Oct 2, 2018 12:00 pm

Trump has appointed a larger share of female judges than other GOP presidents, but lags Obama

Trump has appointed a greater share of women judges than any other Republican presidentsWomen account for more than a quarter (28%) of the 67 judges President Donald Trump has successfully appointed to the federal courts since taking office. That’s well below the share appointed by Barack Obama – whose 324 judicial appointees were a record 42% female – but higher than the share appointed by any other Republican president, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Judicial Center.

In both parties, presidents have appointed a growing share of female judges in recent decades. Women represented 22% of the 324 judges appointed by Republican George W. Bush during his eight years in office, 19% of the 188 judges appointed by George H.W. Bush and 8% of the 364 judges appointed by Ronald Reagan. Among recent Democratic presidents, Obama’s total exceeded the share appointed by Bill Clinton (28% of 372 judges) and Jimmy Carter (16% of 261 judges). Trump’s numbers are as of Sept. 30 and will change as the Senate moves to confirm more of his pending judicial nominees and as he identifies new nominees for vacant positions.

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Topics: Barack Obama, Gender, U.S. Political Figures, Donald Trump, Race and Ethnicity

Oct 2, 2018 7:00 am

5 facts about U.S. suburbs

(JamesBrey via Getty Images)

The urban-rural divide in American politics has been widely documented since the 2016 presidential election. But in the run-up to the 2018 midterm election, more attention has focused on the potential political battlegrounds in the suburbs. A Pew Research Center study published earlier this year offers some insight into the American suburbs, which are home to 55% of the U.S. population. Here are some key findings on the political, demographic and social trends that are shaping suburban communities:

1Politically, the suburbs are evenly divided overall, but some have a clear Democratic or Republican tilt. The even divide in the suburbs and small metro areas differs from rural counties, which tend to have a higher concentration of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, and urban counties, where a majority of registered voters identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party.

There is some variation in suburban communities by region of the country, which are, for the most part, consistent with overall regional variations. For example, data from 2016 and 2017 show that the suburbs of New England (that is, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) lean Democratic. A majority (57%) of registered voters in suburban New England identify as or lean Democratic, compared with 35% who identify as Republicans or Republican leaners.

Suburban registered voters in parts of the southern United States, on the other hand, are more likely to be Republicans. In the suburbs of the census area known as the East South Central division (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee), 56% identify as Republicans, compared with 37% who are Democrats. Still, in a majority of regions across the U.S., suburban voters are about evenly split in their partisanship.

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Topics: Population Geography, Population Trends, Demographics

Oct 1, 2018 3:00 pm

‘New Age’ beliefs common among both religious and nonreligious Americans

(vanillapics via Getty Images)

Most American adults self-identify as Christians. But many Christians also hold what are sometimes characterized as “New Age” beliefs – including belief in reincarnation, astrology, psychics and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains or trees. Many Americans who are religiously unaffiliated also have these beliefs.

Overall, roughly six-in-ten American adults accept at least one of these New Age beliefs. Specifically, four-in-ten believe in psychics and that spiritual energy can be found in physical objects, while somewhat smaller shares express belief in reincarnation (33%) and astrology (29%).

Six-in-ten Christians, 'nones' hold at least one New Age belief

But New Age beliefs are not necessarily replacing belief in traditional forms of religious beliefs or practices. While eight-in-ten Christians say they believe in God as described in the Bible, six-in-ten believe in one or more of the four New Age beliefs analyzed here, ranging from 47% of evangelical Protestants to roughly seven-in-ten Catholics and Protestants in the historically black tradition.

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

Sep 28, 2018 10:01 am

10 years after the financial crisis, Americans are divided on security of U.S. economic system

Widening party gap in views of security of U.S. economic system

A decade after the 2008 financial crisis, the public is about evenly split on whether the U.S. economic system is more secure today than it was then. About half of Americans (48%) say the system is more secure today than it was before the 2008 crisis, while roughly as many (46%) say it is no more secure.

Opinions have changed since 2015 and 2013, when majorities said the economic system was no more secure than it had been prior to the crisis (63% in both years), according to the new survey, conducted Sept. 18-24 among 1,754 adults.

Republicans are now far more likely to view the system as more secure than they were during Barack Obama’s presidency. Three years ago, just 22% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the economic system was more secure than before the crisis. Today, the share saying the same has increased 48 percentage points to 70%.

Views among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have moved in the opposite direction. Today, Democrats are less confident that the economy is more secure than it was before the 2008 financial crisis: Just a third say the economy is more secure – a drop of 13 percentage points from 2015 (46%).

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Topics: Economic Recession, Political Polarization, U.S. Political Parties, National Economy

Sep 28, 2018 7:00 am

Internet, social media use and device ownership in U.S. have plateaued after years of growth

The use of digital technology has had a long stretch of rapid growth in the United States, but the share of Americans who go online, use social media or own key devices has remained stable the past two years, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data.

The share of Americans using various technologies has stayed relatively flat since 2016

The shares of U.S. adults who say they use the internet, use social media, own a smartphone or own a tablet computer are all nearly identical to the shares who said so in 2016. The share who say they have broadband internet service at home currently stands at 65% – nearly identical to the 67% who said this in a survey conducted in summer 2015. And when it comes to desktop or laptop ownership, there has actually been a small dip in the overall numbers over the last two years – from 78% in 2016 to 73% today.

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Topics: Online Communities, Social Media, Mobile, Technology Adoption, Broadband, Social Networking

Sep 27, 2018 12:01 pm

Most Western Europeans prefer TV news while use of print outlets lags

People in Hottot-les-Bagues, France, watch as early results come in from the country’s legislative elections in June 2017. (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

People in Western Europe have a clear preference for television as a source of news. And while the use of online and radio outlets for news is also widespread, print news consumption trails far behind the other formats, according to a Pew Research Center survey of eight countries conducted in late 2017.

Across the countries studied – Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom – a median of 70% say they get news at least daily from TV. The platform’s reach is highest in Italy and Spain, where 81% in each country say they get news daily from TV.

TV is the most popular source for news across Western Europe, but online and radio outlets are just as popular in some countriesOnline news consumption is slightly less common: A regional median of 60% get news this way at least daily. But in some countries, the share of people who get news online competes with – or even exceeds – the share who get it through TV.

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Topics: Western Europe, Television, News Audience Trends and Attitudes, Europe, News Interest, News Sources, News Media Sectors

Sep 27, 2018 10:00 am

Q&A: How and why we studied teens and cyberbullying

Roughly six-in-ten U.S. teens have been bullied or harassed online, according to a new Pew Research Center report that explores teens’ experiences with cyberbullying and their views about it. Senior Researcher Monica Anderson discusses the methods and meaning behind the data.

Bullying has been around for decades, centuries even. Cyberbullying is a newer manifestation of bullying. How did you define cyberbullying for this research?

We’re aware that cyberbullying can be a very nuanced issue. Our own research has shown that what might be harassment to one person might not be considered harassment by another.

Monica Anderson, senior researcher at Pew Research Center

At the same time, other studies may use different measures to assess the prevalence of cyberbullying. For this project, we measured six specific incidents that teens might face online or on their cellphone: offensive name-calling, rumor-spreading, being sent explicit images without their consent, having explicit images of themselves shared without their consent, having someone other than a parent constantly asking where they are, what they’re doing or who they’re with, and physical threats. If a teen said they ever had one or more of those experiences, they were considered a target of cyberbullying.

Our definition was designed to show that these experiences can range from less severe forms of harassment – like name-calling that teens may shrug off – to more severe forms of online abuse that includes stalking or physical threats.

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Topics: Internet Activities, Online Privacy and Safety, Research Methods

Sep 26, 2018 1:02 pm

Few women lead large U.S. companies, despite modest gains over past decade

Women hold a small share of top executive positions in U.S. corporations – roughly 5% to 12%, depending on which group of companies you’re looking at and how broadly you define “top executives.” While women are still underrepresented in these positions, there has been a small increase in the share of women executives over the past decade.

10 years on, women remain scarce in top corporate leadership ranksBetween 2007 and 2017, the number of companies in the benchmark S&P 500 stock index headed by women chief executives nearly doubled, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis of those companies’ federal securities filings. But female CEOs still are far outnumbered by their male counterparts: In 2017, 27 companies in the S&P 500 (or 5.4%) had women CEOs, up from 14 (2.8%) in 2007.

Gains for women also have been modest at the next-highest level in the corporate hierarchy, which includes such positions as chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO). In 2007, women accounted for only 172 of the 2,002 executives (8.6%) in this “second tier” category; a decade later, women’s share of such jobs had risen to 12.1% (239 out of 1,980).

This analysis builds on one earlier this year that examined the S&P Composite 1500, a broad stock index designed to represent all but the smallest publicly traded companies. The new analysis focuses on the S&P 500, which is designed to represent the largest U.S. public companies (those with total stock market value of $6.1 billion or more).

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Topics: Gender, Work and Employment

Sep 26, 2018 11:03 am

Black men are less religious than black women, but more religious than white women and men

People attending a 2017 service dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. pray and hold hands. (Reza/Getty Images)

This is one of an occasional series of posts on black Americans and religion.

Research has shown that men in the United States are generally less religious than women. And while this pattern holds true among black Americans – black women tend to be more religious than black men – black men are still a highly religious group. In fact, black men are not only more religious than white men, but they also tend to be more religious than white women, a Pew Research Center analysis shows. Black men are also more religious than Hispanic men and at least as religious as Hispanic women on a number of key indicators of religious observance.

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Topics: Religion and Society, Gender, Religious Beliefs and Practices, Race and Ethnicity

Sep 25, 2018 1:30 pm

Many Americans say women are better than men at creating safe, respectful workplaces

In an era when the #MeToo movement is having an effect on corporate culture, Americans are looking to business leaders to ensure that workplaces are safe and respectful. And many think female leaders are better equipped to do this than men.

Americans say it's essential for business leaders to create a safe, respectful workplaceOverall, 89% of adults say it is essential for today’s business leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. This ranks at the top of a list of qualities and behaviors the public views as essential for corporate leadership, along with being honest and ethical and providing fair pay and good benefits.

When asked whether men or women in top executive positions are better at creating safe and respectful workplaces, 43% say female executives are better while only 5% say men are better. About half (52%) say male and female leaders are equally capable.

Women are more likely than men to say female business leaders have an advantage over male leaders when it comes to creating safe workplaces (48% vs. 37%). A majority of men (56%) and 48% of women say there isn’t any difference. Very few women (4%) or men (6%) say male leaders do a better job creating such work environments.

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Topics: Gender, Business and Labor, Work and Employment