Sep 29, 2017 12:01 pm

Hispanic dropout rate hits new low, college enrollment at new high

The high school dropout rate among U.S. Hispanics has fallen to a new low, extending a decades-long decline, according to recently released data from the Census Bureau. The reduction has come alongside a long-term increase in Hispanic college enrollment, which is at a record high.

The Hispanic dropout rate was 10% in 2016, with about 648,000 Hispanics ages 18 to 24 – out of more than 6.5 million nationally in that age group – not completing high school and not enrolled in school. Just five years earlier, the rate had been 16%.

The overall high school dropout rate in the U.S. has also fallen substantially in recent decades, matching a record low of 6% in 2016. Hispanics have accounted for much of that decline. Since 1999, the earliest year for which data on all major races and ethnicities are available, the dropout rate among Hispanics has fallen by 24 percentage points, compared with 9 points among blacks, 3 points among whites and 2 points among Asians. (Hispanics, however, still have the highest dropout rate of these four groups.)

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Topics: Education, Race and Ethnicity, School Enrollment, Educational Attainment, Hispanic/Latino Demographics

Sep 28, 2017 10:01 am

Latino unemployment rate is back at historic low

The unemployment rate for Hispanics in the U.S. has returned to a historic low last seen more than a decade ago, though other labor market measures show this group has not totally recovered from the Great Recession, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

The Hispanic unemployment rate stood at 4.7% in the second quarter of 2017, about the same as in the second quarter of 2006 (4.9%). The improving labor market prospects for Latinos mirror trends for U.S. workers overall. The national unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2017 was 4.2%, compared with 4.6% in the second quarter of 2006. (Estimates are non-seasonally adjusted, but seasonally adjusted data show the same trend.)  Read More

Topics: Work and Employment, National Economy, Business and Labor, Hispanic/Latino Demographics

Sep 28, 2017 7:01 am

Views about whether whites benefit from societal advantages split sharply along racial and partisan lines

Issues of race have long divided Americans along racial and partisan lines, and these differences extend to views of whether white people in the U.S. benefit from advantages in society that black people do not have.

A majority of Americans (56%) say that white people either benefit “a great deal” (26%) or “a fair amount” (29%) from advantages that blacks do not have. About four-in-ten (43%) say white people benefit “not too much” (28%) or “not at all” (16%) from societal advantages, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 8 to 21 among 4,971 adults on the American Trends Panel. These attitudes are largely unchanged from a year ago, the last time the Center asked this question.

Whites and blacks have distinctly different views. An overwhelming majority of blacks (92%) say whites benefit a great deal or a fair amount from advantages that blacks do not have, including 68% who say they benefit a great deal. By comparison, 46% of whites say whites benefit at least a fair amount from advantages in society that blacks don’t have, and just 16% of whites say whites benefit a great deal. Attitudes among Hispanics fall between those of whites and blacks, with about two-thirds of Hispanics (65%) saying white people benefit a great deal or a fair amount from societal privileges that black people do not have.

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Topics: Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Ethnicity, Donald Trump

Sep 27, 2017 1:00 pm

More Americans favor raising than lowering tax rates on corporations, high household incomes

As the congressional debate over President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul begins, more Americans say tax rates on corporations and higher-income households should be raised rather than lowered.

About a quarter of U.S. adults (24%) say tax rates on corporations and large businesses should be lowered, while roughly twice as many (52%) say they should be raised. Another 21% say corporate tax rates should be kept the same as they are now.

There is less public support for raising taxes on higher-income households. However, as with tax rates on corporations, just 24% say taxes on incomes over $250,000 should be reduced; 43% say they should be raised, while 29% favor keeping them the same as they are currently, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 15-21 among 1,893 adults.

Majorities of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favor raising tax rates on both corporations (69%) and high incomes (57%), while Republicans are more divided.

Among Republicans and Republican leaners, 41% say tax rates on corporations and large businesses should be lowered, while 32% say they should be raised (23% want them kept as they are). And only about a third of Republicans (36%) say tax rates on household incomes above $250,000 should be reduced; nearly as many (33%) say they should be kept as they are and 26% want them raised.

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Topics: Income, U.S. Political Parties, Taxes, Economic and Business News, Income Inequality

Sep 27, 2017 11:01 am

Many poll respondents guess wrong on their interviewer’s race or ethnicity

Researchers have long known that an interviewer’s race or ethnicity can affect the way respondents reply to a question, both face-to-face and on the telephone. Yet few researchers have studied how respondents actually perceive their interviewer’s race or ethnicity over the phone.

A new analysis of a Pew Research Center telephone survey finds that many respondents incorrectly identify their telephone interviewer’s race or ethnicity.

The survey, conducted Feb. 29-May 8, 2016, among 3,769 adults, focused primarily on the topic of race relations, racial equality and discrimination.

Interviewers were instructed to ask the following question at the end of the survey: “You may not have thought about this … but if you had to guess, would you say I am white, black, Hispanic, Asian or some other race? Just your best guess is fine.”

The analysis of the responses shows that there is often a mismatch between what respondents perceive to be the interviewer’s race or ethnicity and the race or ethnicity specified in the interviewer’s employee records. About half of respondents overall (49%) guessed a race or ethnicity that didn’t match the interviewer’s self-identified race or ethnicity, while 40% guessed “correctly” and 11% said they could not make a guess or refused to answer.

Respondents were most accurate in identifying the race of white interviewers. Seven-in-ten correctly answered that they were talking to a white interviewer. In contrast, about half of respondents with black interviewers (51%) and 43% with Hispanic interviewers guessed that their interviewer was black or Hispanic, respectively. Almost no one (3%) contacted by an Asian interviewer correctly identified their interviewer’s race. A 60% majority of respondents who did not correctly identify the race or ethnicity of a nonwhite interviewer guessed that the interviewer was white.

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Topics: Research Methods, Race and Ethnicity, Telephone Survey Methods

Sep 27, 2017 7:00 am

Most Americans think the government could be monitoring their phone calls and emails

Seven-in-ten U.S. adults say it is at least somewhat likely that their own phone calls and emails are being monitored by the government, including 37% who believe that this type of surveillance is “very likely,” according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in February.

Just 13% of the public say it is “not at all likely” that the government is monitoring their communications.

These views are prevalent across a number of different demographic groups, but there are some differences based on age, gender and education.

Most notably, nearly eight-in-ten U.S. adults under the age of 50 think it is likely that the government is tracking their communications, compared with around six-in-ten of those 50 and older.

Additionally, men are more likely than women to suspect government monitoring, as are those with a high school degree or less compared with people who have a college degree or higher.

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Topics: Federal Government, Online Privacy and Safety, Surveillance, Emerging Technology Impacts

Sep 26, 2017 2:01 pm

American-born Muslims more likely than Muslim immigrants to see negatives in U.S. society

While Muslims born in the United States and their immigrant counterparts share a pride in being American, U.S.-born Muslims are less likely than immigrants to feel comfortable with their place in broader American society.

Muslim immigrants and those born in the U.S. both overwhelmingly express pride in their national identity. About nine-in-ten U.S.-born (90%) and foreign-born (93%) Muslims say they are proud to be American, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey.

Like the larger American public, majorities of both U.S.-born Muslims and Muslim American immigrants say they believe people who want to get ahead can do so with hard work (65% and 73% respectively). Roughly six-in-ten of all Americans (62%) share this belief.

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Topics: Immigration, Religion and U.S. Politics, U.S. Political Figures, Muslims and Islam

Sep 26, 2017 10:31 am

About a third of Americans would tell a high schooler seeking career advice to enter a STEM-related field

Kimber Hendrix works on a presentation on a gray water recycling system during the Summer Multicultural Engineering Training at Colorado School of Mines on July 28 in Golden, Colorado. The two-week program brings rising high school juniors and seniors from Colorado to live, learn and get a feel for college life. (Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Kimber Hendrix works on a presentation on a gray water recycling system during the Summer Multicultural Engineering Training at Colorado School of Mines on July 28 in Golden, Colorado. The two-week program brings rising high school juniors and seniors from Colorado to live, learn and get a feel for college life. (Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Americans tend to differ over the best career advice to give high school students, with younger adults urging them to follow their dreams and older Americans telling them they should enter occupations in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in May.

In an open-ended question, respondents were asked, “If a current high school student asked you for advice on what sort of career they should pursue, what would you tell them?”

A third of U.S. adults say they would tell that student to simply follow their passion or do something they love. That response is highest among Americans ages 18 to 29 (40%), but declines noticeably among those ages 50 and up (28%).

Meanwhile, 34% of Americans say they would encourage high school students to get jobs in a STEM-related field, such as medicine or health care (19% say they would suggest a health-related career) or technology (14%). Again, enthusiasm for this career choice varies by age – but in this instance, adults ages 30 and older are more likely than those younger than 30 to promote the virtues of STEM fields (36% vs. 23%).

Along with STEM fields, smaller shares of Americans would recommend going into the skilled trades (7%); getting a job in the public sector or a similar professional occupation (6%); or working in business, finance or entrepreneurship (5%).

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Topics: Education, Work and Employment, Educational Attainment, Science and Innovation

Sep 25, 2017 2:03 pm

Key facts about unauthorized immigrants enrolled in DACA

Approximately 800,000 young unauthorized immigrants have received work permits and protection from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, since its creation five years ago. And nearly 690,000 of these immigrants are currently enrolled in the program, according to new data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The program’s future is uncertain after President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of plans to phase it out. The U.S. government is not accepting new DACA applications and will stop accepting renewal applications on Oct. 5. Those currently enrolled in the program retain their benefits, which last for a total of two years.

Trump has urged Congress to pass legislation by March 2018 that would give legal status to unauthorized immigrants enrolled in DACA, and some members of Congress have said they plan to propose legislation along those lines. (DACA enrollees whose benefits expire after March 5, 2018, will be the first to be dropped from the program.)

In the new data, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has for the first time released detailed demographic information about those currently enrolled in DACA, a group sometimes called “Dreamers.” Here are some key facts about these individuals, based on the new data.

About 690,000 unauthorized immigrants were enrolled in DACA as of Sept. 4. Although roughly 800,000 unauthorized immigrants have ever received benefits through DACA, about 110,000 of this group are no longer enrolled in the program. About 70,000 former DACA participants did not renew their benefits or had their renewal applications denied. Another 40,000 have adjusted their legal status and obtained green cards, which grant lawful permanent residence. (Some unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. can obtain legal status by marrying an American citizen or lawful permanent resident, obtaining asylum, or receiving certain types of visas such as those given to victims of a crime, among other ways.)

To qualify for DACA, enrollees must meet certain conditions, such as being enrolled in high school or having a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and not being convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors.

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Topics: Demographics, Unauthorized Immigration, Immigration Trends

Sep 25, 2017 7:00 am

Shows and films about crime, medicine help foster a positive view of scientists, say many Americans

The general news media and specialty publications are major ways most Americans get their information about science. But many also are exposed to scientific subjects through movies and television shows – and they come away from these fictional portraits with a positive impression of working in science, technology and medicine.

Roughly eight-in-ten Americans (81%) say they at least sometimes watch one or more of three types of science-related entertainment shows and movies: those focusing on criminal investigations, ones about hospitals and medical settings, or science fiction, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in May and June.

While many of these viewers come away with a favorable view of scientists, they also regard the TV shows and movies as focusing more on entertainment than getting the facts right.

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Topics: Work and Employment, Science and Innovation, Television