Jun 22, 2016 11:55 am

Key facts about partisanship and political animosity in America

The 2016 presidential campaign has highlighted the deep partisan divisions in the United States. A new Pew Research Center report finds that Republicans and Democrats now have more negative views of the opposing party than at any point in nearly a quarter century. These sentiments are not just limited to views of the parties and their policy proposals; they have a personal element as well.

Here are six key takeaways from the report:

1What Republicans and Democrats say about each otherMany Democrats and Republicans associate negative characteristics with members of the other party – and positive traits with their own. Fully 70% of Democrats say Republicans are more “closed-minded” than other Americans. Nearly as many Democrats (67%) say their fellow Democrats are more “open-minded.”

For Republicans, no single critique of Democrats stands out. But about half of Republicans (52%) view Democrats as more closed-minded than other Americans, while nearly as many say Democrats are more immoral (47%), lazier (46%) and more dishonest (45%). Republicans also see the members of their own party as more hard-working (59%) and more moral (51%) than other Americans. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: 2016 Election, Political Polarization, U.S. Political Parties

Jun 22, 2016 7:00 am

About four-in-ten of the world’s migrants live in the U.S. or Europe

The United States has long been the top destination country for migrants worldwide, though if the European Union, Norway and Switzerland were a single country it would outrank the U.S. as a destination for international migrants. But the U.S. and Europe are quite different when it comes to their migrant populations’ origin countries.

Greater share of world's migrants live in the EU than in the U.S.In 2015, almost one-in-five (19%) of all international migrants – people living in a country other than the one they were born in – lived in the U.S., and 23% were in the EU, Norway and Switzerland. Together, some 43% of all the world’s international migrants live in the U.S. or Europe, according to the United Nations Population Division. (The UN counts citizens born abroad or in their native country’s territories as international migrants. For the U.S., this means international migrants include U.S. citizens at birth who were born abroad, in Puerto Rico or in other U.S. territories.)

The U.S. has long been a receiving country for international migrants, and Europe historically was a sending region. For most of the 20th century, either Germany or Italy was the top country of origin of migrants living in the U.S. A century ago, from 1890 to 1919, almost nine-in-ten foreign-born people arriving to the U.S. (88%) were coming from Europe, compared with just 12% of migrants who arrived since 1965. About 46.6 million immigrants now live in the U.S., making up a near-historic 14% of the U.S. population, according to UN data – but as of 2015, only about one-in-ten immigrants living in the U.S. (9%) were born in the EU, Norway and Switzerland. Read More

Topics: Europe, Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration

Jun 21, 2016 9:55 am

Where major religious groups stand on abortion

Major religious groups' positions on abortion

Abortion is still a difficult, contentious and even unresolved issue for some religious groups.

The United Methodist Church provides one example of a religious group whose stand on abortion is not entirely clear. At its quadrennial convention, held in May, church delegates voted to repeal a 40-year-old resolution supporting the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and approved another resolution ending the church’s membership in a pro-abortion rights advocacy group. However, the church’s Book of Discipline (which lays out the denomination’s law and doctrine) stresses that abortion should be, in some cases, legally available.

Some religious groups have little or no ambivalence about abortion. For instance, the nation’s largest denomination – the Roman Catholic Church – opposes abortion in all circumstances. The second-largest church, the Southern Baptist Convention, also opposes abortion, although it does allow an exception in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Read More

Topics: Abortion, Religion and Society, Religious Beliefs and Practices

Jun 21, 2016 7:00 am

5 facts about migration and the United Kingdom

Immigration to the United Kingdom has been one of the most important issues driving the debate over whether or not the UK should remain a member of the European Union. Britain’s exit from the EU, or “Brexit,” will be decided in a June 23 referendum, with some seeing an exit as a way to slow immigration into the UK.

Here are five facts about migration into and out of the UK:

1Number of immigrants in the UK more than double in 25 yearsThe UK has the fifth-largest immigrant population in the world, at 8.5 million. Between 1990 and 2015, the UK’s immigrant population more than doubled, from 3.7 million. As of 2015, about 13% of the UK’s resident population was foreign-born, comparable to the roughly 14% foreign-born share in the United States.

2As of 2015, the UK’s immigrant population has one of the most diverse groups of origin countries in the world, tying Denmark for the highest diversity score, which measures the distribution of immigrants from different source countries. The top three origin countries of immigrants living in the UK are India (780,000), Poland (700,000) and Pakistan (540,000). Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Europe, Immigration Trends, Migration

Jun 20, 2016 12:16 pm

More older Americans are working, and working more, than they used to

Greater share of older Americans working now than on eve of Great Recession

More older Americans – those ages 65 and older – are working than at any time since the turn of the century, and today’s older workers are spending more time on the job than did their peers in previous years, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of employment data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In May, 18.8% of Americans ages 65 and older, or nearly 9 million people, reported being employed full- or part-time, continuing a steady increase that dates to at least 2000 (which is as far back as we took our analysis). In May of that year, just 12.8% of 65-and-older Americans, or about 4 million people, said they were working.

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Topics: Older Adults, Work and Employment

Jun 20, 2016 7:00 am

Key facts about the world’s refugees

The United Nations adopted a resolution in 2000 marking June 20 as World Refugee Day. With the number of displaced people at a record 65.3 million in 2015 – a total that counts both those living inside and outside of their home countries – World Refugee Day has gained new prominence as countries, including the U.S., have taken in large numbers of people.

Here are some key facts about refugees arriving in Europe and the U.S. from around the world:

1About six-in-ten Syrians are now displaced from their homes, a number unprecedented in recent history for a single country. The Syrian conflict has displaced millions of citizens since protests against the al-Assad government began more than five years ago. Today, an estimated 12.5 million Syrians are displaced, up from less than 1 million in 2011, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of global refugee data. Displaced Syrians worldwide include those internally displaced within Syria, refugees living in neighboring countries or relocated to other countries like Canada and the United States, and those in Europe awaiting a decision on their asylum application.

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Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration, Wars and International Conflicts

Jun 17, 2016 9:30 am

Where refugees to the U.S. come from

The shifting origins of refugees to the U.S. over time

Conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere are driving hundreds of thousands of refugees to seek shelter in neighboring countries, Europe and the United States. These crises are the most recent in a long line of conflicts forcing people from their homes. According to data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center, more than 3 million refugees in total have arrived in the U.S. since 1975.

Leading countries of origin of recent refugees to the U.S. A look at where refugees to the U.S. have come from and their number provides a glimpse into global events and the U.S.’s role in providing a safe haven. Of the more than 40,000 refugees who have been admitted to the United States so far in 2016, the largest numbers have come from Burma (Myanmar), the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.

Historically, waves of refugees to the U.S. have ebbed and flowed with global conflict. In the 1990s, waves of refugees came to the U.S. in large numbers from the former Soviet Union. However, refugee admittance dropped off steeply in the wake of the terrorist attacks in 2001. The total annual number of refugees has trended upward since then. Read More

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration, Wars and International Conflicts

Jun 16, 2016 12:00 pm

In the age of big data, survey research will not only survive but thrive

The next frontier of public-opinion research is already visible in the “big data” revolution. Through the digital traces of our everyday activities, we are creating a massive volume of information that can tell us a lot about ourselves. Smart data science can identify patterns in our behaviors and interests. And in some domains, such as predicting consumer spending and who will vote, algorithms may already be surpassing what surveys can do on their own.

But in the age of big data, it’s important to remember what surveys are uniquely suited to do. Asking Americans about their values, beliefs and concerns can tease out meaning from mountains of data and uncover the motivations behind the choices we make – providing a path to understanding not just what we do, but why. If history is a guide, survey research will not only survive but thrive – by taking advantage of what big data provides, and delivering what it cannot.

The survey world is unquestionably facing disruption. Cellphones are replacing the home phones we relied on for decades, and online surveys – of varying quality – are flooding the marketplace with daily numbers, leaving consumers awash in data, and rightfully skeptical. But with every challenge comes a new opportunity. Cellphones have strengthened, not weakened, a pollster’s ability to reach a balanced cross-section of the American public. Online surveys allow researchers to ask new kinds of questions, track individuals’ views over time and reach key populations of interest, all without interrupting people with long phone calls during dinner. The market for information about ourselves will continue to drive innovation and the refinement of best practices in online surveys, just as it did for other survey methodologies in the past.

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Topics: Political Attitudes and Values, Polling, Research Methods, Telephone Survey Methods, Web Survey Methods

Jun 16, 2016 9:50 am

6 facts about American fathers

Credit: Getty Images

As the American family changes, fatherhood 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 reports: Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Family Roles, Household and Family Structure, Income, Marriage and Divorce, Parenthood, Work and Employment

Jun 15, 2016 12:01 pm

Immigrant share of population jumps in some European countries

The recent historic migration surge into Europe has led to a large increase in the immigrant share of populations in many nations there, with the notable exceptions of the UK and France, which saw more modest increases, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of United Nations and Eurostat data.

Migrant surge drives big increases in immigrant share for several European countriesFrom July 2015 to May 2016, more than 1 million people applied for asylum in Europe. The immigrant share of the population increased most during this time in Sweden, Hungary, Austria and Norway, which each saw an increase of at least 1 percentage point. While that rise might seem small, even a 1-point increase in a single year is rare, especially in Western countries. (The immigrant share of the U.S. population increased by about 1 point over a decade, from 13% in 2005 to about 14% in 2015.)

Recent migrants added to already substantial foreign-born populations living in Sweden, Norway and Austria – all nations in which the foreign born make up 15% or more of the population in 2016. Sweden had the greatest increase, rising from about 16.8% in 2015 to 18.3% in 2016, a 1.5-percentage-point increase. The foreign-born shares in Norway (15.3% in 2016) and Austria (18.5% in 2016) increased by about 1 point over the same period.

Countries with smaller immigrant populations like Hungary and Finland also saw their foreign-born shares increase significantly due to the 2015-2016 migration surge. Hungary’s foreign-born share rose from 4.6% in 2015 to 5.8% in 2016, a 1.3-point increase. In Finland, the share of foreign born rose an estimated 0.8 points, from 5.7% to 6.5%.

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Topics: Europe, Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration