Apr 4, 2014 10:00 am

U.S. doesn’t rank high in religious diversity

The United States has often been described as a religiously diverse country, an image celebrated in forums ranging from scholarly work to a popular bumper sticker and even a recent Coca-Cola commercial during the Super Bowl. But, from a global perspective, the United States really is not all that religiously diverse, according to a new Pew Research Center study. In fact, 95% of the U.S. population is either Christian or religiously unaffiliated, while all other religions combined account for just 5% of Americans. As a result, the U.S. ranks 68th out of 232 countries and territories on our Religious Diversity Index. Read More

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

Apr 4, 2014 9:35 am

‘Mexican,’ ‘Hispanic,’ ‘Latin American’ top list of race write-ins on the 2010 census

Race question on census form US census Some other raceWhat is your race? The U.S. Census Bureau asks this question of every U.S. household, but the menu of options offered may feel limiting to some.

On the 2010 census form, in addition to boxes marked “white,” “black or African Am. Or Negro” or “American Indian or Native Alaskan” or one of several Asian options, respondents have the option to select a box called “some other race”—and to write in a response in a box below.

Hispanics' "some other race" write-in codesAccording to a new Census report released last week, about one-third of the 47.4 million self-identified Hispanics chose “some other race” when describing their racial identity. Among them, 44.3% wrote in Mexican, Mexican American or Mexico in the box provided. An additional 22.7% wrote in Hispanic or Hispano or Hispana as their race and another 10.0% wrote in Latin American or Latino or Latin.

Latinos are not the only group of Americans who utilize the “some other race” category on the census form—but they are the most likely to do so. In 2010, 6.2% of Americans selected “some other race,” up from 5.5% in 2000. Among all those who answered the race question this way in 2010, 96.8% were Hispanic, little changed from 2000. In addition to the race question, the 2010 census included a separate question about Hispanic origin. It is currently the only ethnic category included in the census and has been asked of all households on census forms since 1980.  Read More

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Census

Apr 3, 2014 2:18 pm

Asia Foundation: Among Afghan public, mixed support for women’s rights

Afghan Women Wait For Voter Cards
Afghan women wait to receive their voter cards at a voter registration center in Kabul on March 30, 2014.
Credit: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

The debate about women’s participation in Afghanistan’s political process has intensified ahead of this weekend’s elections, in part due to the unusually high level of women’s involvement in campaigns. A record number of women are running for provincial council seats, according to the New York Times, and Habiba Sarobi is the first female vice presidential candidate on a leading ticket.

Sarobi, however, has reportedly received numerous death threats, and despite some visible gains for women’s rights – especially since the days of Taliban rule from 1996-2001 – surveys show mixed feelings among the Afghan public about women’s role in society. For example, there is a stark contrast between the share of Afghan women (60%) and men (35%) who support equal representation for men and women in elected government positions, according to a 2013 survey of Afghans conducted by The Asia FoundationRead More

Topics: Foreign News, Religion and Society

Apr 3, 2014 11:37 am

Data Feed: Campaign spending caps, global economic recovery, America’s seniors and tech use

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

Polls show broad support for campaign spending caps, New York Times
Public sentiment cools toward Christie, warmer to Clinton and Warren, Quinnipiac
In N.J., Gov Chris Christie’s ratings have stabilized, Monmouth U./Asbury Park Press

Chart: State actions on the minimum wage, New York Times
Mobile banking more popular among the young, BBVA
40 years of Chicago’s rising inequality, in one GIF, The Atlantic Cities
Most U.S. jobs pay less than $20 an hour, CNN Money
Almost everywhere, men predominate in computer jobs, FiveThirtyEight
Payroll to population rate 42.7% in March, Gallup
Americans still favor energy conservation over greater production, Gallup
U.S. journalism revenues have fallen by a third since 2006, Pew Research Center

Read More

Category: Data Feed

Apr 3, 2014 10:14 am

News revenue declines despite growth from new sources

Newsgathering Revenue
© Paul Burns/Corbis

Total revenue supporting American journalism has declined by one-third since 2006, according to a new analysis by Pew Research Center. The sources of the estimated $63-$65 billion dollars supporting print, online and broadcast news have also shifted, with advertising dollars declining and audience payments, in the form of subscriptions, for example, comprising a bigger share.  In addition, non-traditional revenue, such as digital marketing services and event hosting—which was minimal in 2006—has quadrupled, even though it remains a small piece of the pie.

Using a mixture of market research firms, news industry trade associations and self-reported information from news outlets and accounting for inflation, we estimate the annual revenue for professional newsgathering in the U.S. at about $94-$95 billion in 2006. (It could possibly be a little larger, given that some figures were unavailable for analysis.)  Read More

Topics: Media Revenue Models, State of the News Media

Apr 2, 2014 11:36 am

Data Feed: Obama vs. Putin, how spending changes with age, Ukraine’s demographic changes

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

American voters divided on whether Obama or Putin is a stronger leader, Quinnipiac
Map: The oldest and youngest congressional delegations, Washington Post
Can Democrats match Tea Party enthusiasm for midterms? The Wall Street Journal
McAuliffe’s 2013 win not a model for Democratic victory in midterms, FiveThirtyEight

Working women boost family economic mobility, The Pew Charitable Trusts
But if women’s wages are rising, why are so many families getting poorer? The Atlantic
Janet Yellen’s labor market “dashboard”, Bloomberg News
In strong U.S. IPO market, 64 companies raised $10.6 billion in Q1, Renaissance Capital
More house, less booze: How spending changes from ages 25 to 75, NPR
Overdraft fees at banks hit a high, despite curbs, The Wall Street Journal
Net energy imports in 2013 lowest in more than 20 years, EIA
Interactive: Tracking the economies of 100 largest U.S. metro areas, Brookings
Interactive: Comparing car companies on number of recalls, Time

Read More

Category: Data Feed

Apr 2, 2014 11:00 am

Feds may be rethinking the drug war, but states have been leading the way

FT_14.03.19_drug_laws310pxFederal drug policy is in the midst of a major conceptual shift away from the long, automatic prison sentences and zero-tolerance policies of the “War on Drugs” era. But it’s the states, whose prisons house the vast bulk of U.S. convicts, that have been leading the way in changing drug laws.

Much of the current rethinking of America’s drug war speaks to today’s environment: Violent crime has fallen, attitudes towards drugs have shifted and the Great Recession has squeezed public budgets.

There’s also wide public support for changing government drug policies. In a new Pew Research Center report, 67% of people said government should focus more on treating people who use illegal drugs, compared with 26% saying prosecution should be the focus. More than six-in-ten (63%) now say that state moves away from mandatory prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders is a good thing, versus 32% who called it a bad thing.

(It’s quite a different story than in 1990, when 73% of Americans favored a mandatory death penalty for “major drug traffickers,” and 57% said police should be allowed to search the houses of “known drug dealers” without a court order.) Read More

Topics: Criminal Justice, Drugs

Apr 2, 2014 10:12 am

Hispanics punch below their weight in midterm elections

FT_voter-turnout-midterms-by-raceHispanics have voted in record numbers in recent years, but their turnout rate continues to lag behind whites and blacks, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census data.

Hispanics today make up 11.3% of all eligible voters. But voter turnout among Hispanics has not kept pace with the growing number of eligible voters in recent national elections. In 2010, Hispanics cast a record 6.6 million ballots out of 21.3 million eligible voters, a turnout rate of 31.2%. But that was still far below the turnout among black voters (44%) and white voters (48.6%).

A record 24.8 million Hispanics are eligible to vote in 2014, according to February Census figures, up from 21.3 million in 2010. Read More

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Vote

Apr 1, 2014 1:16 pm

Catholics, other Christians support immigration reform, but say faith plays small role

Views on immigration by select race and religionSeveral prominent U.S. Catholic bishops called attention to immigration reform today in Nogales, Ariz., along the border with Mexico. The bishops celebrated Mass and said they would “pray for and remember” the migrants who have died trying to cross the border. Their goal, they said, was to highlight “the human consequences of a broken immigration system and call upon the U.S. Congress” to fix it. Immigration reform also came up during last week’s meeting between President Obama and Pope Francis.

It’s not just Catholic leaders who are speaking out over reform. Some large Protestant evangelical organizations are strong supporters of immigration reform, as are some Mormon and mainline Protestant leaders. They have framed the issue as a moral one, with both Christian and Jewish leaders citing a verse from the book of Leviticus: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens.”

Three-quarters of American adults say that immigrants living in the United States illegally should be able to stay, according to our 2014 survey. Catholics as a whole closely resemble the general public on this question, though Hispanic Catholics are much more supportive than non-Hispanic white Catholics of allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country (91% vs. 70%).  Like Catholics, majorities of other religious groups also support allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country.

Half of Americans – including 59% of Catholics – say it’s extremely or very important to them for President Obama and Congress to pass significant new immigration legislation this year. Not surprisingly, the issue is of particular concern to Hispanic Catholics, 73% of whom say passing immigration legislation should be an extremely or very important priority for political leaders this year. Among white Catholics and people from other racial and religious backgrounds, by contrast, half or fewer attach this level of importance to immigration reform.  Read More

Topics: Immigration Attitudes, Religion and Politics

Apr 1, 2014 11:18 am

Data Feed: New high in Obamacare support, household income rises, population falls in small town America

A daily roundup of fresh data from scholars, governments, think tanks, pollsters and other social science researchers.

At 49%, Obamacare support hits a new high, topline, ABC News/Washington Post
Politics are biggest factor in views of healthcare law, Gallup
DNC has racked up large debt and lags RNC in fundraising, The Wall Street Journal
A gaffe can matter when it motivates the base, FiveThirtyEight

Investors young and old are risk-averse when it comes to retirement savings, Gallup
Interactive: State employment changes by industry, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Retail sales, cashiers are occupations with largest employment, BLS
Employment continued its road to recovery in 2013, BLS
Funding gap continues to grow in state pension plans, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Median household income rose 1.2% in February, Sentier Research

Read More

Category: Data Feed