Jan 10, 2018 7:00 am

Black STEM employees perceive a range of race-related slights and inequities at work

Blacks who work in science, technology, engineering and math fields are more likely than STEM workers from other racial or ethnic backgrounds to say they have faced discrimination on the job. They also stand out in their views about workplace diversity, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

Roughly six-in-ten black STEM workers (62%) say they have experienced any of eight specific forms of racial or ethnic discrimination at work, from earning less than a coworker who performed the same job to experiencing repeated, small slights at work. That compares with 44% of Asians, 42% of Hispanics and just 13% of whites in STEM jobs, according to the survey, which was conducted in the summer of 2017.

Black STEM workers (41%) are also more likely than Hispanics (26%) or whites (6%) who work in these fields to say they’ve faced two or more of these forms of racial or ethnic discrimination in their workplace. (Differences between black and Asian STEM workers are not statistically significant on this particular measure.)

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Topics: Work and Employment, Race and Ethnicity, Science and Innovation

Jan 9, 2018 10:08 am

7 facts about the STEM workforce

(fotografixx via Getty Images)
(fotografixx via Getty Images)

Employment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations has grown 79% since 1990, from 9.7 million to 17.3 million, outpacing overall U.S. job growth. There’s no single standard for which jobs count as STEM, and this may contribute to a number of misperceptions about who works in STEM and the difference that having a STEM-related degree can make in workers’ pocketbooks.

A new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data takes a broad-based look at the STEM workforce from 1990 to 2016 based on an analysis of adults ages 25 and older working in any of 74 occupations. These include computer, math, engineering and architecture occupations, physical scientists, life scientists and health-related occupations such as health care practitioners and technicians, but not health care support workers such as nursing aides and medical assistants.

Here are seven facts about the STEM workforce and STEM training.

1STEM workers enjoy a pay advantage compared with non-STEM workers with similar levels of education. Among those with some college education, the typical full-time, year-round STEM worker earns $54,745 while a similarly educated non-STEM worker earns $40,505, or 26% less.

And among those with the highest levels of education, STEM workers out-earn their non-STEM counterparts by a similar margin. Non-STEM workers with a master’s degree typically earn 26% less than STEM workers with similar education. The median earnings of non-STEM workers with a professional or doctoral degree trail their STEM counterparts by 24%.



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Topics: Education, Work and Employment, Science and Innovation

Jan 8, 2018 7:00 am

Most dads say they spend too little time with their children; about a quarter live apart from them

Hero Images via Getty Images
Hero Images via Getty Images

U.S. fathers today are spending more time caring for their children than they did a half-century ago. Still, most (63%) say they spend too little time with their kids and a much smaller share (36%) say they spend the right amount of time with them, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August and September 2017.

Moms, by comparison, still do more of the child care and are more likely than dads to say they are satisfied with the amount of time they spend with their kids. About half (53%) say this, while only 35% say they spend too little time with their children, according to the survey.

Fathers without a bachelor’s degree are particularly likely to say they spend too little time with their kids. About seven-in-ten dads with some college or less education (69%) say this is the case, compared with half of dads with at least a bachelor’s degree.

Education is not a factor when it comes to the share of mothers who say they spend too little time with their children, but employment status is: 43% of full-time working moms say they don’t spend enough time with their kids, compared with 28% of moms who work part time or who are not employed.

For both dads and moms who say they spend too little time with their kids, work obligations are cited most often as the main reason: 62% of dads and 54% of moms say this is the case. However, a sizable share of fathers (20%) say the main reason they spend too little time with their children is that they don’t live with them full-time.

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Topics: Gender, Family and Relationships, Family Roles, Parenthood, Household and Family Structure

Jan 5, 2018 2:33 pm

Fewer Americans rely on TV news; what type they watch varies by who they are

Americans are relying less on television for their news. Just 50% of U.S. adults now get news regularly from television, down from 57% a year prior in early 2016. But that audience drain varies across the three television sectors: local, network and cable. Local TV has experienced the greatest decline but still garners the largest audience of the three, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

From 2016 to 2017, the portion of Americans who often rely on local TV for their news fell 9 percentage points, from 46% to 37%. By comparison, reliance on network TV news declined from 30% to 26%. Cable TV news use remained more stable, with 28% often getting news there last year, compared with 31% in 2016.

Even after these declines, local TV still has a wider reach overall for news than network and cable. Some demographic groups turn to each of the three television venues more than others, however.

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Topics: News Sources, News Audience Trends and Attitudes

Jan 5, 2018 10:34 am

About six-in-ten Americans support marijuana legalization

About six-in-ten Americans (61%) say the use of marijuana should be legalized, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The survey, conducted in October, finds that the share of U.S. adults who support marijuana legalization is little changed from about a year ago – when 57% favored it – but it is nearly double what it was in 2000 (31%).

As in the past, there are wide generational and partisan differences in views of marijuana legalization. Majorities of Millennials (70%), Gen Xers (66%) and Baby Boomers (56%) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Only among the Silent Generation does a greater share oppose (58%) than favor (35%) marijuana legalization.

Nearly seven-in-ten Democrats say marijuana use should be legal, as do 65% of independents. By contrast, just 43% of Republicans favor marijuana legalization, while 55% are opposed.

While both parties are divided along age lines in views of marijuana legalization, the differences are especially stark among Republicans. Read More

Topics: Political Attitudes and Values, Drugs

Jan 4, 2018 6:58 am

Split U.S. Senate delegations have become less common in recent years

Democratic Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, both of Wisconsin, talk in November 2012 at the Capitol as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks by. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Democratic Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, both of Wisconsin, talk in November 2012 at the Capitol as then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks by. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Doug Jones has officially taken his freshly won U.S. Senate seat, becoming Alabama’s first Democratic senator in 21 years. Jones and Republican Sen. Richard Shelby now make up what has become something of a rarity in the Senate: a state delegation split between two senators of different parties.

Before Jones’ win in December, only 13 states had split Senate delegations in the current Congress. That was the fewest in the past five decades, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Senate membership data going back to the 90th Congress (1967-68). Now, with 14 split delegations, the current Senate is tied with several other Congresses for second-fewest in the past 50 years – there were 14 during most of the 107th Congress and all of the 108th and 109th Congresses, spanning 2001 through early 2007.

Split delegations were fairly uncommon in the first four decades after the direct election of senators began in 1913. The low point, according to University of Minnesota political scientist Eric Ostermeier, came during the 84th Congress (1955-56), when just nine states had both a Republican and a Democrat representing them in the Senate.

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Topics: Congress, U.S. Political Parties

Jan 3, 2018 1:57 pm

New estimates show U.S. Muslim population continues to grow

Muslims at a 2017 prayer service celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Muslims at a 2017 prayer service celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Recent political debates over Muslim immigration and related issues have prompted many people to ask how many Muslims actually live in the United States. But coming up with an answer is not easy, in part because the U.S. Census Bureau does not ask questions about religion, meaning there is no official government count of the U.S. Muslim population.

Still, based on our own survey and demographic research, as well as outside sources, Pew Research Center estimates that there were about 3.45 million Muslims of all ages living in the U.S. in 2017, and that Muslims made up about 1.1% of the total U.S. population.

Muslims in the U.S. are not as numerous as the number of Americans who identify as Jewish by religion, according to our estimate. At the same time, our projections suggest that the U.S. Muslim population will grow much faster than the country’s Jewish population. By 2040, Muslims will replace Jews as the nation’s second-largest religious group after Christians. And by 2050, the U.S. Muslim population is projected to reach 8.1 million, or 2.1% of the nation’s total population — nearly twice the share of today. Read More

Topics: Religious Affiliation, Muslims and Islam, Muslim Americans

Jan 2, 2018 2:00 pm

Meditation is common across many religious groups in the U.S.

(Aleksander Rubtsov/Getty Images)
(Aleksander Rubtsov/Getty Images)

In popular culture, meditation often is associated with Eastern spirituality and its secular offshoots, such as mindfulness. But substantial shares of Americans of nearly all religious groups – as well as those who have no religious affiliation at all – say they meditate at least once a week.

Americans tend to say they meditate regularly (40% do so at least weekly) or rarely, if at all (45% seldom or never do). There’s not much middle ground – only 8% say they meditate once or twice a month and only 4% say they do so several times a year. But these figures vary widely among different U.S. religious groups.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many Buddhists and substantial numbers of Hindus say they meditate regularly, according to Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study. Indeed, two-thirds of Buddhists and one-third of Hindus in the survey say they meditate at least once a week. (An earlier Pew Research Center survey of Asian Americans, which was conducted in several Asian languages and included a different question about meditation, produced a much smaller estimate of the share of Buddhists who meditate regularly.)

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Topics: Religious Beliefs and Practices

Jan 2, 2018 7:02 am

‘Particularly good days’ are common in Africa, Latin America and the U.S.

If you live in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America or the United States, you are more likely than people in other regions of the world to say you’re having a particularly good day.

For the past several years, Pew Research Center’s annual Global Attitudes Survey has started with the following question: “How would you describe your day today – has it been a typical day, a particularly good day or a particularly bad day?” In 2017, we asked this question of nearly 42,000 people in 38 countries around the globe.

Although most people worldwide described their day as typical (median of 62%) and relatively few described it as particularly good (median of 30%), people in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America were more likely to view their day positively. Roughly half of Africans (median of 49%) and Latin Americans (48%) surveyed said their day was particularly good. Other regions – especially Europe (73%) – overwhelmingly described their day as typical; only 22% of Europeans said their day was good. Read More

Topics: Latin America, Lifestyle, Sub-Saharan Africa, Life Satisfaction

Dec 28, 2017 11:30 am

Key trends shaping technology in 2017

In the past year, Pew Research Center has explored a range of tech-related topics in the news – from online harassment to fake news to net neutrality.  Here are some key findings from our research on these and other technology issues.

Online harassment

Lawmakers, advocates and social media companies have been looking into ways to curtail online harassment in the wake of high-profile cases concerning cyberbullying and online threats. A January 2017 survey found that online harassment is a fairly common feature of online life: 41% of Americans said they have experienced some form of it, and among those ages 18 to 29, the share was 67%.

A majority of the public – 79% – said online platforms have a responsibility to step in when harassing behavior takes place on their sites. Just 15% said these services should not be responsible for the abusive content users post or share on their sites. Read More

Topics: Technology Adoption, Social Media, Internet Activities, Online Communities, Politics Online, Future of the Internet, Emerging Technology Impacts