own household. A closer analysis of the data helps explain why: Adults in their late 20s and early 30s are living with their parents at record or near-record levels.

Record share of 25- to 34-year-olds living in parents' homeSince at least 1880, which is as far back as the census data go, the youngest group of young adults (those ages 18 to 24) have consistently been the most likely to live with their parents – which makes sense, given that they’re also the most likely to be unmarried and/or still in school. In 2014, half of all 18- to 24-year-olds lived in the home of one or both parents, up modestly from 46% in 2006.

But over that same period the share of 25- to 29-year-olds living in their parents’ home has risen more sharply – from 18% in 2006 to 25% in 2014, among the highest levels on record. And the 13% of 30- to 34-year-olds living with their parents in 2013 and 2014 (up from 9% in 2006) is the highest level for that group since 1940. (Other census data suggest that the share of 25- to 34-year-olds living with their parents continued to rise into 2015.) Read More

Topics: Family and Relationships, Generations and Age, Household and Family Structure

Jun 8, 2016 7:00 am

British crave more autonomy from EU as Brexit vote nears

Ahead of referendum, most Brits want to reclaim powers from EUThe United Kingdom may soon become the first country to leave the European Union, pending the results of a June 23 referendum. As the vote nears, a new Pew Research Center survey highlights a key British complaint about the EU: Nearly two-thirds of Britons say they want the EU to return certain powers to national governments. Only 6% want to transfer more powers to the Brussels-based institution.

The UK is not alone in its preference for a less centralized union. A median of 42% of Europeans across the 10 countries surveyed say they want to reclaim some powers from Brussels, while just 19% favor greater centralization (27% prefer the status quo). Only Greece, which spent much of last summer fighting the EU over a contentious debt crisis, rivals the UK in its desire for more autonomy (68% of Greeks voice this view).

Older people in the UK are more likely to support reclaiming some powers from the EU. Almost three-quarters of British over the age of 50 take this position, compared with only 51% of those ages 18-35. Read More

Topics: Europe, International Governments and Institutions, International Organizations

Jun 3, 2016 7:00 am

The challenges of translating the U.S. census questionnaire into Arabic

In 2020, census questionnaires may for the first time be offered in Arabic, now the fastest-growing language in the U.S. However, the Census Bureau faces a challenge not only in translating the language but also in adjusting the appearance of the questionnaire for those accustomed to reading and writing Arabic script.

Some challenges in translating the census questionnaire into Arabic

The Census Bureau has already conducted some research on what it would take to implement the new questionnaire and has made some recommendations. A final decision on these changes – or even whether the questionnaire will definitely be translated into Arabic – hasn’t been made. A new study presented at the American Association for Public Opinion Research annual conference in May detailed the bureau’s cognitive testing and focus groups of Arabic speakers not proficient in English to identify the translation and visual display issues that are unique to Arabic and anticipate the measurement problems that might result. The bureau will use this research to help determine whether a translation of the census form can accurately “translate” symbolic and layout meanings from English to Arabic. Read More

Topics: Language, Middle East and North Africa, Research Methods, U.S. Census

Jun 2, 2016 11:01 am

More ‘warmth’ for Trump among GOP voters concerned by immigrants, diversity

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on June 1, 2016 in Sacramento, California. (Photo credit: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on June 1 in Sacramento, California. (Photo credit: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Among the vast majority of GOP voters who think that the growing number of newcomers to the U.S. “threatens traditional American customs and values,” 59% have warm feelings toward Donald Trump – with 42% saying they feel very warmly toward him.

Within GOP, views of immigration, Islam, diversity strongly associated with ratings of TrumpBy contrast, among the much smaller share of Republican voters (just 21%) who say that the growing number of newcomers “strengthens American society,” half as many (30%) have warm feelings toward Trump, with only 14% feeling very warmly toward him.

An analysis of “feeling thermometer” ratings of Trump finds that attitudes about immigration, Islam and racial diversity are strongly associated with Republican voters’ views of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Other political values – including opinions about whether the U.S. economic system is unfair and whether business profits are excessive – are less closely linked to feelings about Trump.

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Topics: 2016 Election, Immigration Attitudes, Muslims and Islam, National Economy, Political Attitudes and Values, U.S. Political Figures

Jun 2, 2016 7:04 am

Where wages are worth the most and least in the U.S.

Biggest and smallest U.S. paychecks, after cost-of-living adjustment

Silicon Valley has the highest average pay in the United States – $2,069 a week, according to federal wage data. That might not be too surprising, but here’s what is: Even after factoring in the region’s notoriously high cost of living, the high-tech hub’s wages come out on top in terms of relative purchasing power.

As we’ve noted before, prices for everything from housing to groceries vary widely from place to place, with the result being that a given income can mean very different things in New York, New Orleans, or New Bern, North Carolina. To get a handle on those variations, one can use the “regional price parities,” or RPPs, developed by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The RPPs measure local price levels in each of the nation’s 381 metropolitan statistical areas, as well as the nonmetropolitan portions of states, relative to the overall national price level.

Following up on our recent post about growth in average weekly wages, we decided to see how wages in the nation’s 381 metro areas stack up against each other when adjusted for regional price variations. We used the most recent available data for wages (the third quarter of 2015) and the latest set of RPPs (from 2013).

Even though California’s San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area, which covers Silicon Valley, has the third-highest cost of living in the country (after Honolulu and New York-Newark-Jersey City), its adjusted wage ($1,706) is still more than $400 higher than the runner-up, the California-Lexington Park, Maryland, metro area.  Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Income

Jun 1, 2016 2:00 pm

5 facts about the global Somali diaspora

Somali refugees fleeing Libya demonstrate at the Choucha refugee camp near the Tunisian border in March 2011. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)
Somali refugees fleeing Libya demonstrate at the Choucha refugee camp near the Tunisian border in March 2011. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

Somalia has faced lawlessness and strife during its decades-long civil war. As the country of 10.8 million continues to experience political and economic instability, its people are increasingly living outside of Somalia. New migrants are making their way to places like Europe, but they face a long and dangerous journey over land and sea. Hundreds of Somalis reportedly died in April 2016 while crossing the Mediterranean Sea and after crossing over land through Northern Africa. And as a result of its long civil war, many Somalis have lived outside the country for many years. Recently, though, Kenya pledged to remove Somalis living in refugee camps from within its borders, potentially sending hundreds of thousands of people back to Somalia who have not lived there for many years, or possibly elsewhere.

Here are five facts about the increasingly global Somali diaspora:

1Number of Somali migrants living abroadBetween 1990 and 2015, the total number of people born in Somalia but living outside the country more than doubled, from about 850,000 to 2 million. The share of Somali migrants abroad grew 136% between 1990 and 2015, according to United Nations estimates. At the same time, the population of Somalia itself has grown less quickly at 71%, increasing from 6.3 million in 1990 to 10.8 million in 2015. (The global Somali diaspora includes all migrants, both refugees and other migrants.)  Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Immigration Trends, Sub-Saharan Africa, Wars and International Conflicts