Jan 29, 2016 12:04 pm

More Americans using smartphones for getting directions, streaming TV

Americans increasingly use smartphones for more than voice calls, texting

Just as the internet has changed the way people communicate, work and learn, mobile technology has changed when, where and how consumers access information and entertainment. And smartphone use that goes beyond routine calls and text messages does not appear to be slowing, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted in July 2015. Read More

Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, Internet Activities, Mobile, Technology Adoption

Jan 28, 2016 3:51 pm

Contentious Republican debates lure many Democrats to tune in

Democrats much more likely to have watched debate of opposing partyWhile a majority of Americans have watched at least one of the debates for the 2016 presidential election, there are striking differences between parties when it comes to which side’s debates people are watching. Democratic debate watchers have in large numbers tuned in to the opposing party’s debates, something far less common among Republicans, according to new data from Pew Research Center.

Overall, Republicans are watching presidential debates at higher rates than both Democrats and independents (64%, compared with 53% of Democrats and 56% of independents). But among those who do watch debates, seven-in-ten Democrats who have seen at least one watched a Republican debate, compared with about half (49%) of Republicans who watched a Democratic debate.

Much of this cross-party viewing occurs among those who have watched multiple debates. Indeed, 89% of Democrats who watched more than one debate watched debates for both parties, much higher than the corresponding share of Republicans (59%). In contrast, about four-in-ten (41%) Republicans who viewed multiple debates only watched those for the Republican candidates, compared with a mere 8% of Democrats who watched only Democratic debates.

The interest of Democrats in the GOP debates may factor into which party’s contest is most-watched. Of the debates that have occurred thus far, the three most viewed debates were all debates for the Republican nomination.

This analysis is based on a representative survey of U.S. adults conducted Jan. 12-27, 2016, of 3,760 members of the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, taken online by internet users and by mail among non-internet users. Margin of error is plus or minus 2.3%. Read the full methodology and topline results here.

Correction: A previous version of this post gave an incorrect start date for the survey cited. It was conducted Jan. 12-27, 2016.

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

Jan 28, 2016 2:01 pm

Partisan divide grows over value of Washington experience

With the first 2016 nomination contests at hand, a new survey underscores the extent to which Republicans have come to place less value on a presidential candidate’s prior experience in office – especially experience as a Washington official.

More Republicans view lengthy Washington experience negativelyCurrently, 44% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they would be less likely to support a hypothetical presidential candidate who has been an elected official in Washington, D.C., for many years. Fewer than half as many Republicans (18%) say they would be more likely to support such a candidate, while 37% say extensive Washington experience would not matter.

By contrast, just 19% of Democrats and Democratic leaners view lengthy Washington experience as a negative trait for a candidate: 27% say they would be more likely to support such a candidate, and 53% say it would not be a factor. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Elections and Campaigns, Political Attitudes and Values, U.S. Political Figures

Jan 28, 2016 9:55 am

Is Hillary Clinton religious? Republicans and Democrats have far different views

If Hillary Clinton ends up being the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, her politics won’t be the only thing many Republicans and Democrats disagree about during the coming campaign. The two parties have sharply different perspectives on whether Clinton is religious – as they do about Bernie Sanders and some of the Republican candidates. But what makes Clinton stand out is that views of her religiosity have changed significantly over the last nine years.

Democrats much more likely than Republicans to see Obama, Hillary Clinton as at least somewhat religiousAbout two-thirds (65%) of Americans who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party say they see Clinton as “very” or “somewhat” religious, compared with 27% who say she is “not too” or “not at all” religious. But among Republicans and Republican leaners, these figures are almost exactly reversed: 65% say she is not religious, while just 28% say she is at least somewhat religious, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Religion and U.S. Politics, U.S. Political Figures

Jan 28, 2016 7:00 am

Millions of young people in U.S. and EU are neither working nor learning

Teens and young adults were among the groups hit hardest by the global financial crisis. And while many young people have since regained their footing – as employees, students or both – there are still millions in the U.S. and abroad who are neither working nor in school. Though sometimes referred to as “disconnected” or “detached” youth, globally those young people often are called “NEETs” – because they are neither employed nor in education or training.

Although NEET rates rose both in the U.S. and the EU during and after the crisis, they jumped higher but have fallen faster in the U.S. By contrast, many EU countries’ NEET rates remain well above pre-crisis levels. (While similar, the U.S. and EU measures aren’t directly comparable – in part because the EU begins tracking young people’s labor-force participation at 15 rather than 16, and also because apprenticeships and other workplace-based training is more common in Europe than in the U.S.)

Labor economists are paying increasing attention to NEETs – especially when, as in much of Europe, NEET rates are persistently high. They fear that without assistance, economically inactive young people won’t gain critical job skills and will never fully integrate into the wider economy or achieve their full earning potential. Some observers also worry that large numbers of NEETs represent a potential source of social unrest.

Fewer NEET youth in U.S. as economy recoversIn 2015, there were nearly 10.2 million NEETS ages 16 to 29 in the U.S., or 16.9% of that age bracket’s total population, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That represents a modest decline over recent years: In 2013, there were just over 11 million NEETs in the U.S., representing 18.5% of the 16-to-29 population, according to our analysis.

Precisely corresponding data aren’t available for prior years, because the monthly Current Population Survey used by BLS only began collecting detailed school-enrollment data from Americans ages 25 and older in 2013.

However, longer-trend CPS data are available for 16- to 24-year-olds. Those numbers show that the NEET rate among that group generally follows the economic cycle. It fell between 1985 and 2000, from 19.5% to 14.3%, except for a bump during the early-1990s recession. The 16-to-24 NEET rate rose again following the early-2000s recession, fell back to 14.5% in 2007, then jumped during the Great Recession. The rate has ratcheted lower since peaking at 17.6% in 2010; last year it was 15.7%, a hair above what it was in 2008. Read More

Topics: Economic Recession, Teens and Youth, Work and Employment

Jan 27, 2016 1:55 pm

Crowdfunding enables diverse new frontier for journalism projects

In the digital age, new tools and pathways that attract the public’s eye – from YouTube to Twitter – can quickly be noticed by journalists and news organizations as important parts of the news landscape. A new study by Pew Research Center examines one of these emerging tools: crowdfunded journalism, in which projects can be proposed and funded through online appeals to the public. The report examined the 658 journalism projects funded through Kickstarter, one of the largest single platforms for crowdfunding journalism, from April 28, 2009 (the day it launched) through Sept. 15, 2015.

The public supports a wide range of crowdfunded journalism projectsThough the revenue involved and amount of content produced are nowhere near what comes through the more mainstream media, crowdfunding can help bring to reality work that might otherwise not see the light of day. One striking characteristic of these projects is the wide range of initiatives that have received funding, which we explore here.

Many serious journalism projects received crowdfunding, but the form allows for projects about less weighty matters as well. For instance, in early 2015, Kickstarter contributors kicked in $3,605 to help crime reporter Scott Thomas Anderson in his effort to turn material gathered during 16 months of work embedded with law enforcement agencies into a book about the intersection of prison culture, crime and the underfunding of mental health care.

Later in the year, backers pledged $4,676 in support for the production of a documentary to tell the stories of refugees at the Serbian-Hungarian border. At the same time, supporters pledged $10,032 for a story about the 2014 World Laser Tag Championships. And fans of Godzilla helped the host of a podcast about the movie monster raise over $19,000 – more than double his original goal – to travel to Japan’s Big Godzilla Special Effects Exhibition and produce a feature-length documentary. Read More

Topics: Media Revenue Models, News Media Sectors, Newsroom Investment and Resources

Jan 27, 2016 12:00 pm

The demographic trends shaping American politics in 2016 and beyond

“The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown,” by Paul Taylor and Pew Research Center, is being released this week in a paperback edition that includes nearly 100 pages of new text, charts and updates to the original 2014 hardcover edition. Here, Paul Taylor shares eight takeaways from the book’s all-new opening chapter, “Political Tribes.”

1The Rising Partisan Gap in Presidential ApprovalIn an era of head-snapping racial, social, cultural, economic, religious, gender, generational and technological change, Americans are increasingly sorted into think-alike communities that reflect not only their politics but their demographics. The result has been a rise in identity-based animus of one party toward the other that extends far beyond the issues. These days Democrats and Republicans no longer stop at disagreeing with each other’s ideas. Many in each party now deny the other’s facts, disapprove of each other’s lifestyles, avoid each other’s neighborhoods, impugn each other’s motives, doubt each other’s patriotism, can’t stomach each other’s news sources, and bring different value systems to such core social institutions as religion, marriage and parenthood. It’s as if they belong not to rival parties but alien tribes.

And their candidates in 2016 might seem to be running for president of different countries. As the chart above illustrates, the partisan gap in how Americans evaluate their presidents is wider now than at any time in the modern era. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Demographics, News Sources, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Polarization, Population Projections, U.S. Political Parties

Jan 27, 2016 10:04 am

5 key findings about faith and politics in the 2016 presidential race

The U.S. Constitution and other laws have attempted to draw lines separating certain official government functions from the nation’s religious life. But these same laws have largely steered clear of regulating religion in the political sphere. And indeed, religion has long been entangled in the nation’s politics and its political campaigns.

This election season comes at a time when there is evidence that the country is becoming less religious. At the same time, roughly three-quarters of Americans (77%) still identify with a religious group, and a growing number of people in both parties want their political leaders to publicly discuss their faith.

As the 2016 presidential contest continues to heat up, with the Iowa caucus just days away, the Pew Research Center has once again released a new survey attempting to gauge the current state of the relationship between faith and politics.

Here are key findings from the new report.

1Many Republicans say Trump would be good or great president despite not being religiousRoughly two-thirds of Republicans – as opposed to about four-in-ten Democrats – say it is important for a president to share their religious beliefs. However, Donald Trump — a candidate many Republicans view as a potentially good or great president —is seen by many in the GOP as not being a very religious person compared with other leading candidates. Just 44% of Republicans and those who lean Republican say Trump is “somewhat” or “very” religious.

2At least six-in-ten Americans and seven-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners view Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as being at least somewhat religious. This level of religiosity is more in line with the GOP electorate; more than eight-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners say that religion is at least somewhat important in their lives, including 61% who say it is very important. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Religion and Government, Religion and Society, Religion and U.S. Politics, Religious Beliefs and Practices, U.S. Political Figures

Jan 21, 2016 11:59 am

Americans may be getting less religious, but feelings of spirituality are on the rise

Growing share of people regularly feel spiritual peace, sense of wonderThe phrase “spiritual but not religious” has become widely used in recent years by some Americans who are trying to describe their religious identity. While Pew Research Center does not categorize survey respondents in such a way, our surveys do find that the U.S. public overall appears to be growing a bit less religious – but also somewhat more spiritual.

Americans have become less religious in recent years by standard measures such as how important they say religion is to them and their frequency of religious service attendance and prayer. But, at the same time, the share of people across a wide variety of religious identities who say they often feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being as well as a deep sense of wonder about the universe has risen. Read More

Topics: Religious Beliefs and Practices, Religiously Unaffiliated

Jan 21, 2016 10:00 am

Refugee crises, climate change are top risks in next 10 years, experts say

Large-scale refugee flows and lack of progress in slowing global warming are the top risks that the world faces in the coming decade, according to a survey by the World Economic Forum of executives and experts from the fields of business, academia, civil society, government and international organizations.

The more than 700 respondents to the survey named “large-scale involuntary migration” as the most likely global risk over the next 10 years, while pointing to “failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation” as the risk that could have the greatest impact on the world.

Top global risks

The poll was conducted in the fall of 2015, and the experts might have been responding, in part, to current events at the time. The refugee crisis spawned by the ongoing conflict in Syria has been a consistent thread in many news stories, from terrorist attacks in Paris and Turkey, to anti-refugee sentiments in Eastern Europe, to sexual assaults in Germany. Recently, much of the world was also focused on climate change, as 195 nations met in December at the United Nations’ Paris conference to agree on a plan that would keep the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.

Read More

Topics: Economic Recession, Energy and Environment, International Governments and Institutions, International Organizations, International Threats and Allies, Migration, Terrorism, World Economies