Nov 1, 2018 4:30 pm

Number of U.S.-born babies with unauthorized immigrant parents has fallen since 2007

Updated estimates on the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population were published here on Nov. 27, 2018.

Births to unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. have declined since the Great Recession

About 250,000 babies were born to unauthorized immigrant parents in the United States in 2016, the latest year for which information is available, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. This represents a 36% decrease from a peak of about 390,000 in 2007. The analysis follows President Donald Trump’s announcement that his administration may seek to end “birthright citizenship.”

Births to unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. generally rose throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s but have declined since the start of the Great Recession about a decade ago, according to estimates based on data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and its Current Population Survey.

The number of babies born to unauthorized immigrant parents represented about 6% of the 4.0 million total births in the U.S. in 2016, compared with 9% of all births in 2007.

Birthright citizenship derives from the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1868, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. The provision has long been interpreted to apply to U.S.-born children regardless of the immigration status of their parents.

While the Center’s new analysis provides estimates about the number and share of U.S.-born babies with unauthorized immigrant parents, it’s important to note that the legal status of immigrant parents can change over time. For example, parents who have legal permission to be in the U.S. at the time of their child’s birth might later overstay their visas or otherwise become unauthorized. Similarly, parents who are unauthorized immigrants at the time of their child’s birth might later become lawful immigrants and then naturalized citizens. (This analysis also slightly revises earlier estimates published by Pew Research Center.)

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Topics: Unauthorized Immigration, Immigration Trends, Population Trends, Immigration

Nov 1, 2018 3:31 pm

A look at voters’ views ahead of the 2018 midterms

People wait in line during early voting at a community center in Potomac, Maryland, on Oct. 25, two weeks ahead of midterm elections. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

With this year’s midterm elections just a week away, here are some key findings from Pew Research Center surveys over the past several months about some of the dynamics and issues shaping the battle for Congress.

Larger shares of voters say control of Congress will be factor in their voteLarge shares of voters – in both parties – say which party controls Congress is a factor in their vote this year. About three-quarters of registered voters who support Democratic candidates (77%) and those who support Republican candidates (73%) say which party controls Congress will factor into their vote. And large majorities of those backing Democrats (77%) and those supporting Republicans (82%) expect their party to hold a House majority after the elections. But Republicans are more bullish than Democrats about Senate control: 87% of Republican voters expect the GOP to hold a Senate majority; 62% of Democratic voters expect their party to have the majority.

Health care and the economy are among the top voting issues. About three-quarters of registered voters cite health care (75%) and the economy (74%) as very important issues to their vote this year, but there are partisan divisions. Nearly nine-in-ten Democratic candidate supporters (88%) say health care is very important, compared with six-in-ten Republican supporters. On the economy, 85% of Republican voters cite this as a very important issue for their vote, compared with 66% of Democratic voters. In the survey, conducted amid the Senate’s confirmation proceedings for Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, large shares of Democratic (81%) and Republican voters (72%) also said Supreme Court appointments would be a very important voting issue.

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Topics: Congress, Political Party Affiliation, Voter Participation, Donald Trump, Voter Preferences, 2018 Election, Political Issue Priorities

Nov 1, 2018 12:30 pm

Exit polls, election surveys and more: A guide for the 2018 midterms

Voter Joe Cieslo fills out an exit poll for the AP, CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS and ABC after voting at the Community Arts Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on April 26, 2016. (Todd Berkey/The Tribune-Democrat via AP)

On Nov. 6, millions of Americans will hunker down in front of their TVs, boot up their computers or curl up with their mobile devices for a long evening of election-watching. Besides the results of hundreds of House, Senate and gubernatorial contests, these people will get plenty of analysis and commentary about what the voting patterns tell us about the state of the nation.

For more than a quarter-century, no matter which channel you were watching, much of that punditry ultimately derived from the same source: a nationwide survey of voters as they left their local polling places. That exit poll will occur this year too, sponsored by four major news networks and conducted by Edison Research. (In recent years, the polling-place interviews have been supplemented with pre-election phone interviews in states where a sizable share of the vote is cast via early, absentee or mail voting.)

But on election night 2018, there will be an additional source of data on who voted and why, developed by The Associated Press, Fox News and NORC at the University of Chicago and based on a very different methodology. That means that depending on where you go for election news, you may get a somewhat different portrait of this year’s electorate.

Those competing election-night efforts won’t be the last word on explaining the midterms. The Current Population Survey (conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics) will look at Americans’ self-reported registration and voting activity, and post-election surveys from various research groups will delve more deeply into what voters’ thoughts and motives were as they made their choices. Though such reports tend to get more attention from political scientists and other researchers than the news media (perhaps because they come out months or even years after the election), they may provide a fuller, more accurate account of the who, how, what and why of the 2018 midterms.  Read More

Topics: Polling, Voter Participation, Research Methods, 2018 Election

Oct 31, 2018 2:00 pm

Conservative Republicans are least supportive of making it easy for everyone to vote

Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say everything possible should be done to make it easy for every citizen to vote, but Republicans – especially conservative Republicans – are less likely to hold this view, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Republicans ideologically divided over making it easy for all to voteWhile Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (84%) overwhelmingly say everything possible should be done to make it easy to vote, Republicans and GOP leaners are split: Nearly half (48%) say everything possible should be done to make it easy to vote, while 51% say citizens should have to prove they want to vote by registering ahead of time.

Only about a third of conservative Republicans (36%) favor doing everything possible to make it easy to vote, compared with a majority (65%) of moderate and liberal Republicans. (A report earlier this year, based on 2017 data, found that conservatives constituted a majority – 68% – of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters; moderates and liberals made up about a third of GOP voters, or 31%.)

Among Democrats, large majorities of both liberals (89%) and conservatives and moderates (80%) say everything possible should be done to make it easy to vote. (In 2017, 52% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters described their views as conservative or moderate, while 46% identified as liberal.)  Read More

Topics: Political Party Affiliation, Voter Participation, Political Polarization, Voting Issues

Oct 31, 2018 7:00 am

Greek attitudes toward religion, minorities align more with Central and Eastern Europe than West

Politically, Greece has long been aligned with the West. It joined NATO in 1952 and the European Union in 1981, and, unlike nearly all its neighbors in southeastern Europe, it remained outside the Soviet sphere of influence during the Cold War.

When it comes to public attitudes on religion, national identity and the place of religious minorities, Greeks, like their neighbors to the East, hold more nationalist and less accepting views than do Western Europeans, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of surveys in 34 countries across the continent. Greeks appear to recognize this: Seven-in-ten agree with the statement, “There is a conflict between our country’s traditional values and those of the West.” And a majority of Greeks hold at least some affinity toward Russia: Seven-in-ten adults say a strong Russia is necessary to balance the influence of the West.

On religion, nativism and social issues, Greece aligns more with Central and Eastern Europe than with Western EuropeGreece is an overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian nation – much like Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. And, like many Eastern Europeans, Greeks embrace Christianity as a key part of their national identity. Three-quarters of Greeks say being Orthodox is at least somewhat important to being truly Greek; many other Central and Eastern Europeans link religion and nationality in this way (median of 57%), while fewer Western Europeans do (median of 34%). In addition, roughly a third of Greek adults say they would be willing to accept Muslims (31%) or Jews (35%) in their family, similar to the share who say this in other Central and Eastern European countries, but far below the shares who express acceptance of religious minorities in Western Europe.

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Topics: Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Religion and Society, Social Values, Europe, National and Cultural Identity

Oct 30, 2018 10:01 am

Younger adults in Western Europe are more socially, politically progressive than older age groups

People line up to vote at Els Llorers school in Barcelona, Spain, on Oct. 1, 2017. (Nicolas Carvalho Ochoa/Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

Younger people in Western Europe differ in a variety of ways from older adults: They tend to be more left-leaning, more progressive in their social and political views, more receptive to immigrants and more favorable toward the European Union. They are also more mixed in their views of traditional center-left parties than older Western Europeans.

Here are five facts about how 18- to 29-year-olds in Western Europe differ from older age groups, based on a Pew Research Center survey conducted in late 2017 across eight countries.

1Younger Europeans more likely to lean left ideologically than older groupsYounger Europeans are more left-leaning, though no more likely to hold populist views. Around a third or more of those younger than 30 placed themselves on the ideological left in six of the eight countries surveyed. In most countries, this made younger people significantly more likely to be left-leaning than those ages 50 and older. In the United Kingdom, for example, 43% of those under 30 placed themselves on the ideological left, compared with only 20% of those 50 and older.

While left-right ideology remains a powerful factor in how Europeans view key policy questions, anti-establishment populist views are also shaking up the political landscape. But age was not strongly or consistently related to populist views in most surveyed countries: In France and Spain, those under 30 were slightly more likely to hold populist views than those 50 and older, but in the Netherlands, the pattern was flipped, and those 50 and older were somewhat more likely to hold populist views (29%) than those under 30 (22%). Still, differences were muted, particularly when compared with ideological differences across age groups. (Respondents were classified as holding populist views if they answered: “Most elected officials don’t care what people like me think” and “Ordinary people would do a better job solving the country’s problems than elected officials.”)

2Younger Europeans have mixed evaluations of traditional, center-left parties. Although younger Europeans were much more likely to fall on the ideological left, this did not translate into more positive views of the traditional center-left party in many countries. In most countries, younger Europeans were no more likely than older adults to identify as partisans of these center-left parties. And in Denmark and Spain, those under 30 had less favorable opinions of the center-left parties than older age groups.

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Topics: Western Europe, Teens and Youth, Social Values, Europe, Political Attitudes and Values, Generations and Age

Oct 29, 2018 10:05 am

In EU, there’s an East-West divide over religious minorities, gay marriage, national identity

For most of its first half-century, the European Union consisted almost entirely of countries from Western Europe, such as France, Italy and Belgium. That changed in 2004, when the EU expanded to include some former Soviet bloc countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Hungary, Poland and Estonia.

While the EU has integrated its new member states into its governing structures, there are some significant differences in public attitudes between its Western European countries and its Central and Eastern European countries, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center surveys conducted between 2015 and 2017.

Specifically, adults in the EU’s Central and Eastern European states tend to be less likely than those in the EU countries of Western Europe to say they would welcome Muslims or Jews into their families or neighborhoods, and they are less likely to favor same-sex marriage. At the same time, the Central and Eastern Europeans are more likely than the Western Europeans to view Christianity as an important component of their national identity, and to express higher levels of religious commitment.

Within the EU, Central and Eastern Europeans generally less likely than Western Europeans to say they would accept Muslims as relatives

Here are six key findings from the analysis, based on surveys of 24 EU countries, including 13 in Western Europe and 11 in Central and Eastern Europe. The analysis stems from a new Pew Research Center report about differences in attitudes between Western and Eastern Europeans more broadly.

1Central and Eastern Europeans in the EU are less willing than Western Europeans in the EU to say they would accept Muslims or Jews as members of their family or as neighbors. In nearly all of the Central and Eastern European countries surveyed, fewer than half of adults say they would be willing to accept Muslims into their family, including 29% who say this in Romania and 32% in Bulgaria. Meanwhile, in most of the surveyed Western European countries, more than half of adults say they would accept a Muslim into their family, including 66% who say this in Finland and 74% in Spain. The same general pattern holds when Europeans are asked about accepting Jews as family members or neighbors.  Read More

Topics: Eastern Europe, Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, Religious Affiliation, Social Values, Europe, Country Image, National and Cultural Identity

Oct 26, 2018 10:01 am

Nearly one-in-five teens can’t always finish their homework because of the digital divide

Katrina Archuleta, 17, helps her sister, Amani Gonzalez, 5, with math homework at their home in Denver in January. Their family of eight has been living in a three-bedroom apartment as soaring home prices and rents have made it difficult for entry-level and low-income buyers to find larger homes. (AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Some 15% of U.S. households with school-age children do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data. New survey findings from the Center also show that some teens are more likely to face digital hurdles when trying to complete their homework.

Many school-age children live in households without high-speed internetSchool-age children in lower-income households are especially likely to lack broadband access. Roughly one-third of households with children ages 6 to 17 and whose annual income falls below $30,000 a year do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, compared with just 6% of such households earning $75,000 or more a year. These broadband disparities are particularly pronounced for black and Hispanic households with school-age children – especially those with low household incomes. (The overall share of households with school-age children lacking a high-speed internet connection in 2015 is comparable to what the Center found in an analysis of 2013 Census data.)

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Topics: Teens and Technology, Teens and Youth, Education, Digital Divide, Income Inequality, Generations and Age

Oct 25, 2018 12:02 pm

6 facts about English language learners in U.S. public schools

Kindergarten students line up with their books at Gov. James B. Longley Elementary School in Lewiston, Maine. Over 70% of the school’s students are English language learners. (Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

There were nearly 5 million English language learners in U.S. public schools in fall 2015, according to the most recent available data from the National Center for Education Statistics. This represented 9.5% of U.S. public school enrollees, an increase from 8.1% in 2000.

English language learners (ELLs), a broad term that refers to students with limited English proficiency, are a diverse group from many different states and native language backgrounds. The educational experiences of ELLs also vary greatly across the country, as states and schools differ in how to identify ELL students and in how to teach them. Regardless of approach, ELLs represent a growing part of the U.S. student body.

Here are six facts about English language learners in U.S. public schools.

States in Southwest have largest shares of ELL students1California has the highest number and share of English language learners. The more than 1.3 million ELL students in California made up 21% of the state’s total public elementary and secondary school enrollment in 2015, around double the 9.5% nationwide share. English learners made up 10% or more of the student body in seven other states, many of them in the Southwest: Nevada (17%), Texas (17%), New Mexico (16%), Colorado (12%), Alaska (11%), Kansas (11%) and Washington (10%). States with the lowest percentages of English language students included Mississippi (2%), Vermont (2%) and West Virginia (1%).

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Topics: Education, Immigration, Language

Oct 24, 2018 12:00 pm

8 facts about Americans and Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms among adults in the United States. At the same time, it has attracted scrutiny in recent years because of concerns over its ability to keep users’ personal information private and its role in the 2016 presidential election. Here are eight facts about Americans and Facebook, based on Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2018:

1Around two-thirds (68%) of U.S. adults use Facebook, according to a survey conducted in January. That’s unchanged from April 2016, the last time the Center asked this question, but up from 54% of adults in August 2012.

With the exception of YouTube – the video-sharing platform used by 73% of adults – no other major social media platform comes close to Facebook in terms of usage. Around a third of U.S. adults (35%) say they use Instagram, while smaller shares say they use Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp.

2Among U.S. adults who use Facebook, around three-quarters (74%) visit the site at least once a day, according to the January survey. The share of adult users who visit Facebook at least once a day is higher than the shares who visit Snapchat (63%) and Instagram (60%) at least once a day. However, similar shares of Facebook and Snapchat users say they visit each site several times a day (51% and 49%, respectively).

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Topics: Online Communities, Social Media, Internet Activities, Technology Adoption, Social Networking