In naming his second group of cardinals, Pope Francis has continued to shift the balance of the Roman Catholic Church’s leadership away from the continent it has long called home.
The pope – the first modern pontiff born outside of Europe – announced 15 new cardinals on Jan. 4, including representatives from three Southeast Asian countries (Burma, Thailand and Vietnam) as well as New Zealand and the Pacific island nation of Tonga. Another three are from Latin America – Mexico, Uruguay and Panama – while two are natives of sub-Saharan Africa (Cape Verde and Ethiopia). Out of the 15 incoming “princes of the church,” only five are from Europe.
In less than two years, Francis has changed the geographic breakdown of the cardinals. The conclave that elected Francis in 2013 was heavily European: 52% of those cardinals were from Europe, a continent that was home to only 24% of the world’s Catholics as of 2010.
Based on the distribution of the global Catholic population, Europe is still overrepresented among cardinals who are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote for a new pope. But Europe no longer has a majority. After the new cardinals are installed Feb. 14, Europe’s share of the 125 cardinal electors will have fallen to 46%.
Meanwhile, Francis’ appointments have boosted voting-age cardinals from the Asia-Pacific region (from 9% in 2013 to 13% in 2015) and sub-Saharan Africa (from 9% to 11%).
Topics: Catholics and Catholicism
The number of Americans who rely only on a cellphone for their telephone service continues to grow. Fully 43% of U.S. adults live in a household with a cellphone and no landline phone, according to new government data for the first half of 2014. That’s up four percentage points from just six months earlier. According to an extrapolation by Pew Research Center, an estimated 46.5% of adults are cell-only today.
To keep pace with this rapid trend, the Pew Research Center will increase the percentage of respondents interviewed on cellphones in its typical national telephone surveys to 65%; 35% of interviews will be conducted by landline. Last year, we increased the ratio to 60% cellphone, with 40% conducted on landline. Back in 2008, when we first started routinely including cellphones in our phone surveys, just one-fourth (25%) of all interviews were done by cellphone.
Our goal in making this change is to ensure that all adults are adequately represented in Pew Research Center surveys. Although cellphone-only households are very common today, there are sizeable demographic differences between people living in cell-only households and those with landlines.
For example, young adults, Hispanics, renters and the poor (as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau’s poverty thresholds) are all far more likely to be cell-only. To the extent that cell-only households are underrepresented in our samples, these groups are also underrepresented. In a typical Pew Research Center national telephone survey, a little more than half of respondents interviewed on a cellphone report that they have no landline telephone; consequently, the share of all respondents who are cell-only depends heavily on how many total cellphone interviews are conducted. By raising the share of all interviews conducted on a cell phone to 65%, we expect that about 37% of our total sample will be cell-only – still short of the target of 46.5%, but closer.
The question naturally arises: Why not interview everyone on a cellphone? In fact, at least one major national survey is going to do just that. The Surveys of Consumers, conducted by the University of Michigan, will begin calling only cellphones this month. Read More →
As Republicans take control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2006, their leaders, like new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been promising to become more productive, especially in advance of the 2016 presidential elections. But after years of fierce partisan warfare, Americans are deeply skeptical that more will get done in Washington.
About three-quarters (76%) of those who cited a top national problem said they did not think progress would be made by President Obama and GOP leaders to address the problem they mentioned, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in early December 2014.
And there, at least, was one point of partisan agreement. That dim view was shared by 78% of Republicans, 71% of Democrats and 80% of independents.
People often elect politicians who are like them. Indeed, a regional comparison of members of Congress with the general public shows that, when it comes to religious affiliation, representatives often share their faith with many of their constituents.
Across the four major U.S. regions (as determined by the Census Bureau), there are correlations between the share of the general public affiliated with certain religious groups and the percentage of members of the House and Senate with the same affiliation, a new Pew Research Center analysis finds. And in some cases where a region has a clear majority or a larger-than-average share belonging to one group, the result is an even larger share of members of that group in Congress. Read More →
This year marked the 25th anniversary of the creation of the internet, making it a good time to look at how the internet had changed lives and what opportunities, challenges and dangers the coming years might bring. To do that, the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center posed a battery of questions to nearly 3,000 internet experts and scholars, centering on where things would stand by the year 2025 as technology and society kept evolving. Read More →
The public remains deeply dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Just 26% are satisfied with national conditions, while 71% are dissatisfied. And Americans have muted expectations for the year to come: 49% say they think 2015 will be a better year than 2014, while 42% think it will be worse, according to a survey conducted earlier this month. The current ratings are more pessimistic than in recent years, as the public generally takes an optimistic view of the year to come.
A year ago, 56% thought 2014 would be a better year than the last, compared with fewer (35%) who thought it would be worse. Read More →
For the first time on record, more non-Mexicans than Mexicans were apprehended at U.S. borders in 2014 by the Border Patrol, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of more than 60 years of Border Patrol data. This shift is another sign that unauthorized immigrants from Mexico are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border significantly less often than they did before the Great Recession.
About 229,000 Mexicans were apprehended by the Border Patrol in fiscal year 2014 compared with 257,000 non-Mexicans during the previous year, according to recently published Border Patrol data. Taken together, total apprehensions of Mexican and non-Mexican unauthorized immigrants (more than 486,000) were up 16% over the previous year.
These numbers are dramatically different than in 2007 when Mexican apprehensions totaled 809,000, compared with just 68,000 non-Mexicans. The number of Mexican immigrants apprehended at the border peaked at 1.6 million in 2000, the Pew Research analysis showed. The last time Mexican apprehensions were as low as they are now was in 1970 when 219,000 Mexicans were apprehended. In 1970, non-Mexican apprehensions totaled just 12,000.
As part of the Pew Research Center’s annual Global Attitudes survey, this question is usually the first we pose to respondents in all the countries we survey. One reason we ask such a milquetoast question first is to help the respondents become more comfortable with the interviewer. The vast majority of the polls we conduct are done with face-to-face interviews in the respondent’s home, and asking about their day is one way to kick off the conversation.
Having said that, the question is not necessarily a throwaway. Looking at the responses we received this year from 48,643 people we surveyed in 44 countries provides a glimpse of the mood of individual nations and even regions of the world.
A median of nearly two-thirds (65%) across the countries surveyed in spring 2014 responded that they were having a typical day. Only around a quarter (27%) said their day was going particularly well, and not even one-in-ten (7%) admitted their day was going poorly.
Topics: Research Methodology
The heart of our work at the Pew Research Center is data. And data visualizations that tell clear stories about our research — whether it be about American politics or our changing demographics — are just as important as the words we write in a report. So, what makes a successful data visual? We think it should present information clearly and concisely, engage the reader and allow them to explore that information (Hat-tip to Alberto Cairo’s Functional Art; we’re also big fans of Dona Wong’s Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics).
This year, the design staff looked back through our 2014 archive, and these graphics stood out as almost universal favorites. These visualizations presented a particular challenge and, for each of them, we talk about the approach we took in presenting the data. Read More →
Topics: Research Methodology
With the 113th Congress now in the history books, we conducted a final tally of our nation’s legislative productivity — in terms of both total laws passed and of substance. Our calculation finds that the 113th just barely avoided the dubious title of “least productive Congress in modern history.” But that’s only because of an exceptionally active lame duck session.
In all, the expiring Congress enacted 296 laws, 13 more than the 2011-12 Congress. Of those, we categorized 212 as substantive by our deliberately generous criteria (that is, anything besides building renamings, commemorative-coin issuances and other purely ceremonial laws); that was four more than the previous Congress. Read More →