Apr 9, 2014 1:39 pm

The Civil Rights Act at 50: Racial divides persist on how much progress has been made

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King, Jr. and others look on
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King, Jr. and others look on. (Credit: Photo by Cecil Stoughton, White House Press Office, via Wikimedia Commons)

One of the landmark pieces of legislation in the battle against discrimination was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law on July 2 of that year — an event that will be commemorated tomorrow with a keynote address by President Obama at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Tex.

President Kennedy had called on Congress in 1963 to take action on a broad civil rights measure, but it was only after his death that Johnson was able to win its passage.  More than half of Americans (58%) considered the act to be one of the most important events of 20th century, ranking fifth on a list of 18, according to a 1999 Gallup poll.

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Topics: African Americans, Discrimination and Prejudice, Race and Ethnicity

Apr 9, 2014 11:35 am

Data Feed: Rising state tax revenue, falling metro-area unemployment, what college students are really like

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

Category: Data Feed

Apr 9, 2014 7:00 am

Asian American voter turnout lags behind other groups; some non-voters say they’re ‘too busy’

Asian-American voters lag whites and blacks in turnout in midterm electionsAbout three-in-ten Asian-American eligible voters have cast ballots in midterm elections since 1998, a much lower turnout rate than that of whites and blacks, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.

With an estimated 9 million eligible voters in 2014, the Asian-American electorate for this fall’s midterm elections makes up 4% of all eligible voters. By contrast, Hispanics—the largest minority group—today make up 11.3% of all eligible voters. In the run-up to the 2012 president election, some analysts called the Asian-American electorate a potential swing vote, despite its relatively small size.

Immigrants make up 74% of the Asian-American adult population. Among eligible Asian-American voters– U.S. citizens ages 18 or older– immigrants vote about as often as the native born (31%-31%.)

In 2010, Asian-American voter turnout was 31%. That’s about the same as the turnout among Hispanics, and far below blacks (44%) and whites (49%). Turnout lagged even though the level of education and income of the Asian-American electorate, as a whole, is higher than for whites, blacks and Hispanics.

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Topics: 2014 Election, Asian Americans, Voter Demographics, Voter Participation

Apr 8, 2014 9:00 pm

In India, few use social media to share political views

Indians, politics and social mediaAs the month-long Indian national election begins this week, the use of social media and technology to get out the vote is an important part of the political parties’ strategy in vying for power. But even as India embraces technology in increasing numbers, only a small portion of its 1.2 billion people have access to the internet. And while about half of Indian internet users regularly access social networking sites, only about a third of these users share views about politics via social media.

Overall, only 16% of Indians say that they use the internet at least occasionally or own a smartphone. Of these internet users, 51% say they use social networking sites such as Facebook, Orkut and Twitter.  Read More

Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, World Elections

Apr 8, 2014 1:55 pm

Rising cost of child care may help explain recent increase in stay-at-home moms

ChildcareCosts_ChartA greater share of mothers are not working outside the home than at any time in the past two decades, according to a new Pew Research Center report. After declining for several decades — bottoming out at 23% around the turn of the century — the share of stay-at-home mothers has risen in fits and starts over the past decade and a half, to 29% in 2012, according to the Pew Research analysis of census data.

While there are many reasons driving this trend, one likely reason is the rising cost of child care. A 2010 Census paper (which focused on married stay-at-home mothers) commented that “[e]specially for mothers who have more than one child under 5, the cost of day care might be higher than she could support unless she has fairly high earnings.”

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Topics: Family Roles, Household and Family Structure, Parenthood, Work and Employment

Apr 8, 2014 11:23 am

Data Feed: A decade of campaign ads, gender gaps on wages and jobs, outlook for global growth

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

Category: Data Feed

Apr 8, 2014 10:30 am

7 key findings about stay-at-home moms

1More moms are staying home: The share of mothers who do not work outside the home has risen over the past decade, reversing a long-term decline in stay-at-home mothers. (In the U.S. today, 71% of all mothers work outside the home.) Two-thirds are “traditional” married stay-at-home mothers with working husbands, but a growing share is unmarried.

share of stay at home moms over time

2Americans say a parent at home is best: Despite the fact that most mothers in the U.S. work at least part time, 60% of Americans say children are better off when a parent stays home to focus on the family, while 35% say they are just as well off when both parents work outside the home.

americans say a parent at home is best

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Topics: Family Roles, Household and Family Structure, Parenthood, Work and Employment

Apr 8, 2014 7:00 am

On Equal Pay Day, key facts about the gender pay gap

Today marks “Equal Pay Day,” the date that symbolizes how far into the new year the average American woman would have to work to earn what the average American man did in the previous year. With a new executive order issued today, President Obama and Democrats are hoping to peg the gender wage gap as a major issue ahead of the 2014 elections. This week, Senate Democrats also plan to again bring forward the proposed “Paycheck Fairness Act,” a bill that aims to eliminate the pay gap between female and male employees.

Both men and women see a need for moves such as this – 72% of women and 61% of men said “this country needs to continue making changes to give men and women equality in the workplace,” according to a Pew Research Center survey last fall. Read More

Topics: Gender, Work and Employment

Apr 7, 2014 11:22 am

Data Feed: Democrats and inequality, remittances from migrant women, gasoline taxes, India’s big election

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

Category: Data Feed

Apr 7, 2014 10:36 am

6 facts about marijuana

A new Pew Research Center survey found a broad shift in the public’s views on the nation’s drug policies, with many in favor of shifting the focus of government efforts from prosecution to treatment for use of illicit drugs. The survey also attracted much attention for its findings on attitudes about legalizing marijuana and views of its use. Here are six key facts on public opinion about marijuana:

Growing support for marijuana legalization1Support for marijuana legalization continues to grow. A 54% majority of Americans say the drug should be made legal, compared with 42% who want it to be illegal. Opinions have changed drastically since 1969, when Gallup first asked the question and just 12% favored legalization. Much of the change in opinion has occurred over the past few years — support has risen 13 points since 2010. Separately, 76% in our new survey say people convicted of minor possession should not serve time in jail. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Domestic Affairs and Policy, Drugs