Jun 23, 2016 11:30 am

It’s official: Minority babies are the majority among the nation’s infants, but only just

Photo credit: Bruce Forster/Getty Images
Photo credit: Bruce Forster/Getty Images

The U.S. is projected to have no racial or ethnic group as its majority within the next several decades, but that day apparently is already here for the nation’s youngest children, according to new Census Bureau population estimates.

Among newborns, minorities slightly surpass non-Hispanic whitesThe bureau’s estimates for July 1, 2015, released today, say that just over half – 50.2% – of U.S. babies younger than 1 year old were racial or ethnic minorities. In sheer numbers, there were 1,995,102 minority babies compared with 1,982,936 non-Hispanic white infants, according to the census estimates. The new estimates also indicate that this crossover occurred in 2013, so the pattern seems well established.

Pinpointing the exact year when minorities outnumbered non-Hispanic whites among newborns has been difficult. The change among newborns is part of a projected U.S. demographic shift from a majority-white nation to one with no racial or ethnic majority group that is based on long-running immigration and birth trends. But changes in short-term immigration flows and in fertility patterns can delay those long-term shifts. Read More

Topics: Birth Rate and Fertility, Demographics, Population Trends, U.S. Census

Jun 23, 2016 9:55 am

5 key findings about global restrictions on religion

Pew Research Center has been tracking data on religious restrictions in nearly 200 countries and territories since 2007, producing a series of annual reports that analyze religion-related social hostilities and government restrictions on religion.

Here are key findings from the latest report, which updates the data through 2014:

Religious restrictions and hostilities 2014

1Government restrictions on religion and social hostilities related to religion decreased somewhat between 2013 and 2014, the second consecutive year of decline. The share of countries with governments imposing high or very high levels of restrictions on religion dropped from 28% in 2013 to 24% in 2014. During the same period, the share of countries with high levels of social hostilities – those perpetrated by individuals or groups – also dropped, from 27% to 23%. (For more on the index used to determine these measures, see the full report.) Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Religion and Government, Religion and Society, Religious Extremism, Restrictions on Religion

Jun 22, 2016 2:00 pm

Greeks stand out among Europeans for putting domestic issues before global ones

Among Europeans, Greeks are the wariest of global engagement

At a time when many Europeans are looking inward after years of economic and political crises, the Greeks stand out as even more focused on their country’s own problems and as the most wary of global economic engagement.

Of 10 European Union nations recently surveyed by Pew Research Center, Greeks are at the top of the list in saying their country should focus on domestic issues and are the most inclined to say their country should act unilaterally even when its allies disagree. More than eight-in-ten Greeks (83%) say their country should deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own problems as best they can. And 74% of Greeks say that in foreign policy, their country should follow its own national interests, even when its allies strongly disagree. Greece is also the only EU country where a majority says global economic engagement is a bad thing because it lowers wages and costs jobs.  Read More

Topics: Europe, Foreign Affairs and Policy, World Economies

Jun 22, 2016 11:55 am

Key facts about partisanship and political animosity in America

The 2016 presidential campaign has highlighted the deep partisan divisions in the United States. A new Pew Research Center report finds that Republicans and Democrats now have more negative views of the opposing party than at any point in nearly a quarter century. These sentiments are not just limited to views of the parties and their policy proposals; they have a personal element as well.

Here are six key takeaways from the report:

1What Republicans and Democrats say about each otherMany Democrats and Republicans associate negative characteristics with members of the other party – and positive traits with their own. Fully 70% of Democrats say Republicans are more “closed-minded” than other Americans. Nearly as many Democrats (67%) say their fellow Democrats are more “open-minded.”

For Republicans, no single critique of Democrats stands out. But about half of Republicans (52%) view Democrats as more closed-minded than other Americans, while nearly as many say Democrats are more immoral (47%), lazier (46%) and more dishonest (45%). Republicans also see the members of their own party as more hard-working (59%) and more moral (51%) than other Americans. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

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

Jun 22, 2016 7:00 am

About four-in-ten of the world’s migrants live in the U.S. or Europe

The United States has long been the top destination country for migrants worldwide, though if the European Union, Norway and Switzerland were a single country it would outrank the U.S. as a destination for international migrants. But the U.S. and Europe are quite different when it comes to their migrant populations’ origin countries.

Greater share of world's migrants live in the EU than in the U.S.In 2015, almost one-in-five (19%) of all international migrants – people living in a country other than the one they were born in – lived in the U.S., and 23% were in the EU, Norway and Switzerland. Together, some 43% of all the world’s international migrants live in the U.S. or Europe, according to the United Nations Population Division. (The UN counts citizens born abroad or in their native country’s territories as international migrants. For the U.S., this means international migrants include U.S. citizens at birth who were born abroad, in Puerto Rico or in other U.S. territories.)

The U.S. has long been a receiving country for international migrants, and Europe historically was a sending region. For most of the 20th century, either Germany or Italy was the top country of origin of migrants living in the U.S. A century ago, from 1890 to 1919, almost nine-in-ten foreign-born people arriving to the U.S. (88%) were coming from Europe, compared with just 12% of migrants who arrived since 1965. About 46.6 million immigrants now live in the U.S., making up a near-historic 14% of the U.S. population, according to UN data – but as of 2015, only about one-in-ten immigrants living in the U.S. (9%) were born in the EU, Norway and Switzerland. Read More

Topics: Europe, Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration

Jun 21, 2016 9:55 am

Where major religious groups stand on abortion

Major religious groups' positions on abortion

Abortion is still a difficult, contentious and even unresolved issue for some religious groups.

The United Methodist Church provides one example of a religious group whose stand on abortion is not entirely clear. At its quadrennial convention, held in May, church delegates voted to repeal a 40-year-old resolution supporting the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and approved another resolution ending the church’s membership in a pro-abortion rights advocacy group. However, the church’s Book of Discipline (which lays out the denomination’s law and doctrine) stresses that abortion should be, in some cases, legally available.

Some religious groups have little or no ambivalence about abortion. For instance, the nation’s largest denomination – the Roman Catholic Church – opposes abortion in all circumstances. The second-largest church, the Southern Baptist Convention, also opposes abortion, although it does allow an exception in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Read More

Topics: Abortion, Religion and Society, Religious Beliefs and Practices

Jun 21, 2016 7:00 am

5 facts about migration and the United Kingdom

Immigration to the United Kingdom has been one of the most important issues driving the debate over whether or not the UK should remain a member of the European Union. Britain’s exit from the EU, or “Brexit,” will be decided in a June 23 referendum, with some seeing an exit as a way to slow immigration into the UK.

Here are five facts about migration into and out of the UK:

1Number of immigrants in the UK more than double in 25 yearsThe UK has the fifth-largest immigrant population in the world, at 8.5 million. Between 1990 and 2015, the UK’s immigrant population more than doubled, from 3.7 million. As of 2015, about 13% of the UK’s resident population was foreign-born, comparable to the roughly 14% foreign-born share in the United States.

2As of 2015, the UK’s immigrant population has one of the most diverse groups of origin countries in the world, tying Denmark for the highest diversity score, which measures the distribution of immigrants from different source countries. The top three origin countries of immigrants living in the UK are India (780,000), Poland (700,000) and Pakistan (540,000). Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Europe, Immigration Trends, Migration

Jun 20, 2016 12:16 pm

More older Americans are working, and working more, than they used to

Greater share of older Americans working now than on eve of Great Recession

More older Americans – those ages 65 and older – are working than at any time since the turn of the century, and today’s older workers are spending more time on the job than did their peers in previous years, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of employment data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In May, 18.8% of Americans ages 65 and older, or nearly 9 million people, reported being employed full- or part-time, continuing a steady increase that dates to at least 2000 (which is as far back as we took our analysis). In May of that year, just 12.8% of 65-and-older Americans, or about 4 million people, said they were working.

Read More

Topics: Older Adults, Work and Employment

Jun 17, 2016 9:30 am

Where refugees to the U.S. come from

The shifting origins of refugees to the U.S. over time

Conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere are driving hundreds of thousands of refugees to seek shelter in neighboring countries, Europe and the United States. These crises are the most recent in a long line of conflicts forcing people from their homes. According to data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center, more than 3 million refugees in total have arrived in the U.S. since 1975.

Leading countries of origin of recent refugees to the U.S. A look at where refugees to the U.S. have come from and their number provides a glimpse into global events and the U.S.’s role in providing a safe haven. Of the more than 40,000 refugees who have been admitted to the United States so far in 2016, the largest numbers have come from Burma (Myanmar), the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.

(For more on refugees, including those to the U.S., see Key facts about the world’s refugees.)

Historically, waves of refugees to the U.S. have ebbed and flowed with global conflict. In the 1990s, waves of refugees came to the U.S. in large numbers from the former Soviet Union. However, refugee admittance dropped off steeply in the wake of the terrorist attacks in 2001. The total annual number of refugees has trended upward since then. Read More

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration, Wars and International Conflicts

Jun 16, 2016 12:00 pm

In the age of big data, survey research will not only survive but thrive

The next frontier of public-opinion research is already visible in the “big data” revolution. Through the digital traces of our everyday activities, we are creating a massive volume of information that can tell us a lot about ourselves. Smart data science can identify patterns in our behaviors and interests. And in some domains, such as predicting consumer spending and who will vote, algorithms may already be surpassing what surveys can do on their own.

But in the age of big data, it’s important to remember what surveys are uniquely suited to do. Asking Americans about their values, beliefs and concerns can tease out meaning from mountains of data and uncover the motivations behind the choices we make – providing a path to understanding not just what we do, but why. If history is a guide, survey research will not only survive but thrive – by taking advantage of what big data provides, and delivering what it cannot.

The survey world is unquestionably facing disruption. Cellphones are replacing the home phones we relied on for decades, and online surveys – of varying quality – are flooding the marketplace with daily numbers, leaving consumers awash in data, and rightfully skeptical. But with every challenge comes a new opportunity. Cellphones have strengthened, not weakened, a pollster’s ability to reach a balanced cross-section of the American public. Online surveys allow researchers to ask new kinds of questions, track individuals’ views over time and reach key populations of interest, all without interrupting people with long phone calls during dinner. The market for information about ourselves will continue to drive innovation and the refinement of best practices in online surveys, just as it did for other survey methodologies in the past.

Read More

Topics: Political Attitudes and Values, Polling, Research Methods, Telephone Survey Methods, Web Survey Methods