Every year, we publish a collection of facts about the important events, issues and trends we documented in our wide-ranging research over the past 12 months. In 2016, Pew Research Center examined an array of topics in America – from immigration to the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats – as well as many from around the globe. Here are 16 of our most striking findings.
1 The American middle class is shrinking in most metropolitan areas. From 2000 to 2014, the share of adults living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas examined in a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. The decrease in the middle-class share was often substantial, measuring 6 percentage points or more in 53 metropolitan areas, compared with a 4-point drop nationally. However, the share of adults in the upper-income tier increased more than the share of adults in the lower-income tier in 119 of the 229 areas examined.
Topics: 2016 Election, Demographics, Emerging Technology Impacts, Generations and Age, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Migration, News Audience Trends and Attitudes, Political Polarization, Population Trends, Religion and Society, Social Media, Social Values
For the fifth time in U.S. history, and the second time this century, a presidential candidate has won the White House while losing the popular vote.
In this week’s Electoral College balloting, Donald Trump won 304 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 227, with five Democratic and two Republican “faithless electors” voting for other people. That result was despite the fact that Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more popular votes than Trump in November’s election, according to Pew Research Center’s tabulation of state election results. Our tally shows Clinton won 65.8 million votes (48.25%) to almost 63 million (46.15%) for Trump, with minor-party and independent candidates taking the rest. Read More →
The relationship between businesses and their employees is back in the news, with low-wage laborers recently protesting and striking for a higher minimum wage and independent contractors in the sharing economy suing for expanded rights. But for consumers, how important is it to know about working conditions at the businesses they frequent, and what impact does this knowledge have on their shopping decisions?
Around half of Americans say the question of working conditions is indeed important to them, though fewer are actually willing to pay more to support businesses that are seen as worker-friendly, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in late 2015.
A little more than half (53%) of U.S. adults say that when deciding whether to use a particular service or shop at a particular store, it’s important for them to know something about the pay and working conditions of those who work there. But only a slightly smaller share (46%) say that worker treatment is not important to their purchasing decisions. Read More →
Hindus are among the least educated of the world’s major religious groups when looked at globally, but this is not true of Hindus everywhere, especially those who are living in economically advanced nations, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of religion and education.
Hindus ages 25 and older in India have an average of 5.5 years of formal schooling, while Hindus in Bangladesh (4.6 years) and Nepal (3.9 years) have even less education. These South Asian countries are all developing nations that have struggled to raise educational standards in the face of widespread poverty. Read More →
The federal government has long required election ballots in some U.S. jurisdictions to be printed in languages other than English, based on the number of voting-age citizens who live in those communities and have limited English skills and low education levels. New data from the Census Bureau show that 263 counties, cities and other jurisdictions in 29 states will now be subject to this requirement in future elections, a slight increase from five years ago.
The language assistance, required by the federal Voting Rights Act since 1975, applies to places with Asian American, Latino, American Indian and Alaska Native populations that meet certain requirements. The Justice Department, which enforces the law, says the assistance helps more people “be informed voters and participate effectively in our representative democracy.” During the last reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, in 2006, Congress extended the language assistance provisions to 2032, and they were not affected by a Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that invalidated other sections of the law.
The Obama administration deported 333,341 unauthorized immigrants in the 2015 fiscal year, a decline of about 81,000 (or 20%) from the prior year, according to newly released data from the Department of Homeland Security. The number of deportations fell for the second year in a row and reached its lowest level since 2007, during the George W. Bush administration.
The decline in deportations occurred among non-criminal and criminal immigrants alike. Deportations of immigrants without a criminal conviction fell from 247,000 in 2014 to 193,000 in 2015, a 22% drop and the first in four years. Deportations of immigrants with a criminal conviction fell 17% between fiscal 2014 and 2015, from 168,000 to 140,000. It is only the third time that the number of deportations of immigrants with a criminal conviction has fallen since at least 1981. (Fiscal 2016 data are not yet available.)
Millions of people have migrated from their homes to other countries in recent years. Some migrants have moved voluntarily, seeking economic opportunities. Others have been forced from their homes by political turmoil, persecution or war and have left their countries to seek asylum elsewhere.
To mark International Migrants Day this Sunday, here are our key findings about international migration trends.
How many international migrants are there? Where are they from? Where do they live?
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. Overall, international migrants make up 3.3% of the world’s population today.
However, international migrants do not live in one country. Instead, they are dispersed across the world, with most having moved from middle-income to high-income countries. Top origins of international migrants include India (15.6 million), Mexico (12.3 million), Russia (10.6 million), China (9.5 million) and Bangladesh (7.2 million).
Among destination countries, the U.S. has more international migrants than any other country. It is home to about one-in-five international migrants (46.6 million). Other top destinations of migrants include Germany (12.0 million), Russia (11.6 million), Saudi Arabia (10.2 million) and the United Kingdom (8.5 million).
Topics: Europe, Foreign Affairs and Policy, Immigration Attitudes, International Governments and Institutions, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, Unauthorized Immigration, Wars and International Conflicts
More Americans say environmental regulations are “worth the cost” than say such regulations come at too steep a price, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. These views come amid speculation about what President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees may mean for future regulatory policy.
A majority of U.S. adults (59%) say stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost, compared with roughly a third (34%) who say such regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy, according to the survey, conducted Nov. 30 to Dec. 5.
Education level and age are both associated with perceptions of environmental regulations. Younger adults and those with more education are more likely than older adults and those with less education to say stricter environmental laws are worth the cost.
Opinion also differs across party lines. Nearly eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (78%) see stricter environmental laws as worth the cost, while a majority of Republicans and Republican leaners (58%) say stricter environmental regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. Read More →
Pew Research Center’s new study on educational attainment among the world’s major religious groups finds a large gap between Muslims and Christians in sub-Saharan Africa, a region in which the population is projected to grow rapidly over the next few decades. This gap has persisted for decades, and for more insight into possible reasons, we interviewed Melina Platas, an assistant professor of political science at New York University Abu Dhabi. Platas’ research centers on variations in economic and political development in developing countries; since 2005, she has focused on sub-Saharan Africa.
How do you think the history of Islam and Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa may have had an impact on education for Muslims and Christians?
The distribution of Christian missionary schools, many of which formed the basis of the education sector in independent Africa, had a profound and long-term effect on educational attainment. Missionary schools were often sparse in predominantly Muslim areas for political and geographic reasons. In many cases, Muslims had already established their own Islamic education systems, and sometimes political systems as well. In these areas, colonial authorities often limited educational investments, especially by Christians, either to avoid conflict or because of perceived low demand for Western-style education. These patterns of educational investment during the colonial period led, I believe, to the emergence of the education gap between Muslims and Christians.
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to large and growing populations of Christians and Muslims that often live side by side. But when it comes to education levels, there is a big gulf between the two groups: Muslim adults are more than twice as likely as Christians to have no formal schooling.
Among adults ages 25 and older, three-in-ten Christians in sub-Saharan Africa have not completed even a year of primary schooling (30%). But among Muslims in the region, fully 65% have no formal education – a 35-percentage-point difference with Christians, a new Pew Research Center analysis has found. Read More →