Aug 9, 2017 6:58 am

Few see EU as world’s top economic power despite its relative might

The European Union ranks as the world’s second-largest economy by gross domestic product, but few people globally see it as an economic leader ahead of China or the United States, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

Across the 38 nations in the survey, a median of just 9% view the countries of the EU as the world’s leading economic power. By comparison, 42% name the U.S. and 32% name China, while an additional 7% name Japan.

Even in the 10 EU countries included in the survey, a median of only 9% see the EU as the world’s top economy. By contrast, 42% name China and 38% name the U.S., with an additional 7% naming Japan. (Europe is the only region globally where more people today see China than the U.S. as the world’s leading economy.)

The comparatively low international rating of the EU’s economy comes despite its economic power – at least as measured by gross domestic product in purchasing power parity dollars (i.e., exchange rates adjusted for differences in the prices of goods and services across countries). By this measure, EU member countries collectively generated $20.3 trillion in GDP. The EU trails only China and ranks ahead of the U.S. and Japan.  Read More

Topics: Europe, Globalization and Trade, World Economies

Aug 8, 2017 1:00 pm

Nearly half of those who have been harassed online know their harasser

Anonymity can play a central role in fostering abusive behavior online. But in many cases, targets of online harassment name someone they know personally as the responsible party.

About one-in-four Americans (26%) who have been harassed online say an acquaintance was behind their most recent incident, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. And in other cases, targets of online abuse are even more familiar with their harassers: 18% of those who have been harassed say their most recent incident involved a friend, while 11% say it involved a family member. Smaller shares say their most recent experience involved a former romantic partner (7%) or a co-worker (5%).

Taken together, nearly half of Americans (46%) who have experienced some form of online harassment say they know the person or persons responsible for their most recent incident – the same as the share (46%) who say their harasser was a stranger or someone whose real identity was unknown to them. (The remaining 8% were harassed by people both known and unknown to them.)

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Topics: Social Media, Internet Activities, Online Privacy and Safety

Aug 8, 2017 10:00 am

Americans divided on gene editing, with parents of minors more wary

Americans have mixed feelings about using gene editing techniques to reduce babies’ lifetime risk of contracting serious diseases, with parents of children younger than 18 especially wary of the practice, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey.

When asked to consider the idea of using gene editing to lessen healthy babies’ risk of disease, many more Americans said they were very or somewhat worried about the idea (68%) than were at least somewhat enthusiastic about it (49%). And the public was closely divided over whether they would or would not want gene editing for their baby (48% versus 50%). Parents of minor children were less inclined to want gene editing for their child by a margin of 39% to 59%.

The survey underscores how the details of gene editing play an important role in public opinion. It was conducted before a recent breakthrough in gene editing that has raised the potential of significantly reducing the lifetime risk of diseases in healthy babies.

Another Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2014 had similarly found Americans closely divided over whether changing genetic characteristics to reduce a baby’s risk of serious diseases would be appropriate (46%) or taking advances too far (50%).

And while most in the 2016 survey said they expected the prospect of gene editing to usher in a “great deal” (46%) or “some” (35%) change for society, the public is also divided over the likely impact of this change. Slightly more Americans expected the benefits for society to outnumber the downsides of gene editing than vice versa (36% to 28%), while a third (33%) said the downsides and benefits would even out.

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Topics: Religion and Society, Science and Innovation, Bioethics

Aug 7, 2017 7:01 am

In many ways, Muslim men and women see life in America differently

Marcell Rafli/EyeEm via Getty Images
Marcell Rafli/EyeEm via Getty Images

While many Muslims express wariness and anxiety about aspects of their lives in the United States, Muslim women tend to be more pessimistic about their place in U.S. society than Muslim men.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, more Muslim women than men say it has become more difficult to be Muslim in the U.S. in recent years (57% vs. 43%).

And Muslim women are more divided on their acceptance by society at large than are men. Half (52%) of Muslim women say they have a lot in common with most Americans and 44% view the American people as friendly toward Muslim Americans, compared with two-thirds of Muslim men who say each of these things.

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Topics: Gender, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation, Muslims and Islam

Aug 4, 2017 2:30 pm

Most Americans view openness to foreigners as ‘essential to who we are as a nation’

For a large majority of Americans, the country’s openness to people from around the world “is essential to who we are as a nation.” In a new Pew Research Center survey, 68% say America’s openness to foreigners is a defining characteristic of the nation, while just 29% say “if America is too open to people from all over the world, we risk losing our identity as a nation.”

The belief that openness to people from around the world is essential is widely shared across most demographic groups. However, Democrats and younger people are considerably more likely than others to hold this view, according to the national survey, conducted June 27-July 9 among 2,505 adults.

Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, an overwhelming share (84%) thinks America’s openness is essential to who we are as a nation. Republicans and Republican leaners are divided: 47% say America’s openness is essential, while 48% say being too open carries with it the risk of losing our identity as a nation.

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Topics: U.S. Political Parties, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Ethnicity, National and Cultural Identity

Aug 4, 2017 10:30 am

Personal finance questions elicit slightly different answers in phone surveys than online

People polled by telephone are slightly less likely than those interviewed online to say their personal finances are in “poor shape” (14% versus 20%, respectively), a Pew Research Center survey experiment has found.

The experiment, conducted in February and March, is part of a line of research at the Center looking into “mode effects” – in this case, whether findings from self-administered web surveys differ from those of interviewer-administered phone surveys.

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Topics: Research Methods, Telephone Survey Methods, Web Survey Methods

Aug 3, 2017 3:30 pm

5 key facts about U.S. lawful immigrants

Lawful immigrants account for three-quarters of the foreign-born population in the U.S. – 33.8 million people out of 44.7 million in 2015, the most recent year for which numbers were available. Among lawful immigrants, those who hold U.S. citizenship (19.8 million in 2015) outnumber lawful permanent residents (11.9 million).

The rest of the foreign-born population consists of 11 million unauthorized immigrants and 2.1 million people in the U.S. on temporary visas. The total foreign-born population, 13.4% of the U.S. population in 2015, is somewhat below the historic high of 14.8% in 1890, when 9.2 million immigrants lived in the U.S.

President Donald Trump endorsed a Senate bill on Aug. 2 that would reduce the number of foreigners granted lawful permanent resident status each year by half, with the intention of decreasing immigration levels overall. The bill would change decades of policy in deciding who should receive lawful permanent resident status by shifting the emphasis on family ties to the value of job skills that applicants would bring. It would also eliminate the “diversity” category for immigrants from countries with low immigration to the U.S. and decrease refugee admissions.

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Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Population Trends, Population Geography, Asian Americans

Aug 3, 2017 7:00 am

U.S. Hispanic population growth has leveled off

The annual growth rate of the U.S. Hispanic population remained flat between 2016 and 2017, but Hispanics continue to account for more of the nation’s overall population growth than any other race or ethnicity, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of preliminary population estimates from the Census Bureau.

Asians had the highest annual growth rate (3.0%) of any major U.S. racial or ethnic group in 2017. The Hispanic growth rate followed at 2.0%, exceeding that of blacks (0.9%) and whites (decrease of <0.1%). Overall, the U.S. annual population growth rate has held steady at 0.7% since 2011.

Following a Hispanic population boom in the 1990s that was driven by immigration and high fertility rates, the Hispanic population’s annual growth rate peaked at 4.2% in 2001. It then started to decline as fertility rates fell and immigration slowed, a trend that accelerated during the Great Recession. While the foreign born accounted for 40% of Hispanic annual population growth in 2006, that share dropped to 34% by 2015. Fertility rates declined from a peak of 98.3 births per 1,000 Hispanic women in 2006 to 71.7 in 2015.

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Topics: Population Trends, Population Geography, Hispanic/Latino Demographics

Aug 2, 2017 6:59 am

Most patients in U.S. have high praise for their health care providers

(Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)
(Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

While many physicians in the United States report frustrations with their work, the public continues to hold health care providers in high regard.

Nearly nine-in-ten Americans (87%) who have seen a health care provider in the past year say their concerns or descriptions of symptoms were carefully listened to, and 84% say they felt their provider “really cared about (their) health and well-being,” according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in spring 2016. Just 23% of patients said they “felt rushed by their health care provider,” and even fewer (15%) felt confused about instructions they got for treatment or at-home care.

These findings come despite a range of negative experiences reported by health care providers themselves. Professional burnout, for example, is reportedly on the rise among physicians due to long work hours and excessive administrative burdens. Pediatricians find it harder to do their jobs as they confront a growing number of parents who are hesitant to vaccinate their children.

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Topics: Work and Employment, Health Care, Health, Science and Innovation

Aug 1, 2017 10:02 am

Globally, more people see U.S. power and influence as a major threat

Concerns about American power and influence have risen in countries around the world amid steep drops in U.S. favorability and confidence in the U.S. president.

Across 30 nations surveyed by Pew Research Center both in 2013 and this spring, a median of 38% now say U.S. power and influence poses a major threat to their country, up 13 percentage points from 2013.

Concerns about U.S. power as a threat are comparable to worries over Chinese and Russian power in much of the world. About three-in-ten around the globe name China or Russia as a major threat.

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Topics: U.S. Global Image and Anti-Americanism, Political Attitudes and Values, U.S. Political Figures, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Global Balance of Power