Jul 30, 2015 11:00 am

Number of women leaders around the world has grown, but they’re still a small group

Most Americans believe a woman will be elected president within their lifetime, a milestone that would add the U.S. to a growing list of countries that have had a female leader. But the overall number of countries that have been led by women still remains relatively small, and in most of these countries, women haven’t held power for long.

Most of the World's Nations Have Never Had a Female Leader

There are currently 18 female world leaders, including 12 female heads of government and 11 elected female heads of state (some leaders are both, and figurehead monarchs are not included), according to United Nations data. These women account for about one-in-ten of today’s leaders of United Nations member states. Half of them are the first women to hold their country’s highest office. Read More

Topics: Gender, International Governments and Institutions, Non-U.S. Political Leaders

Jul 29, 2015 7:00 am

Major U.S. metropolitan areas differ in their religious profiles

The religious face of America is largely a Christian one, with roughly seven-in-ten Americans belonging to that faith. But some of the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas have a very different look.

Only about half of the residents in the Seattle (52%) and San Francisco (48%) metropolitan areas identify as Christians, as well as roughly six-in-ten or fewer of those living in Boston (57%) and New York (59%).

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study was designed to look at the religious affiliations of Americans overall as well as those in all 50 states and the 17 largest metropolitan areas in the country. While Christians make up between 65% and 75% of adults in most of those metro areas – and people with no religious affiliation generally make up roughly 20-25% of the population – some cities stand out for a variety of reasons.

Boston, Seattle and San Francisco Have Relatively Few Christians

Seattle, San Francisco and Boston are notable not only because they have relatively few Christians, but also for their considerable populations of religious “nones” (atheists, agnostics and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular”). A third or more of people in each of those metropolitan areas (37% in Seattle, 35% in San Francisco and 33% in Boston) are religious “nones.” Read More

Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Jews and Judaism, Mormons and Mormonism, Religious Affiliation, Religiously Unaffiliated

Jul 28, 2015 9:32 am

15% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they?

Who's Not Online?For many Americans, going online is an important way to connect with friends and family, shop, get news and search for information. Yet today, 15% of U.S. adults do not use the internet, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of survey data.

The size of this group has changed little over the past three years, despite recent government and social service programs to encourage internet adoption. But that 15% figure is substantially lower than in 2000, when Pew Research first began to study the social impact of technology. That year, nearly half (48%) of American adults did not use the internet.

A 2013 Pew Research survey found some key reasons that some people do not use the internet. A third of non-internet users (34%) did not go online because they had no interest in doing so or did not think the internet was relevant to their lives. Another 32% of non-internet users said the internet was too difficult to use, including 8% of this group who said they were “too old to learn.” Cost was also a barrier for some adults who were offline – 19% cited the expense of internet service or owning a computer.

The latest Pew Research analysis also shows that internet non-adoption is correlated to a number of demographic variables, including age, educational attainment, household income, race and ethnicity, and community type.

Seniors are the group most likely to say they never go online. About four-in-ten adults ages 65 and older (39%) do not use the internet, compared with only 3% of 18- to 29-year-olds. Household income and education are also indicators of a person’s likelihood to be offline. A third of adults with less than a high school education do not use the internet, but that share falls as the level of educational attainment increases. Adults from households earning less than $30,000 a year are roughly eight times more likely than the most affluent adults to not use the internet. Read More

Topics: Demographics, Generations and Age, Income, Internet Activities, Technology Adoption

Jul 27, 2015 11:00 am

The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups

The nation’s population is growing more racially and ethnically diverse – and so are many of its religious groups, both at the congregational level and among broader Christian traditions.  But a new analysis of data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study also finds that these levels of diversity vary widely within U.S. religious groups.

We looked at 29 groups – including Protestant denominations, other religious groups and three subsets of people who are religiously unaffiliated – based on a methodology used in our 2014 Pew Research Center report on global religious diversity. This analysis includes five racial and ethnic groups: Hispanics, as well as non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asians and an umbrella category of other races and mixed-race Americans.

How Racially Diverse are U.S. Religious Groups? Read More

Topics: Christians and Christianity, Hindus and Hinduism, Jews and Judaism, Muslims and Islam, Race and Ethnicity, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation

Jul 24, 2015 10:45 am

5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.

The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has stabilized in recent years after decades of rapid growth. But there have been shifts in the states where unauthorized immigrants live and the countries where they were born.

President Obama’s executive action on immigration, announced Nov. 20, 2014, would among other things expand deportation relief to almost half the unauthorized immigrant population, though this part of the program is on hold due to a lawsuit to stop the move. While executive actions on immigration have a long history, Obama’s recent action was the most significant protection from deportation offered to unauthorized immigrants since 1986, when Congress passed a law that allowed 2.7 million unauthorized immigrants to obtain a green card.

Here are five facts about the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. Read More

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Immigration, Unauthorized Immigration

Jul 24, 2015 7:00 am

Half of all church fires in past 20 years were arsons

Church Fires Declining, but Many Still Intentionally Set

Date Undetermined cause/other Accidental fires Arson/bombings
1996 23 111 296
1997 43 127 209
1998 80 107 168
1999 75 87 147
2000 129 71 136
2001 59 62 117
2002 78 55 93
2003 68 62 128
2004 59 44 107
2005 66 65 139
2006 63 55 146
2007 61 65 122
2008 44 52 85
2009 51 31 87
2010 39 33 119
2011 31 38 75
2012 47 24 73
2013 54 33 60
2014 57 28 42
2015 29 21 29

Pew Research Center

About half of all the fires at houses of worship in the past 20 years were caused by arson, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Of the 4,705 reported fire incidents at houses of worship between 1996 and 2015, 2,378, or 51%, have been ruled intentional.

A recent spate of fires at six black churches in the South has renewed concerns about church arson. Many religious leaders and others have speculated that the fires may have been intentionally set, raising fears of racially motivated arson. As of July 14, ATF had ruled 29 of the 79 fires at houses of worship this year to be arson, though some investigations are ongoing.

While the share of church fires caused by arson has remained relatively stable over the years, the number of intentional church fires (including both arson and bombing incidents) has been dropping, as have church fires overall. Between 1996 and 2000, an average of 191 intentional fires were reported each year, accounting for 52% of all church fires. That average dropped to 74 intentional fires per year between 2010 and 2014, or 48% of all church fires. Read More

Topics: Discrimination and Prejudice, Religion and Society, Restrictions on Religion

Jul 23, 2015 2:30 pm

5 facts about the minimum wage

U.S. minimum wage value over time, adjusted
As efforts to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour have stalled repeatedly, several states and cities – from Los Angeles to New York state to Washington, D.C. – are acting on their own to raise minimum pay rates. Although some proposals target fast-food workers specifically, organized labor and anti-poverty groups are pushing for $15 an hour as the new standard for all workers paid hourly.

While the idea of raising the minimum wage is broadly popular, a Pew Research Center survey from January 2014 found clear partisan differences in support. Overall, 73% of people favored an increase in the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, mirroring a Democratic-backed proposal that failed to move ahead in Congress last year. But while large majorities of Democrats (90%) and independents (71%) said they favored such an increase, Republicans were more evenly split (53% in favor and 43% opposed).

Here are five facts about the minimum wage and the people who earn it:

Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Business and Labor, Economics and Personal Finances

Jul 23, 2015 12:00 pm

The 2016 GOP field has a bumper crop of Catholic candidates

GOP Catholics Running for President Since 1960

Only three Roman Catholics have ever run for president on a major party ticket, and all were Democrats. But that may be about to change. So far six Catholics (including some early favorites) are running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

This bumper crop of Catholic presidential candidates comes at a time when the leadership of the Republican Party is, by many measures, becoming increasingly Catholic. For instance, the House of Representatives had 69 Catholic Republicans at the beginning of the current, 114th Congress – a group that has nearly doubled in size in the last six years and includes House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

In addition, a Roman Catholic, Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan, was the GOP’s vice presidential candidate in 2012. Ryan was only the second Catholic ever to run on the Republican ticket, the first being William Edward Miller (a New York representative who was Barry Goldwater’s running mate in 1964). Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Catholics and Catholicism, Elections and Campaigns, Religious Affiliation

Jul 23, 2015 9:59 am

Around the world, dissatisfaction with economy and concern for its future

Economy Seen as in Poor Shape Nearly EverywherePeople around the world are generally disgruntled about the state of their economy, but levels of dissatisfaction vary widely by region, according to a new Pew Research Center report. And many of those who are dispirited about current economic conditions are also quite pessimistic about the financial prospects of the next generation.

Europeans are by far the most dissatisfied: A median of 70% in six countries say current economic conditions in their countries are bad. The Italians (88%), French (85%) and Spanish (81%) are the most downbeat. Only the Germans are particularly satisfied, with 75% believing their economy is in good shape.

In the Middle East, views are also negative. A median of two-thirds lament the state of their economy. Most concerned are Lebanese (89% say the economy is bad), Jordanians (73%) and Palestinians (67%).

Similarly, Latin Americans (median of 63%) say their economy is in bad shape. Brazilians (87%) and Venezuelans (83%) have particularly negative views.

Read More

Topics: Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, National Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa, World Economies

Jul 23, 2015 7:00 am

5 charts on America’s (very positive) image in Africa

When President Barack Obama travels to Kenya and Ethiopia later this week, he will likely receive a warm public reception. Obama, whose father was Kenyan, is very popular in both countries, as well as in many other nations in sub-Saharan Africa. But it’s not just Obama – as Pew Research Center surveys have shown over the years, the United States consistently receives high marks throughout the region.

Below are five charts illustrating how the U.S. is viewed in Africa.

1The U.S. receives higher favorable ratings in Africa than in any other region. Our 2015 survey found mostly positive ratings for the U.S. around the globe, but they were especially high in Africa – across the nine nations surveyed in the region, a median of 79% expressed a favorable opinion of the U.S., while just 10% had an unfavorable view.

Views of U.S. Most Favorable in Africa

Read More

Topics: Barack Obama, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. Global Image and Anti-Americanism