Apr 7, 2014 11:22 am

Data Feed: Democrats and inequality, remittances from migrant women, gasoline taxes, India’s big election

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

Category: Data Feed

Apr 7, 2014 10:36 am

6 facts about marijuana

A new Pew Research Center survey found a broad shift in the public’s views on the nation’s drug policies, with many in favor of shifting the focus of government efforts from prosecution to treatment for use of illicit drugs. The survey also attracted much attention for its findings on attitudes about legalizing marijuana and views of its use. Here are six key facts on public opinion about marijuana:

Growing support for marijuana legalization1Support for marijuana legalization continues to grow. A 54% majority of Americans say the drug should be made legal, compared with 42% who want it to be illegal. Opinions have changed drastically since 1969, when Gallup first asked the question and just 12% favored legalization. Much of the change in opinion has occurred over the past few years — support has risen 13 points since 2010. Separately, 76% in our new survey say people convicted of minor possession should not serve time in jail. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Domestic Affairs and Policy, Drugs

Apr 4, 2014 3:17 pm

WashPost/Kaiser: Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans bring home the burdens of war

The deadly shootings on Wednesday at Fort Hood, Texas, were allegedly the act of an Iraqi war veteran who had been under evaluation for post-traumatic stress disorder and was being treated for anxiety and depression, according to the Army. But military officials stressed that the shooter, Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez, had not seen combat during a relatively short tour in Iraq in 2011, and there are reports of other factors that may have been in play, including a dispute with superiors over a request for leave.

The horrific nature of mass shootings, which are rare and account for a very small share of all homicides, always rivet public attention. But because this one occurred on a military base, it drew attention again to concerns about the extent to how the military copes with soldiers experiencing mental and emotional problems, particularly when it comes to veterans returning from the post-9/11 wars. Read More

Topics: Military and Veterans, Wars and International Conflicts

Apr 4, 2014 1:49 pm

Chart of the week: Still deep in the jobs hole

Chart showing how long it will take to return to pre-recession employment levels at different rates of job growth

Today’s employment report indicated that the U.S. economy added 192,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March, slightly below the revised gain for February and a bit below Wall Street expectations. That essentially continues the pattern in place since late 2010: steady, decent job growth but only enough to chip away at the yawning jobs hole opened by the Great Recession. Even now, there are still 437,000 fewer payroll jobs than there were in January 2008.

But that metric understates the jobs gap, as illustrated in the above chart from the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative of the Brookings Institution. (Clicking the chart will take you to an interactive graphic.) Because more people are entering the labor force each month, merely replacing all the jobs lost during the recession won’t bring employment back to its pre-crisis level.

Under the most optimistic scenario — the economy adds 472,000 jobs a month, the highest single-month rate in the 2000s — it would still take until October 2015 for employment to regain its pre-recession level. If the economy replicates its performance in 2005 (the best year since 2000) and adds about 208,000 jobs a month, it would take until September 2018. And if the economy continues to add jobs at the rate it has since late 2010 — an average of 182,000 a month — the employment gap won’t be closed till August 2019.

Category: Chart of the Week

Topics: National Economy, Work and Employment

Apr 4, 2014 11:00 am

Data Feed: 192,000 new jobs, veterans’ mental health, ‘bright flight’ from cities

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

Category: Data Feed

Apr 4, 2014 10:00 am

U.S. doesn’t rank high in religious diversity

The United States has often been described as a religiously diverse country, an image celebrated in forums ranging from scholarly work to a popular bumper sticker and even a recent Coca-Cola commercial during the Super Bowl. But, from a global perspective, the United States really is not all that religiously diverse, according to a new Pew Research Center study. In fact, 95% of the U.S. population is either Christian or religiously unaffiliated, while all other religions combined account for just 5% of Americans. As a result, the U.S. ranks 68th out of 232 countries and territories on our Religious Diversity Index. Read More

Topics: Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices, Religiously Unaffiliated

Apr 4, 2014 9:35 am

‘Mexican,’ ‘Hispanic,’ ‘Latin American’ top list of race write-ins on the 2010 census

Race question on census form US census Some other raceWhat is your race? The U.S. Census Bureau asks this question of every U.S. household, but the menu of options offered may feel limiting to some.

On the 2010 census form, in addition to boxes marked “white,” “black or African Am. Or Negro” or “American Indian or Native Alaskan” or one of several Asian options, respondents have the option to select a box called “some other race”—and to write in a response in a box below.

Hispanics' "some other race" write-in codesAccording to a new Census report released last week, about one-third of the 47.4 million self-identified Hispanics chose “some other race” when describing their racial identity. Among them, 44.3% wrote in Mexican, Mexican American or Mexico in the box provided. An additional 22.7% wrote in Hispanic or Hispano or Hispana as their race and another 10.0% wrote in Latin American or Latino or Latin.

Latinos are not the only group of Americans who utilize the “some other race” category on the census form—but they are the most likely to do so. In 2010, 6.2% of Americans selected “some other race,” up from 5.5% in 2000. Among all those who answered the race question this way in 2010, 96.8% were Hispanic, little changed from 2000. In addition to the race question, the 2010 census included a separate question about Hispanic origin. It is currently the only ethnic category included in the census and has been asked of all households on census forms since 1980.  Read More

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Census

Apr 3, 2014 2:18 pm

Asia Foundation: Among Afghan public, mixed support for women’s rights

Afghan Women Wait For Voter Cards
Afghan women wait to receive their voter cards at a voter registration center in Kabul on March 30, 2014.
Credit: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

The debate about women’s participation in Afghanistan’s political process has intensified ahead of this weekend’s elections, in part due to the unusually high level of women’s involvement in campaigns. A record number of women are running for provincial council seats, according to the New York Times, and Habiba Sarobi is the first female vice presidential candidate on a leading ticket.

Sarobi, however, has reportedly received numerous death threats, and despite some visible gains for women’s rights – especially since the days of Taliban rule from 1996-2001 – surveys show mixed feelings among the Afghan public about women’s role in society. For example, there is a stark contrast between the share of Afghan women (60%) and men (35%) who support equal representation for men and women in elected government positions, according to a 2013 survey of Afghans conducted by The Asia FoundationRead More

Topics: Foreign News, Religion and Society

Apr 3, 2014 11:37 am

Data Feed: Campaign spending caps, global economic recovery, America’s seniors and tech use

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

Polls show broad support for campaign spending caps, New York Times
Public sentiment cools toward Christie, warmer to Clinton and Warren, Quinnipiac
In N.J., Gov Chris Christie’s ratings have stabilized, Monmouth U./Asbury Park Press

Chart: State actions on the minimum wage, New York Times
Mobile banking more popular among the young, BBVA
40 years of Chicago’s rising inequality, in one GIF, The Atlantic Cities
Most U.S. jobs pay less than $20 an hour, CNN Money
Almost everywhere, men predominate in computer jobs, FiveThirtyEight
Payroll to population rate 42.7% in March, Gallup
Americans still favor energy conservation over greater production, Gallup
U.S. journalism revenues have fallen by a third since 2006, Pew Research Center

Read More

Category: Data Feed

Apr 3, 2014 10:14 am

News revenue declines despite growth from new sources

Newsgathering Revenue
© Paul Burns/Corbis

Total revenue supporting American journalism has declined by one-third since 2006, according to a new analysis by Pew Research Center. The sources of the estimated $63-$65 billion dollars supporting print, online and broadcast news have also shifted, with advertising dollars declining and audience payments, in the form of subscriptions, for example, comprising a bigger share.  In addition, non-traditional revenue, such as digital marketing services and event hosting—which was minimal in 2006—has quadrupled, even though it remains a small piece of the pie.

Using a mixture of market research firms, news industry trade associations and self-reported information from news outlets and accounting for inflation, we estimate the annual revenue for professional newsgathering in the U.S. at about $94-$95 billion in 2006. (It could possibly be a little larger, given that some figures were unavailable for analysis.)  Read More

Topics: Media Revenue Models, State of the News Media