Jan 13, 2017 12:30 pm

More Americans say government should ensure health care coverage

As the debate continues over repeal of the Affordable Care Act and what might replace it, a growing share of Americans believe that the federal government has a responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Currently, 60% of Americans say the government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans, compared with 38% who say this should not be the government’s responsibility. The share saying it is the government’s responsibility has increased from 51% last year and now stands at its highest point in nearly a decade.

Just as there are wide differences between Republicans and Democrats about the 2010 health care law, the survey also finds partisan differences in views on whether it’s the government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. More than eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (85%) say the federal government should be responsible for health care coverage, compared with just 32% of Republicans and Republican leaners.  Read More

Topics: Entitlements, Health Care, Domestic Affairs and Policy, Federal Government, Government Spending and the Deficit

Jan 13, 2017 7:29 am

Republicans more likely than Democrats to have confidence in police

The deep partisan divide that pervades much of American life extends to views about the police, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults. Republicans and Democrats have vastly different opinions about how well police do their jobs and the realities of policing today – views that are likely linked to clear partisan splits on opinions of the Black Lives Matter movement and highly publicized fatal encounters between blacks and police in recent years.

About three-quarters of Republicans say that police around the country are doing an excellent or good job when it comes to treating racial and ethnic groups equally, using the right amount of force for each situation and holding officers accountable when misconduct occurs. Only about a quarter of Democrats agree. When it comes to protecting people from crime, 79% of Republicans say police are doing an excellent or good job, compared with 53% of Democrats. Independents fall between Republicans and Democrats on these questions.  Read More

Topics: Work and Employment, U.S. Political Parties, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Ethnicity, Political Party Affiliation, Criminal Justice

Jan 12, 2017 12:03 pm

Black and white officers see many key aspects of policing differently

Black and white police officers have strikingly different views on a number of important issues related to their jobs, including recent fatal encounters between law enforcement and black citizens and the protests that those encounters have sparked, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. On some subjects, racial differences among the police are considerably more pronounced than they are among the public as a whole.

Black officers are about twice as likely as white officers (57% vs. 27%) to say that recent deaths of blacks during encounters with police are signs of a broader problem and not isolated incidents, according to the survey of nearly 8,000 sworn officers working in departments of 100 officers or more, which was conducted on behalf of the Center by the National Police Research Platform. The general public is also divided by race on this question, but majorities of both blacks (79%) and whites (54%) say recent fatal encounters are part of a broader problem and aren’t isolated incidents.  Read More

Topics: Work and Employment, Race and Ethnicity, Criminal Justice, Violence and Society, African Americans

Jan 12, 2017 10:01 am

Record shares of Americans now own smartphones, have home broadband

Nearly nine-in-ten Americans today are online, up from about half in the early 2000s. Pew Research Center has chronicled this trend and others through more than 15 years of surveys on internet and technology use. On Thursday, we released a new set of fact sheets that will be updated as we collect new data and can serve as a one-stop shop for anyone looking for information on key trends in digital technology.

To mark the occasion, here are four key trends illustrating the current technology landscape in the U.S.

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Topics: Technology Adoption, Social Media, Internet Activities, Future of the Internet, Emerging Technology Impacts, Mobile

Jan 11, 2017 12:00 pm

About one-fifth of adults globally have no formal schooling

In many parts of the world, particularly in poorer countries, attainment of even the most basic education is still far from universal. Indeed, roughly one-in-five adults (19%) around the globe have no formal schooling at all, according to a recent Pew Research Center report on education that also studied its relationship to religion.

While virtually all adults in Europe (98%) and English-speaking North America (99%) have at least some education, four-in-ten in the Middle East and North Africa (41%) and in sub-Saharan Africa (41%) have not completed even a year of primary school.

In the Asia-Pacific, the world’s most populous region, 22% of adults have no schooling. And in Latin America and the Caribbean, one-in-ten have no education.  Read More

Topics: Education, Europe, Gender, Protests and Uprisings, Religion and Society, Generations and Age, Educational Attainment, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, North America

Jan 11, 2017 7:00 am

Key findings on how police view their jobs amid protests and calls for reform

Deadly encounters between police and black citizens in recent years have led to a vigorous debate across the U.S. over police conduct and methods. A new Pew Research Center nationwide survey of 7,917 police officers in departments with at least 100 officers, conducted by the National Police Research Platform, focuses on a wide range of topics about policing, including how police view their jobs, officers’ experiences in the field and how these fatal encounters have impacted the way they do their jobs.

Here are key takeaways from the new report.

1Most officers – 86% – say high-profile incidents between blacks and police have made their jobs harder. Roughly nine-in-ten (93%) say officers in their department have become more concerned about their safety, while about three-quarters say that their colleagues are more reluctant to use force when appropriate or to stop and question people who seem suspicious. Three-quarters also say that interactions between police and blacks have become more tense.

2Black and white officers differ over perceptions of fatal encounters and ensuing protests. About seven-in-ten white officers (72%) say that the deaths of blacks during encounters with police are isolated incidents rather than signs of a broader problem. By contrast, 43% of black officers say these are isolated incidents, while 57% say they are signs of a broader problem.  Read More

Topics: Work and Employment, Race and Ethnicity, Criminal Justice, Violence and Society, African Americans

Jan 11, 2017 12:02 am

Q&A: How Pew Research Center surveyed nearly 8,000 police officers

Jason Doiy via Getty Images/iStockphoto
Jason Doiy via Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pew Research Center released a groundbreaking survey today of nearly 8,000 sworn police officers who work in departments around the U.S. with at least 100 officers. The survey provides a detailed look at how officers feel about their jobs and how they view relations with the communities they serve at a time of increased tensions following high-profile encounters between law enforcement and blacks.

Senior Editor Rich Morin and Senior Research Methodologist Andrew Mercer were part of the team that designed the project, analyzed the survey results and wrote the final report. What follows is an edited interview with the authors about the purpose and methodology of their survey.

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Topics: Research Methods, Work and Employment, Race and Ethnicity, Criminal Justice

Jan 10, 2017 3:10 pm

Blacks and Hispanics face extra challenges in getting home loans

Homeownership in the U.S. has fallen sharply since the housing boom peaked in the mid-2000s, though it’s declined more for some racial and ethnic groups than for others. Black and Hispanic households today are still far less likely than white households to own their own homes (41.3% and 47%, respectively, versus 71.9% for whites), and the homeownership gap between blacks and whites has widened since 2004.

An examination of mortgage-market data indicates some of the continuing challenges black and Hispanic homebuyers and would-be homebuyers face. Among other things, they have a much harder time getting approved for conventional mortgages than whites and Asians, and when they are approved they tend to pay higher interest rates.  Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Race and Ethnicity, Homeownership, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Identity

Jan 10, 2017 2:17 pm

U.S. public sees Russian role in campaign hacking, but is divided over new sanctions

Most Americans believe Russia was behind the hacks of the Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign. But they are divided on whether to impose further sanctions on Russia, beyond the steps President Barack Obama took last month.

An overwhelming share of the public (88%) has heard about allegations that Russia was involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Among those aware of the allegations, 72% say Russia was definitely or probably behind the hacks, compared with just 24% who think it was definitely or probably not involved.

When asked how the U.S. should respond, nearly half (46%) of those aware of the hacking allegations say the sanctions already imposed on Russia are about right, while 27% say they do not go far enough and 20% say they go too far, according to a national survey released today by Pew Research Center.  Read More

Topics: Country Image, Political Party Affiliation, Elections and Campaigns, Online Privacy and Safety, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Russia, 2016 Election

Jan 6, 2017 1:32 pm

Less than half the public views border wall as an important goal for U.S. immigration policy

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, the public views one of his signature campaign promises – the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border – as a less important goal for immigration policy than several other objectives, such as cracking down on visa overstays.

Asked about eight possible goals for U.S. immigration policy, majorities rate each one as important, except one: Only 39% view building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border as a very or somewhat important goal.

Most Americans (58%) say it is important to increase the number of deportations of people in the U.S. illegally, another of Trump’s campaign proposals that he has emphasized since winning the election. The latest Pew Research Center estimate puts the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. at 11.1 million.

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Topics: Immigration, Unauthorized Immigration, U.S. Political Parties, Domestic Affairs and Policy, Immigration Attitudes, Political Attitudes and Values, U.S. Political Figures, Mexico, Political Polarization, 2016 Election, Donald Trump