May 23, 2016 10:25 am

5 facts about how Americans view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Far more Americans continue to sympathize more with Israel (54%) than with the Palestinians (19%) in the Middle East dispute, according to our recent foreign policy survey. And half of Americans (50%) think a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully, while 42% say this is not possible. But attitudes on both measures are deeply divided along ideological, generational and religious lines, and in some cases these gaps have widened markedly in recent years.

1FT_16.05.20_IsraelPalestiniansC_partyViews of Israel and the Palestinians have become more ideologically polarized. In early September 2001, just before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there were only modest partisan and ideological differences in Israeli-Palestinian sympathies. But since then, and especially over the past decade, the share sympathizing more with Israel than with the Palestinians has increased among all ideological groups, with the exception of liberal Democrats.  Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Foreign Affairs and Policy, Generations and Age, Middle East and North Africa, Political Party Affiliation, Religion and U.S. Politics

May 23, 2016 7:00 am

Q&A: The impact and evolution of the sharing economy

Last week, Pew Research Center released a new report that examined Americans’ usage of and exposure to the sharing economy, as well as their views on a number of issues associated with some of its services. To further examine the potential impact of these new digital services on the future of work, government regulations and the economy as a whole, we interviewed Arun Sundararajan. Sundararajan is a professor of business at New York University, a leading expert on the sharing economy and the author of the new book “The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism.”

Arun Sundararajan
Arun Sundararajan, professor of information, operations and management sciences at New York University. (Photo Credit: New York University)

In your view, what are the key characteristics of the sharing or peer-to-peer economy that make it interesting to study?

Before we begin, I’ve been reading through your findings, and they are fascinating. They represent some of the most interesting results I’ve seen about the sharing economy to date. True, there’s a fair bit of ambiguity about what the sharing economy is – perhaps in part because “sharing” has a noncommercial connotation that isn’t ideally descriptive. I prefer the term “crowd-based capitalism,” but continue to use “sharing economy” because it maximizes the number of people who know what I’m talking about (and now, with the new book out, I’m pretty committed). Read More

Category: Social Studies

Topics: Economic and Business News, Economics and Personal Finances, Emerging Technology Impacts

May 20, 2016 7:00 am

How Americans define the sharing economy

What is the 'sharing economy'?

Even though stories about services like Uber and Airbnb have put the “sharing economy” in the news, just 27% of Americans have ever heard of the term before, according to Pew Research Center’s recent survey of the new digital economy. Moreover, even those who have heard of the term have widely divergent views about what the sharing economy actually is.

In our survey, we asked respondents who had heard of the sharing economy to tell us – in their own words – how they would describe the term. After reviewing and classifying nearly 1,300 responses to this question, we uncovered several distinct themes about what people think of when they hear the term sharing economy. Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Emerging Technology Impacts

May 19, 2016 10:59 am

Americans’ views of women as political leaders differ by gender

For the first time in history, a woman is the leading candidate for the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. As Democrat Hillary Clinton wages her campaign to be the first female chief executive, what do Americans have to say in general about the prospects and qualifications of female candidates for high political offices?

For the most part, Americans – including similar shares of men (74%) and women (76%) – said in a 2014 Pew Research Center survey that women and men make equally good political leaders. When it comes to essential traits of a leader, both men and women saw women as being more compassionate, organized and honest than men, and saw men as being more ambitious and decisive (though for most traits, an even higher share said both genders possess them equally). But the survey found marked differences between women and men on other questions relating to gender and leadership, including the reasons that more women have not been elected. Here are five key findings from the survey on gender differences in views about women and leadership:

1Women more likely to say it's easier for men to get electedWomen in our survey said men had an easier path to political leadership, and they also were more likely to say that having more female leaders would improve the quality of life for women. About three-quarters (73%) of women said it’s easier for men to get elected to high political office, while 58% of men agreed. And 38% of women said that having more women in top political or business leadership positions would improve the quality of life for all women “a lot.” Only half as many men (19%) agreed. There were similar differences by political party on this question, with more than twice as many Democrats (39%) as Republicans (17%) saying that having more women in high political office would improve the lives of women, while independents (28%) ranked in the middle.  Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: 2016 Election, Gender, Generations and Age, Political Attitudes and Values

May 19, 2016 7:00 am

Americans and the new digital economy: 8 key findings

Digital technology has ushered in a slew of new shared, collaborative and on-demand online services ranging from virtual marketplaces to home sharing. These services have potentially far-reaching implications for consumers and regulators and for the future of work in this country. To examine the scope and impact of these new services, Pew Research Center conducted its first survey devoted to the broader issues of the new digital economy.

Here are eight findings from the report:

172% of Americans have used some type of shared or on-demand online serviceNearly three-quarters of Americans have used a shared, collaborative or on-demand online service. Pew Research Center asked American adults whether or not they have used 11 different services tied to the new digital economy, and fully 72% say they have used at least one of them.

2Some Americans are avid users of these services, but a greater share has had little to no exposure to these platforms and services. Some 21% of U.S. adults have used four or more of these services. These intensive users are disproportionately likely to be college graduates, to be under the age of 45 and to have relatively high household incomes. On the other hand, 28% of Americans report they have not used any of these services, and 20% have used just one.  Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Emerging Technology Impacts, Technology Adoption

May 18, 2016 9:55 am

Religion is less central to everyday life for Muslims in Israel than elsewhere in the region

Majority of Muslims in Middle East say religion is 'very important'Israel’s Muslims are highly devout when compared with members of the country’s other principal religions, including Jews, Christians and Druze. However, in the larger context of the Middle East and North Africa, Israeli Muslims actually place less emphasis on religion and some of the key pillars of their faith than do Muslims in neighboring countries.

For instance, while a majority of Israeli Muslims (68%) say religion is very important in their lives, this share is substantially lower than the 89% who say the same in Morocco or the 85% in the nearby Palestinian territories and Jordan. Lebanon is the only country polled in the region where a slim majority of Muslims say religion is very important in their personal lives (59%).

The fact that religion is generally less central to the lives of Israeli Muslims is also borne out by the relatively low rates of salat (five daily prayers), alms-giving and fasting during Ramadan. Together, these practices represent three of the Five Pillars of Islam — rituals all Muslims are expected to observe. Read More

Topics: Middle East and North Africa, Muslims and Islam, Religion and Society, Religious Beliefs and Practices

May 18, 2016 7:00 am

5 facts about the U.S. rank in worldwide migration

Global Migration

Global migration is no small-scale issue. If all of the world’s international migrants (people living in a country that is different from their country or territory of birth) lived in a single country, it would be the world’s fifth largest, with around 244 million people. The number and shares of people leaving and entering countries is different for each country of the world. (Explore our updated interactive map based on data from the United Nations Population Division.)

Here are five facts about how the U.S. compares with the rest of the world’s countries on migration. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration

May 17, 2016 1:48 pm

Clinton, Sanders supporters differ sharply on U.S. global role

Democrats who back Hillary Clinton differ from those who support Bernie Sanders in their views of many foreign policy issues, with some of the starkest divisions on fundamental questions relating to the U.S.’s role in the world, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in March and April.

Two-thirds (66%) of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters who support Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination say that world problems would be even worse without U.S. involvement; just 28% say U.S. efforts usually make things worse. By contrast, Sanders supporters are divided: 49% say global problems would be even worse without the U.S. being involved, while nearly as many (45%) say U.S. efforts usually make matters worse.

From defense spending to Israel, Clinton and Sanders supporters differ on a number of foreign policy issuesSanders supporters also are less likely than Democratic voters who back Clinton to say that the U.S. should help other countries deal with their problems (41% vs. 52%). A majority of those who prefer Sanders (54%) say that the U.S. should deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their own problems as best they can, while 45% of Clinton supporters hold this view. Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Foreign Affairs and Policy, U.S. Political Parties

May 16, 2016 10:34 am

Millennials match Baby Boomers as largest generation in U.S. electorate, but will they vote?

Millennials, who already have surpassed Baby Boomers as the United States’ largest living generation, now have caught up to the Boomers when it comes to their share of the American electorate.

FT_16.05.13_eligibleMillennialVotersAs of April 2016, an estimated 69.2 million Millennials (adults ages 18-35 in 2016) were voting-age U.S. citizens – a number almost equal to the 69.7 million Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) in the nation’s electorate, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Both generations comprise roughly 31% of the voting-eligible population.

Last month, Generation X (ages 36-51) and members of the Silent and Greatest generations (ages 71 and older) comprised about 25% and 12% of the electorate, respectively.

The Baby Boomer voting-eligible population peaked in size at 72.9 million around 2004.  Since the Boomer electorate is declining in size, it is only a matter of time before Millennials are the largest generation in the electorate.  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Generations and Age, Millennials, Voter Demographics, Voter Participation

May 13, 2016 9:55 am

Gender gap in religious service attendance has narrowed in U.S.

U.S. gender gap in religious service attendance narrowed as smaller share of women attend at least once a weekThere are many different kinds of gender gaps, including one in religion. In the U.S., for instance, women are more likely than men to say they attend worship services regularly – a trend consistent with many predominantly Christian countries around the world.

But the U.S. gap in church attendance has been narrowing in recent decades as the share of women attending weekly has declined. Indeed, a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the General Social Survey (GSS) finds that between 1972 and 1974, an average of 36% of women and 26% of men reported attending religious services at least once a week – a 10-percentage-point gap. After initially widening to 13 points in the mid-1980s, the gap began to shrink in the late 1980s through the 1990s.

During this period, weekly attendance at religious services declined among all Americans, but it declined more among women than men. As a result, by the early 2010s, the gender gap in attendance had narrowed to just 6 points, with 28% of women and 22% of men saying they attend religious services at least weekly. Read More

Topics: Gender, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation