Millennials are less religious than older Americans and less likely to identify with a religious group, and those traits are reflected in the way they celebrate Christmas. Nine-in-ten Millennials say they take part in Christmas, but only four-in-ten say they do so mainly as a religious holiday, according to a survey we conducted in 2013.
That stands in contrast to those in older generations, who in some cases are more likely to say they celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, attend religious services for Christmas and believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, according to a new look at the data. Read More →
Acceptance of homosexuality is rising across the broad spectrum of American Christianity, including among members of churches that strongly oppose homosexual relationships as sinful, according to an extensive Pew Research Center survey of U.S. religious beliefs and practices.
Amid a changing religious landscape that has seen a declining percentage of Americans who identify as Christian, a majority of U.S. Christians (54%) now say that homosexuality should be accepted, rather than discouraged, by society. While this is still considerably lower than the shares of religiously unaffiliated people (83%) and members of non-Christian faiths (76%) who say the same, the Christian figure has increased by 10 percentage points since we conducted a similar study in 2007. It reflects a growing acceptance of homosexuality among all Americans – from 50% to 62% – during the same period.
Among Christians, this trend is driven partly by younger church members, who are generally more accepting of homosexuality than their elder counterparts. For example, roughly half (51%) of evangelical Protestants in the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996) say homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared with a third of evangelical Baby Boomers and a fifth of evangelicals in the Silent generation. Generational differences with similar patterns also are evident among Catholics, mainline Protestants and members of the historically black Protestant tradition. Read More →
The landscape of the American family has changed dramatically in recent decades. In the wake of these changes, a new Pew Research Center report looks at the challenges parents face in raising their children and how parenting approaches differ across demographic groups.
Here are some key findings from the report:
1A declining share of children live in two-parent households. Today, 69% of children younger than 18 are living with two parents, down from 87% in 1960. A record-low 62% of children live with two married parents, while 7% live with two cohabiting parents. Meanwhile, the share of children living in single-parent households has increased threefold, from 9% in 1960 to 26% in 2014.
The rising prevalence of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation has caused other changes in family living arrangements, even among those living in two-parent households. In 2014, fewer than half of children (46%) lived in a household with two married parents in their first marriage, down from 73% in 1960. Read More →
Category: 5 Facts
About half of U.S. adults (49%) report playing video games on a computer, television, game console or mobile device, and whites, blacks and Hispanics are all equally likely to say they have done so, according to a new Pew Research Center report. But there are some differences among those groups when it comes to how they see gaming.
Today’s gaming population is a more diverse one than in previous years because smartphones and tablets have had a mainstreaming effect on who plays games, according to Dmitri Williams, associate professor at the University of Southern California’s School for Communication and Journalism. But one of the gaps that stand out is between those who play games and those who self-identify as a gamer, Williams said.
Hispanics are more likely than whites or blacks to categorize themselves as gamers. Some 19% of Hispanics say the term “gamer” describes them well, compared with 11% of blacks and 7% of whites. (Pew Research Center also found that identifying as a gamer varies by gender and age.)
Racial and ethnic differences are evident in other areas. Hispanics are the most likely racial or ethnic group to see a link between violent video games and actual violence. Half (52%) of Hispanics agree with the statement that people who play violent video games are more likely to be violent themselves, compared with 39% of blacks and 37% of whites.
Across several questions, blacks generally hold more positive views about video games. Some 19% of blacks say that most games promote teamwork and communication, compared with 10% of Hispanics and 8% of whites. Blacks are also more inclined to agree that most video games help develop good problem solving and strategic thinking skills – 22% hold this view, versus 18% of Hispanics and 15% of whites. Read More →
With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, views of the institution are not immune from today’s politically polarized climate. In 2014, roughly half of Americans (47%) had a favorable opinion of the Fed and 37% had an unfavorable view. But Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, were more likely to view the institution unfavorably.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents expressed favorable opinions of the Fed by a roughly two-to-one margin (57% vs. 28%). Only 39% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the same, while nearly half (48%) expressed an unfavorable opinion. Read More →
From the moon landings to Star Wars, Americans have long had a fascination with space and affection for NASA, but today’s public is divided on what role their government should play in future space exploration.
Among 13 areas asked about in Pew Research Center’s recent report on views of government, nearly half of U.S. adults (48%) say the federal government should play a minor or no role in advancing space exploration. This includes 39% who say government should have only a minor role and 9% who think it should have no role at all.
On the other hand, 47% of U.S. adults say the federal government should have a major role in advancing space exploration, making it the only area measured that does not have majority support for major government involvement. This stands in contrast to other issues such as curtailing terrorism, responding to natural disasters and ensuring food and medicine safety, for which a vast majority of Americans think government should be heavily involved. Read More →
When Republican presidential candidates meet in Las Vegas tonight for their sixth debate, terrorism, foreign policy and national security are expected to be major topics. Here are five facts about Republicans and their views on these issues, based on a new survey released today:
1For Republicans, international concerns now dominate. When asked about what they feel is the nation’s most important problem, 42% of Republicans cite an international concern – terrorism, the Islamic militant group ISIS or another national security issue – while just half as many (21%) mention an economic issue. That’s a dramatic reversal from a year ago. In December 2014, just one-in-ten Republicans (11%) mentioned an international issue – 3% said national security or defense issues, 2% said the wars and 1% said terrorism – while more than a third (38%) cited an economic issue.
2Republicans broadly support an aggressive approach toward ISIS and global terrorism. Twice as many Republicans as Democrats favor the use of U.S. ground forces to fight Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria (66% vs. 33%). More generally, there are stark partisan differences over how the United States should deal with global terrorism.
Fully 72% of Republicans say that using overwhelming force is the best way to defeat global terrorism. Among Democrats, just 27% favor the use of overwhelming military force, while 66% say relying too much on military force creates hatred that leads to more terrorism. Read More →
Over the past four decades, the American middle class has been shrinking relative to upper- and lower-income groups, both of which represent bigger shares of the population than at any time since at least 1971, a new Pew Research Center report finds.
Which raises the question: Which industries and occupations are more likely to offer opportunities for middle- and upper-income jobs? A follow-up analysis finds that, as you might expect, the upper-income tier has grown the most in the financial and natural-resources industries (think oil and gas), and among executives and managers. At the same time, the lower-income tier increased the most among retail sales workers and “operators,” a grouping of mostly blue-collar manufacturing-type jobs.
The American public has shown itself to be quite critical in its views of politicians and the federal government, expressing low levels of trust in both. Yet a recent Pew Research Center survey of attitudes about government also finds that Americans pull no punches when assessing the strengths and weaknesses of their fellow citizens.
The public gives the “typical American” a mixed assessment when asked about specific traits. Most (79%) agree that the term “patriotic” describes the typical American very or fairly well, and majorities also view the typical American as “honest” (69%) and “intelligent” (67%).
However, just over two-thirds (68%) say the term “selfish” also applies to the typical American very or fairly well, and half of the public says that the typical American can be aptly described as “lazy.” Read More →
The share of multiples born in the U.S. is at an all-time high, according to recently released data from the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2014, 3.5% of all babies born were twins, triplets or higher-order multiples, accounting for almost 140,000 births.
While multiples still make up a small share of all births, this marks a dramatic increase since 1915 – the first year for which reliable data are available – when about 2% of all births were multiples. In fact, the share of multiples remained quite constant for decades until the 1980s, when it started to tick up.
This growing market for double strollers might reflect a shift in Americans’ lifestyles. First, as women delay childbearing into their 30s and beyond, their likelihood of having multiples – even in the absence of medical intervention – naturally rises. Second, the increasing use of fertility treatments, such as hormone therapy or in vitro fertilization (IVF), further bolsters the likelihood of multiple births. Read More →