Apr 21, 2014 12:56 pm

Majority in U.S. back trade treaty Obama likely to discuss on Japan trip

Americans believe U.S. trade with Japan is a good thingPresident Obama heads to Tokyo on Wednesday for the first state visit to Japan by an American president since Bill Clinton in 1996. As the initial stop on a weeklong tour of Asia that has long been in the making, the three day trip will provide the president and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with a crucial opportunity to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While trade officials from the two countries have already met in Washington in an attempt to resolve some of the thornier details of the free trade pact, publics in both nations have expressed support for the deal to go forward.

A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans (55%) believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a good thing, while just 25% think the agreement will be bad for the country and 19% don’t have an opinion. While more Democrats (59%) and independents (56%) support the trade pact, roughly half of Republicans (49%) also see U.S. membership in the TPP as positive. Americans ages 18-29 are also more likely than their older counterparts to view the agreement favorably.

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Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Barack Obama, Economic and Business News, Globalization and Trade

Apr 21, 2014 11:14 am

Data Feed: Online sales taxes, interstate migration and the labor market, skepticism about the Big Bang

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

62% of Americans say they enjoy saving more than spending, continuing trend, Gallup
Current expansion long-lasting yet lackluster, The Wall Street Journal
At $680 billion, 2013 federal deficit was still larger than in 2008, CBO
Declining interstate migration in U.S. tied to fewer job transitions, NBER
When states tax online sales, people buy less from Amazon, more from competitors, NBER

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Apr 21, 2014 7:00 am

Why is the teen birth rate falling?


The teen birth rate in the U.S. is at a record low, dropping below 30 births per 1,000 teen females for the first time since the government began collecting consistent data on births to teens ages 15-19, according to National Center for Health Statistics data.

The all-time peak for teen births was 96.3 per 1,000 in 1957 in the midst of the “Baby Boom,” after having risen dramatically following the end of World War II. But the composition of teen mothers has changed drastically since then. Back in 1960, most teen mothers were married—an estimated 15% of births to mothers ages 15-19 were to unmarried teens. Today, it has flipped:  89% of births are to unmarried mothers in that age group.  Read More

Topics: Birth Rate and Fertility, Teens and Youth

Apr 18, 2014 2:30 pm

Generational equity and the ‘Next America’

In the week since we published The Next America data essay, a few critics have portrayed our report as an effort to foment a “generational war” over Social Security and Medicare. Let me respond.

While the essay (and companion book) is mainly about the sweeping demographic changes now underway in America, it also addresses the financial burdens that those entitlement programs will place on future generations as our population ages.

Is this an effort to start a Battle of the Ages? I certainly hope not. To the contrary, one of the goals of the essay and book is to highlight the trove of demographic and attitudinal research my colleagues and I have conducted which show that young and old in America aren’t spoiling for a generational war – not over entitlements, nor any other realm of their increasingly interdependent lives. For example: Read More

Topics: Demographics, Entitlements, Generations and Age, Millennials, Wealth

Apr 18, 2014 1:18 pm

When Easter and Christmas near, more Americans search online for “church”

Priests and ministers have long noted a sharp increase in church attendance around the two most significant Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter. Some have given those who attend services only at those times of year a name — “Chreasters” — and churches have launched campaigns to get them to attend more regularly.

Google searches for "church" spike during Easter and Christmas seasons

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Topics: Internet Activities, Online Search, Religious Beliefs and Practices

Apr 18, 2014 12:43 pm

Chart of the Week: How Americans die, by the numbers

How Americans Die

Americans aren’t dying like they used to. They’re living longer, and more are dying of natural causes. In 2010, nearly one-third of all deaths (31%) came from people ages 85 and older – a big improvement from 1968, when the 85+ age cohort made up just 12.6% of deaths.

But the downside of living longer is the higher rates of dementia, senility and Alzheimer’s in the population, which are also more costly. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documented 180,021 such cases compared with just 293 such cases in 1968.

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Category: Chart of the Week

Topics: Death and Dying

Apr 18, 2014 11:03 am

Data Feed: More twins, the rich die old, Crimean public opinion

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Why a plan to circumvent the Electoral College is doomed, 538
Sortable stats for 14 states with competitive Senate races,  WSJ
The many paths to ending a career in the House of Representatives, Sabato’s Crystal Ball
Americans more confident in business, state leaders than in federal political leaders, Gallup
49% of voters believe White House had IRS target conservatives, topline, Fox News
On expanding pre-K, Americans are divided by party, race, National Journal
California voters support expanding pre-K, despite its costs, The Field Poll
Less is more: American views on Ukraine, Running Numbers

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Category: Data Feed

Apr 18, 2014 7:00 am

On weekends, dads find more time for leisure than moms


It’s well documented that mothers do more child care and housework than fathers. But what about on the weekend, when both parents theoretically have more time for leisure?

Our new analysis of time use data shows a striking change of pace for moms and dads on Saturday and Sunday. Mothers take a little break from child care (but not housework) on the weekend. Fathers pick up more housework, and the amount of time they devote to child care is a lot closer to mothers’ on the weekend.

But when it comes to leisure, fathers take full advantage of the weekends. The “leisure gap” between fathers and mothers, which is quite modest on the weekdays, grows to a one hour difference on Saturdays and Sundays. Read More

Topics: Gender, Parenthood

Apr 17, 2014 11:02 am

Data Feed: Newly insured in 2014, future of tech, how Americans die

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Republicans narrow Democrats’ fundraising advantage in 54 competitive contests, WSJ
Many voters say Obama lies to the country on important matters, topline, Fox News
Christie, Bush and Paul are top GOP picks, today, for 2016, Fox News
California voters prefer lower taxes, fewer gov’t services by a 54% to 35% margin, Field  Read More

Category: Data Feed

Apr 17, 2014 9:00 am

Reality check: How close are we to teleportation and Mars colonies?

Americans tend to be optimists when it comes to new technologies. According to a new Pew Research Center survey in partnership with Smithsonian Magazine, 59% of Americans think scientific and technological innovations over the next half-century will, overall, improve people’s lives. We recently asked Americans about their views on a variety of scientific developments, including some innovations that are already moving out of the lab and into the real world, such as Japan’s robotic attendants for the elderly and self-driving cars.

We also asked Americans how likely they thought five things were to happen by 2064. Here’s what they said, presented in the order of those that Americans think most “definitely” and “probably” will happen, as well as a summary of current developments and research:

1People in need of an organ transplant will have new organs custom-made for them in a lab.

organ creation in lab pew report
Dr. Anthony Atala holds the scaffolding for a human kidney created by a 3-D printer in a laboratory. Credit: Allen Breed/AP/Corbis

What the public says: 22% definitely will happen, 60% probably will happen Read More

Topics: Science and Innovation