New data released this week from the U.S. Census Bureau reaffirm the strong linkage between educational attainment and the marital status and living arrangements of parents of minor children.
Among parents who live with a child under the age of 18, 89% of college graduates are married, compared with 64% of parents with less than a high school diploma and 70% of those with just a high school diploma.
Keeping up with what people do online is no easy task — just ask the researchers in our Internet Project. Nor is it much easier for those seeking ways to make money off online activities — they’re changing almost too fast to keep up with.
But the folks at Quartz, the business-news site from Atlantic Media, have given it a good shot. They pulled together data from Intel, investment bank GP Bullhound, and a Facebook-led consortium called Internet.org to create this neat summation of what happens in a minute on six of the Web’s biggest services — and how that’s changed in just one year:
Here’s another way of looking at the same numbers:
Part of the reason each “internet minute” is busier is, simply, because more people are online: 2.75 billion, or 38.8% of the global population, according to the International Telecommunication Union. But as Quartz notes, another reason is that faster connection speeds are enabling users to do a lot more, and a lot more quickly, than ever before: Average global broadband speeds are 17% faster than last year, according to the publication.
Category: Chart of the Week
Topics: Internet Activities
Half of Americans say they dread holiday shopping.
The holiday shopping spree kicked off early this year as large retailers like Wal-Mart and Target started offering online deals many weeks before Thanksgiving weekend. For brick-and-mortar shoppers, some stores will even extend their Black Friday hours into Thanksgiving Day. That’s both good news and bad news for many Americans, as attitudes about holiday shopping can be quite polarizing.
Asked if holiday shopping was something they look forward to or dread, 42% of Americans say they look forward to it, while 50% of Americans say they dread it, according to a CBS News poll earlier this month. And 61% say they won’t shop at all over Thanksgiving weekend, compared with 36% who say they will. Just 2% of Americans say they will shop on Thanksgiving Day itself — the majority of Americans (76%) believe stores should be closed then.
While 37% of Americans plan to spend less on gifts this year, 10% plan on spending more. This year’s average Christmas shopper plans on spending $704, down from the $770 they planned to spend around this time last year, according to Gallup. Looking back to 1999, the largest amount that Americans planned to spend on Christmas gifts was $866 in 2007, before the nation was hit with the financial crisis. The smallest amount was $616 during the 2008 recession, a year later.
Holiday shopping is also becoming more digital. Despite media coverage of people waiting up all night to score big Black Friday discounts, only 13% of consumers plan to shop in physical stores this Black Friday, according to Nielsen, down from 17% in 2012. Meanwhile, 46% of consumers say they will shop online on Cyber Monday – using computers (88%), tablets (37%) and cell phones (27%), an increase compared with 30% in 2012.
Category: Daily Number
Topics: National Economy
About six-in-ten Americans worry that they will lose their jobs due to the current state of the economy.
As the recovery from the Great Recession proceeds at an uneven pace for many Americans, a Washington Post-Miller Center poll taking the public’s pulse on the economy finds a high degree of anxiety among many about being able to get ahead financially, the difficulty of finding good jobs and, for those that are employed, concern about losing them.
About six-in-ten (62%) of those surveyed said they worried a lot or a little about losing their job because of the economy, with 32% saying they worried a lot. The joint Post-Miller Center poll said this figure surpassed the level of concern about losing jobs registered in more than a dozen surveys dating to the 1970s. The poll was conducted in September.
The survey noted that 54% of workers earning $35,000 or less worried a lot about losing their jobs compared to 37% who had that concern in 1992.
About three-quarters (74%) said finding good jobs had become harder.
Nearly half (48%) in the poll said they felt less financially secure as they did a few years ago, compared with 23% who felt more secure and 29% who described their circumstances as about the same.
While more than half (54%) considered their current standard of living to be better than that of their parents at the same age, a smaller number —39% —believed their children’s standard of living would be better than theirs at the same age.
The lingering effects of the Great Recession had also been captured in a Pew Research Center poll conducted in September. More than half (54%) of those surveyed said their household incomes had hardly recovered and 52% said the same about the job situation.
Category: Daily Number
A new study by Carnegie Mellon University found that in the most Republican states in the country, employers may be less likely to interview job candidates whose social networking profiles indicate that the applicants are Muslim.
As part of a social experiment, the researchers created four fictitious job candidates – each with a unique name that most likely points to someone who is male, U.S. born and Caucasian. The candidates had identical resumes. The researchers also created social network profiles for each of the candidates that revealed either his sexual orientation or whether he was a Muslim or Christian. All other information, including the profile photograph used for each candidate, was the same. The resumes, which did not mention the candidates’ online profile, were then sent out to more than 4,000 employers nationwide with job openings.
Readers should note that the study’s authors did not design the pool of open jobs to be representative of all jobs available in the country, or in Republican-leaning or Democrat-leaning states. The number of job vacancies varied from state to state, and overall, a smaller share of all open jobs was located in Republican states.
Read More →
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline across the U.S.
Although gas prices have begun inching higher, the 38.9 million Americans who are projected to hit the highways this week for Thanksgiving travel likely will have a cheaper holiday drive than the past few years.
The average price of regular gasoline was $3.2517 a gallon as of Nov. 22, according to the latest survey by market-research firm Lundberg Survey. While that’s up 3.46 cents over the previous two weeks, a year ago this time a gallon of regular cost on average about $3.47.
The Lundberg data, which come from a survey of about 2,500 filling stations across the lower 48 states, track closely with the Energy Information Administration’s weekly pump-price survey. Both surveys found that gas prices have declined steadily since Labor Day.
Pump prices are the result of several interacting, and not always predictable, factors, among them crude-oil prices, seasonal reformulations, refinery capacity in different regions and driver demand. This Thanksgiving’s gas prices are the lowest since 2010, when the national average price for a gallon of regular was $2.876, according to the EIA.
As of Nov. 18, according to the EIA, gas was most expensive on the West Coast ($3.467 for a gallon of regular) and cheapest on the Gulf Coast ($3.004 for a gallon of regular). (The EIA will update its data later today at 5 p.m. Eastern time.)
Category: Daily Number
Topics: Energy and Environment
Two sociologists have found that parents who have daughters are more inclined to support the GOP and turn a cold shoulder to Democrats.
In newly published findings that challenge earlier research, Dalton Conley of New York University and Emily Rauscher of the University of Kansas found that having more daughters than sons and having a daughter first “significantly reduces the likelihood of Democratic identification and significantly increases the strength of Republican Party identification.”
Not only is the daughter effect statistically significant, it’s substantively large. They found that overall, “compared to those with no daughters, parents with all daughters are 14% less likely to identify as a Democrat….[and] 11% more likely to identify as a Republican than parents with no daughters,” they write in the journal Sociological Forum.
The daughters effect is considerably stronger among better educated and wealthier parents, they find. But among those farther down the socioeconomic ladder, it weakens to statistical insignificance. Read More →
Category: Social Studies
Media companies’ rush to acquire local television stations produced largely positive results in the third quarter, but some companies suffered losses tied to a plunge in advertising dollars.
Revenue from six of the 13 major station-owning groups, all of them public companies, increased in the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period a year earlier.
The leaders were Nexstar, at 40% growth, and Sinclair, at 35%. Nexstar owns 75 television stations, which reach 44 markets across the country, and Sinclair operates 163 television stations in 77 markets.
Seven companies showed revenue declines year-to-year, with Scripps (-21%) and Washington Post Co. (-18%) suffering the biggest losses. (Following the sale of the flagship paper, The Washington Post Co. is being renamed the Graham Holdings Co.) Scripps owns 19 local TV stations in 13 markets and The Washington Post Co. owns six stations in major cities in Florida, Texas and Michigan.
In the first eight months of his pontificate, Pope Francis has impressed, charmed and inspired many people around the world with his outreach to non-Christians, his statements of concern for the poor and disabled, and his personal humility. At the same time, other Catholics have expressed dismay over the pope’s statements about homosexuality and his remarks that the church is “obsessed” with some social issues.
Some news accounts contend that the pope’s popularity has created a “Pope Francis effect,” producing a “significant global rise in church attendance,” based on reports by Catholic clergy in Italy, Britain and and other countries of a recent rise in Mass attendance.
In the United States, home to the world’s fourth-largest Catholic population, the pope appears to be well-liked by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, rated favorably by 79% of Catholics and 58% of the general public.
But has the pope’s popularity produced a Catholic resurgence in the U.S., where 10% of adults are former Catholics? Not so far, at least in terms of the share of Americans who identify as such, or the share of those who report attending Mass weekly.
A new analysis of pooled Pew Research surveys conducted between Francis’ election in March and the end of October this year finds that the percentage of Americans who identify as Catholics has remained the same – 22% — as it was during the corresponding seven-month period in 2012. In fact, our polls going back to 2007 show Catholic identification in the U.S. has held stable, fluctuating only between 22% and 23%.
Though Americans may report attending church more frequently than they actually do, our surveys find that self-reported levels of Mass attendance have remained virtually unchanged since the new pope was elected. Since April of this year, 39% of U.S. Catholics report attending Mass at least weekly, similar to the 40% attendance figure last year.
The 50th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy has generated a barrage of television programming — so much so that the New York Times characterized the phenomenon as TV’s effort to recapture “a moment of rapt, uninterrupted and wholly unprecedented attention.”
Indeed, TV audience and survey data from the days immediately following Nov. 22, 1963 reinforce that description of what happened in American homes during that national trauma. The nation collectively tuned in to non-stop coverage that pioneered a new form of wall-to-wall television news delivery. Veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer told Reuters, “The Kennedy assassination became the template for coverage,” while Newseum official Patty Rhule called it the moment when “America became a TV nation.”
Nielsen, the leading provider of television audience data, measured the percentage of U.S. television homes with their sets on in the period from Nov. 22-25, 1963. And although the data do not allow for meaningful comparisons of that audience to today’s, the numbers reflect the degree to which U.S. citizens were riveted to post-assassination coverage.
- 45.4% of America’s homes with a television (a total of 51.3 million homes) had their sets turned on at 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 22, after White House confirmation of President Kennedy’s death. Read More →