When asked about their news consumption habits and their views of the media in general, Americans give similar answers regardless of whether they are surveyed by phone or online, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from a 2017 study and findings from a 2014 survey. Just one question with very general response options – how much people followed news – did not follow this pattern, yielding a noticeably higher news consumption estimate in phone surveys than web surveys.
The new analysis sheds light on concerns raised among pollsters that the medium by which a survey question is asked – its mode – can affect responses. (In this case, a telephone survey with an interviewer was compared with a self-administered survey on the web.) Under a phenomenon known as “social desirability bias,” some respondents might be inclined to give more honest answers online than they would on the phone because online surveys do not involve a human interviewer and therefore are inherently more private.
The vast majority of adults in Central and Eastern Europe identify with a religious group and believe in God, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of 18 countries in the region. But those in one country are an exception to this pattern: the Czech Republic, where a majority of the population is religiously unaffiliated and does not believe in God.
About seven-in-ten Czechs (72%) do not identify with a religious group, including 46% who describe their religion as “nothing in particular” and an additional 25% who say “atheist” describes their religious identity. When it comes to religious belief — as opposed to religious identity — 66% of Czechs say they do not believe in God, compared with just 29% who do. (While a lack of affiliation and a lack of belief may seem to go hand in hand, that is not always the case. In the U.S., for example, a majority of religiously unaffiliated adults — 61% — say they believe in God.)
Even in the former Eastern Bloc that was dominated by the officially atheist Soviet Union throughout much of the 20th century, the Czech Republic is a major outlier by both of these measures.
Belief in God is widespread across the region, with a median of 86% across the 18 countries surveyed expressing this belief, including 86% in neighboring Poland and 59% in Hungary. And when it comes to religious identity, the only surveyed country besides the Czech Republic where more than a quarter of people are unaffiliated is Estonia (45%). Ten countries in the region have Orthodox Christian majorities of roughly seven-in-ten adults or more, while four more are majority Catholic.
The United Kingdom is home to nearly 3 million people who were born elsewhere in the European Union and migrated to the UK to work and live. Among EU member states, the UK is second only to Germany in the number of EU-born immigrants residing within its borders. One of the looming questions as Brexit talks get underway is the status of these internal EU migrants.
But the UK is only part of a larger migration landscape. All told, roughly 20 million people who were born in a current European Union country have moved from their birth country and now live in another EU nation. Collectively, these migrants make up 4% of the EU’s total population and outnumber the population of all but six EU nations, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of UN migration data from 2015. (This is the latest year for which complete data on the origins and destinations of international migrants are available.)
Citizens of EU countries have the right to move between EU nations without showing documentation at borders and to reside and work in any other EU country. (Border agents in the UK and Ireland, however, inspect all incoming travelers because the nations are not among the 26 European countries that make up the Schengen Area, which allows for relaxed border patrols. Freedom of movement for new member nations has sometimes been phased in over several years.)
In the UK and elsewhere, EU migration has become a subject of debate. Despite losing their Parliamentary majority in this month’s election, Theresa May’s Conservative Party, which has promised to reduce immigration, is still the largest party in the UK government. Last year, the UK voted to leave the EU, with some supporters of the Brexit referendum saying they wanted to close the UK’s borders to other EU nations as a way to reduce migration. And in a new Pew Research Center survey, majorities in nine European countries surveyed said they want national governments, not the EU, to make migration decisions of EU and non-EU citizens into their nations.
Even as the polling industry tries to recover from real and perceived misses in U.S. and European elections in recent years, new studies have provided reassuring news for survey practitioners about the health of polling methodology.
In this Q&A, Michael Dimock, president of Pew Research Center, talks about recent developments in public opinion polling and what lies ahead.
There’s a widespread feeling that polling failed to predict the 2016 election results. Do you agree?
President Trump’s victory certainly caught many people by surprise, and I faced more than one Hillary Clinton supporter who felt personally betrayed by polling. But the extent to which the expectation of a Clinton victory was based on flawed polling data – or incorrect interpretation of polling data – is a big part of this question.
Polling’s professional organization, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), spent the last several months looking at the raw data behind the pre-election polls in an attempt to answer this question. (Note: The leader of the AAPOR committee tasked with this inquiry is Pew Research Center’s director of survey research, Courtney Kennedy.) While it might surprise some people, the expert analysis found that national polling in 2016 was very accurate by historical standards. When the national polls were aggregated, or pulled together, they showed Clinton winning among likely voters by an average of 3.2 percentage points. She ended up winning the popular vote by 2.1 points – a relatively close call when looking at presidential polling historically, and significantly closer than what polls suggested in 2012.
Fatherhood in America is changing in important and sometimes surprising ways. Today, fathers who live with their children are taking a more active role in caring for them and helping out around the house. And the ranks of stay-at-home and single fathers have grown significantly in recent decades. At the same time, more and more children are growing up without a father in the home.
The changing role of fathers has introduced new challenges, as dads juggle the competing demands of family and work. Here are some key findings about fathers from Pew Research Center.
1Dads see parenting as central to their identity. Dads are just as likely as moms to say that parenting is extremely important to their identity. Some 57% of fathers say this, compared with 58% of mothers. Most dads seem to appreciate the benefits of parenthood – 54% report that parenting is rewarding all of the time, as do 52% of moms. Meanwhile, 46% of fathers and 41% of mothers say they find parenting enjoyable all of the time.
Category: 5 Facts
Americans’ views toward those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) have changed substantially in recent years, and a majority of U.S. adults now say homosexuality should be accepted by society. The legal landscape for LGBT people has also shifted, including through a Supreme Court decision two years ago this month that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
Here are five key findings about LGBT Americans:
1Americans are becoming more accepting in their views of LGBT people and homosexuality in general, and the number of people identifying as LGBT has grown in recent years. For example, 63% of Americans said in 2016 that homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared with 51% in 2006. LGBT adults recognize the change in attitudes: About nine-in-ten (92%) said in a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of adults identifying as LGBT that society had become more accepting of them in the previous decade.
Perhaps as a result of this growing acceptance, the number of people who identify as LGBT in surveys is also rising. About 10 million people, or 4.1% of the U.S. adult population, identified as LGBT in 2016, according to the latest estimates from Gallup. This represents a modest but significant increase from 8.3 million people (3.5% of adults) who said they were LGBT in 2012.
Survey researchers face a number of challenges in measuring LGBT identity, and there is no consensus about how best to measure sexual orientation. Some rely on respondents self-identifying as LGBT (the technique used in surveys such as the Gallup and Pew Research Center polls), while others base their estimates on reports of sexual behavior or sexual attraction, which usually result in higher estimates. Other challenges include the stigmatization of identifying as LGBT in some cultures and respondents being unfamiliar with the terms used.
Mobile devices have rapidly become one of the most common ways for Americans to get news, and the sharpest growth in the past year has been among Americans ages 50 and older, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March.
More than eight-in-ten U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device (85%), compared with 72% just a year ago and slightly more than half in 2013 (54%). And the recent surge has come from older people: Roughly two-thirds of Americans ages 65 and older now get news on a mobile device (67%), a 24-percentage-point increase over the past year and about three times the share of four years ago, when less than a quarter of those 65 and older got news on mobile (22%).
The strong growth carries through to those in the next-highest age bracket. Among 50- to 64-year-olds, 79% now get news on mobile, nearly double the share in 2013. The growth rate was much less steep – or nonexistent – for those younger than 50.
In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Loving v. Virginia case that marriage across racial lines was legal throughout the country. Intermarriage has increased steadily since then: One-in-six U.S. newlyweds (17%) were married to a person of a different race or ethnicity in 2015, a more than fivefold increase from 3% in 1967. Among all married people in 2015 (not just those who recently wed), 10% are now intermarried – 11 million in total.
Here are more key findings from Pew Research Center about interracial and interethnic marriage and families on the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision.
1A growing share of adults say interracial marriage is generally a good thing for American society. Nearly four-in-ten adults (39%) say the growing number of people marrying someone of a different race is good for society, up from 24% in 2010. Adults younger than 30, those with at least a bachelor’s degree and those who identify as a Democrat or lean Democratic are especially likely to say this.
Americans today also are less likely to oppose a close relative marrying someone of a different race or ethnicity. Now, 10% say they would oppose such a marriage in their family, down from 31% in 2000. The biggest decline has occurred among nonblacks: Today, 14% of nonblacks say they would oppose a close relative marrying a black person, down from 63% in 1990.
Vice President Mike Pence recently drew attention to the persecution of Christians around the world, telling a summit in Washington, D.C., that “no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ.” In the same speech, Pence singled out “the suffering of Christians in the Middle East,” promising that the U.S. would act to protect Christians in that part of the world.
Some of the vice president’s statements on Christian persecution comport with data from a recent Pew Research Center report on global religious restrictions in 2015. Christians have been harassed in more countries than any other religious group and have suffered harassment in many of the heavily Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa. But the report also shows that this widespread harassment is due in part to the huge size and broad geographic dispersion of Christians around the world, and that the Middle East is just one of a number of regions where Christians have faced harassment.
The generation of Central and Eastern Europeans who came of age after the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union differs little in its political outlook from earlier generations weaned on communist ideology and anti-Western propaganda. Today, support for democracy is relatively tepid among both age groups. Majorities in most countries across the region are upbeat about free markets, with similar levels of support among young and old, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of adults in 18 Central and Eastern European countries.
In only two of the countries polled – Czech Republic and Poland – are young people significantly more supportive of democracy than older adults. Throughout the region as a whole, a similar share of those under 40 and those 40 and older say democracy is preferable to other forms of government (medians of 49% and 44%, respectively). One especially notable example of this young-old alignment is Russia, where 31% of both groups say democracy is preferable to other forms of government.