May 25, 2017 7:01 am

Fewer refugees arrive in U.S., with declines in 46 states

The number of refugees entering the United States each month has declined sharply so far in fiscal 2017, falling from 9,945 in October 2016 to 3,316 in April 2017, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department data. All but four states reported declines in monthly arrivals.

Nationwide, the number of refugee arrivals decreased in each of the first five months of the fiscal year, the longest consecutive monthly decline on record (monthly data before 2000 are not available). In April, however, the number of arriving refugees rose to 3,316, compared with 2,070 in March.  Read More

Topics: Immigration, Wars and International Conflicts, Immigration Trends, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Migration

May 24, 2017 2:03 pm

Majorities in Europe, North America worried about Islamic extremism

Even before this week’s terrorist bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, England, people across Europe and in the U.S. and Canada had pervasive concerns about the threat of extremism in their countries. Across 12 countries surveyed from February through April by Pew Research Center, majorities said they were at least somewhat concerned about extremism in the name of Islam in their countries, including 79% who said this in the UK itself. And across the 10 EU countries surveyed, a median of 79% were concerned about Islamic extremism, while only 21% were not concerned.

Read More

Topics: Europe, Terrorism, Religious Extremism, North America, Muslims and Islam, Violence and Society

May 22, 2017 6:59 am

Most in former Yugoslavia favor multicultural society, although some tensions remain

The former Yugoslavia spent much of the 1990s in turmoil, with a series of wars taking place amid the country’s breakup into its present-day states – each of which has a distinct ethnic and religious makeup.

But a new Pew Research Center survey conducted in the three largest former Yugoslav republics finds that, in general, most people in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia seem willing to share their societies with ethnic and religious groups different from their own – quite a change from the situation during the Yugoslav Wars. At the same time, some underlying signs of tension and distrust linger.

The survey, conducted as part of a broader study of religion in Central and Eastern Europe, finds that Bosnia, the smallest of the three countries in population and in size, is also the most religiously diverse, with roughly half of adults identifying as Muslim and about one-third as Orthodox Christian. Croatia and Serbia each have a single dominant religion: More than eight-in-ten adults identify as Catholic and Orthodox, respectively.

While religious affiliations differ by country, large majorities in all three say a multicultural society is better than a religiously and ethnically homogeneous one. Nearly three-quarters of adults in Bosnia (73%) and about two-thirds in Serbia (66%) and Croatia (65%) agree that “it is better for us if society consists of people from different nationalities, religions and cultures.” Of the 18 countries surveyed in the region, these are the three where this view is most widespread; in several other countries, the prevailing opinion is that it is better for society if there is less religious and ethnic diversity. Read More

Topics: Eastern Europe, Religion and Society, Family and Relationships, Religious Affiliation, Christians and Christianity, National and Cultural Identity, Muslims and Islam

May 19, 2017 11:08 am

Digital gap between rural and nonrural America persists

This is the third in a series of posts about how different demographic groups in the U.S. have fared in the digital age.

Rural Americans have made large gains in adopting digital technology in recent years, but they remain less likely than nonrural adults to have home broadband, smartphones and other devices.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of rural Americans say they have a broadband internet connection at home, up from about a third (35%) in 2007, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in fall 2016. Rural Americans are now 10 percentage points less likely than Americans overall to have home broadband; in 2007, there was a 16-point gap between rural Americans (35%) and all U.S. adults (51%) on this question.  Read More

Topics: Population Geography, Technology Adoption, Digital Divide, Broadband, Future of the Internet, Mobile

May 18, 2017 12:05 pm

In U.S. metro areas, huge variation in intermarriage rates

One-in-six newlyweds (17%) were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity in 2015, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. This represents a more than fivefold increase from 3% in 1967, the year in which the Supreme Court ruled in the Loving v. Virginia decision that interracial marriages were legal.

While intermarriage is generally more common in metropolitan areas than in more rural non-metro areas (18% of newlyweds vs. 11%), there is tremendous variation within metro areas in the shares of newlyweds who have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.

Interactive: Which U.S. metro areas have the largest and smallest shares of intermarried newlyweds?


Read More

Topics: Marriage and Divorce, Race and Ethnicity, Population Geography, Intermarriage, Asian Americans

May 18, 2017 6:59 am

More foreign grads of U.S. colleges are staying in the country to work

A growing number of high-skilled foreign workers find jobs in the United States under a program known as Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows foreign graduates from U.S. universities to work in the country on a temporary basis. The federal government approved nearly 700,000 OPT applications in fiscal years 2008 through 2014, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement data received through a Freedom of Information Act request. Data suggest that the total number of foreign graduates using OPT may continue to increase in subsequent years: More than 1 million foreign students studied at U.S. higher educational institutions in the 2015-16 school year, a record high.

U.S. college graduates with F-1 visas for foreign students may apply to OPT, and those approved may work in the U.S. for up to 12 months in their field of study. Foreign students majoring in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field may work in the U.S. for longer – up to 36 months. Unlike other U.S. visa programs, OPT has no cap on the number of foreign graduates who can participate. OPT is not subject to congressional oversight, though the program, which was created in 1947, can be changed by a U.S. president.

Here are some key facts about foreign college graduates working in the U.S. under the Optional Practical Training program.

1The annual number of OPT approvals rose from 28,497 in fiscal 2008 to 136,617 in fiscal 2014, a nearly fivefold increase. This growth happened after the Bush administration in 2008 extended the amount of time STEM graduates may work in the U.S. to a maximum of 29 months. About half of STEM graduates have extended their OPT program beyond the initial 12-month period in recent years. In 2016, the Obama administration again expanded the work period for STEM graduates to its current 36-month maximum.

Read More

Topics: Education, Work and Employment, Educational Attainment, Science and Innovation, Migration, Asian Americans

May 17, 2017 7:00 am

5 facts about U.S. political donations

Americans are increasingly likely to make political donations, with the share of adults who say they have donated directly to candidates doubling since 1992, according to data from American National Election Studies (ANES). Political donations from individuals represent a large share of campaign funding: In the 2016 election cycle, 71% of Hillary Clinton’s fundraising total and 40% of Donald Trump’s came from individual contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Here are five facts about political donations from individual donors:

1More Americans are making political donations. Americans are now more likely to contribute to political candidates and parties than they were two decades ago, according to surveys conducted as part of ANES. The share of Americans who say they have donated to an individual running for public office within the past year has doubled, increasing from 6% in 1992 to 12% in 2016. (The survey does not specify type of candidate.) The share of those who say they have donated to parties has also increased, rising from 4% to 9% across the same period, while the share making donations to outside groups working to elect or defeat a candidate – such as political action committees – has remained between 3% and 6%. Overall, the share of Americans who say they have donated to at least one of these groups within the past year has increased from 11% in 1992 to 15% in 2016.

Read More

Topics: U.S. Political Parties, Elections and Campaigns

May 16, 2017 10:00 am

On gender issues, many in Orthodox Christian countries have conservative views

A substantial share of adults in Central and Eastern Europe hold traditional views of the role of women and the family, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of 18 nations in the region. This is especially true in the 10 countries surveyed with Orthodox Christian majorities.

For instance, majorities of respondents in all 10 of these Orthodox countries agree with the statement, “Women have a responsibility to society to bear children,” including at least three-quarters in Armenia (82%), Romania (81%) and Bulgaria (77%) and about six-in-ten in Russia and Belarus (59% each). Generally, smaller shares in the eight Catholic-majority, religiously mixed or majority-unaffiliated countries surveyed (Bosnia and Hungary are exceptions) take this position.

Respondents in Orthodox-majority countries also are more likely than those in the other countries to hold conservative gender views on marriage and hiring practices. A median of 42% across the Orthodox-majority countries surveyed say a wife should always obey her husband, compared with only 25% in those countries without an Orthodox majority. Similarly, a median of 44% of respondents in Orthodox-majority countries, versus 31% elsewhere in the region, agree that “when jobs are scarce, men should have more rights to a job than women.”  Read More

Topics: Eastern Europe, Europe, Gender, Religion and Society, Lifestyle, Family Roles, Household and Family Structure, Religious Affiliation

May 16, 2017 7:00 am

Today’s young workers are more likely than ever to have a bachelor’s degree

Graduates at the June 2016 Massachusetts Institute of Technology commencement. (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

As U.S. college graduates earn their bachelor’s degrees and enter the job market this month, data from the Census Bureau show that the share of college-educated young adults in today’s workforce is higher than ever before.

Four-in-ten Millennial workers ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2016, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data. That compares with 32% of Generation X workers and smaller shares of the Baby Boom and Silent generations when they were in the same age range.  Read More

Topics: Education, Baby Boomers, Generations and Age, National Economy, Educational Attainment, Asian Americans, Millennials

May 15, 2017 1:15 pm

U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout

By international standards, U.S. voter turnout is low

Country % of voting-age population % of registered voters
Belgium (2014)* 87.2% 89.4%
Sweden (2014) 82.6% 85.8%
South Korea (2017) 77.9% 77.2%
Denmark (2015) 80.3% 85.9%
Australia (2016)* 79.0% 91.0%
Norway (2013) 78.0% 78.3%
Netherlands (2017) 77.3% 81.9%
Iceland (2016) 76.8% 79.2%
Israel (2015) 76.1% 72.3%
New Zealand (2014) 73.2% 77.9%
Finland (2015) 73.1% 66.9%
Italy (2013) 70.6% 72.2%
France (2017) 67.9% 74.6%
Germany (2013) 66.1% 71.5%
Mexico (2012)* 66.0% 63.1%
Austria (2013) 65.9% 74.9%
UK (2016) 65.4% 72.2%
Hungary (2014) 63.3% 61.8%
Canada (2015) 62.1% 68.3%
Greece (2015)* 62.1% 56.2%
Portugal (2015) 61.8% 55.8%
Spain (2016) 61.2% 66.5%
Czech Republic (2013) 60.0% 59.4%
Slovakia (2016) 59.4% 59.8%
Ireland (2016) 58.0% 65.1%
Estonia (2015) 56.8% 64.2%
United States (2016) 55.7% 86.8%
Luxembourg (2013)* 55.1% 91.1%
Slovenia (2014) 54.1% 51.7%
Poland (2015) 53.8% 55.3%
Japan (2014) 52.0% 52.7%
Latvia (2014) 51.7% 58.8%
Chile (2013) 50.6% 49.4%
Switzerland (2015)* 38.6% 48.4%
Turkey (2017)* NA 85.4%

Pew Research Center

About 55.7% of the U.S. voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election, according to newly released Census Bureau figures – a slight uptick compared with 2012, but less than the record year of 2008 and well below turnout levels typical in most other developed democracies.

Read More

Topics: Voter Participation, Elections and Campaigns, World Elections