Jul 19, 2016 2:00 pm

5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe

Recent killings in Paris as well as the arrival of hundreds of thousands of mostly Muslim refugees in Europe have drawn renewed attention to the continent’s Muslim population. In many European countries, including France, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, concerns about growing Muslim communities have led to calls for restrictions on immigration. But just how large is Europe’s Muslim population, and how fast is it growing?

Muslim population in EuropeUsing the Pew Research Center’s most recent population estimates, here are five facts about the size and makeup of the Muslim population in Europe:

1Germany and France have the largest Muslim populations among European Union member countries. As of 2010, there were 4.8 million Muslims in Germany (5.8% of the country’s population) and 4.7 million Muslims in France (7.5%). In Europe overall, however, Russia’s population of 14 million Muslims (10%) is the largest on the continent.

2The Muslim share of Europe’s total population has been increasing steadily. In recent decades, the Muslim share of the population throughout Europe grew about 1 percentage point a decade, from 4% in 1990 to 6% in 2010. This pattern is expected to continue through 2030, when Muslims are projected to make up 8% of Europe’s population.

3Muslims are younger than other Europeans. In 2010, the median age of Muslims throughout Europe was 32, eight years younger than the median for all Europeans (40). By contrast, the median age of religiously unaffiliated people in Europe, including atheists, agnostics and those with no religion in particular, was 37. The median age of European Christians was 42. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Europe, Muslims and Islam

Jul 18, 2016 12:09 pm

Sharp differences over who is hurt, helped by their race

Black and white Americans have profoundly different views on racial equality, and a new survey finds they also differ on the extent to which a person’s race can be a burden or a benefit. For blacks, the answer is clear: 65% say “it is a lot more difficult to be black in this country than it is to be white.” Fewer than half as many whites (27%) agree.

The racial gap in perceptions of white advantages is even starker: 62% of blacks say “white people benefit a great deal from advantages in society that black people do not have.” Just 13% of whites say whites have benefited a great deal from advantages that blacks lack.

The survey was conducted June 7-July 5 among 4,602 adults on Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.

Among Hispanics, 37% say it is lot more difficult to be black than white, which is higher than the share of whites who say this but far lower than the number of blacks who do so. Most Hispanics say white people benefit from advantages in society that blacks do not have; 33% say whites benefit a great deal from these circumstances, compared with 62% of blacks and 13% of whites.

Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, African Americans, Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Political Figures, U.S. Political Parties

Jul 18, 2016 7:00 am

Are churches key to solving social problems? Fewer Americans now think so

Religious leaders and institutions have taken part in efforts to address important social issues throughout American history, from slavery to civil rights to today’s advocacy in areas such as reducing poverty.

But Americans appear to be growing more skeptical of how much of a difference churches and other houses of worship make in tackling social concerns. A majority of U.S. adults still say religious institutions contribute either “a great deal” (19%) or “some” (38%) to solving important social problems. But the combined figure of 58% has fallen significantly in recent years, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. About four-in-ten Americans (39%) now say religious institutions make little to no contribution in this area.

When the same question was asked in July 2012, roughly two-thirds of respondents (65%) said churches and other houses of worship played at least some role in solving society’s dilemmas. Four years before that, in August 2008, fully three-quarters of Americans (75%) said religious institutions contributed “a great deal” or “some” in this way. Read More

Topics: Religion and Society, Social Values

Jul 15, 2016 10:00 am

The economy is a top issue for Latinos, and they’re more upbeat about it

The economy is at the forefront of Hispanic voters’ minds in this presidential election year, with 86% saying the economy is very important to their vote, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. But while Hispanics are on the same page with the overall population about the importance of the economy, they are more positive about its condition and their family’s finances than some other racial and ethnic groups.

A third (33%) of Hispanics rate the economic conditions in the country today as excellent or good, a share equal to that among blacks but higher than that among whites (25%), according to the June survey. In addition, Hispanics are less likely than others to say their family’s income is falling behind the cost of living – 45% say so, compared with 55% of whites and 56% of blacks who say the same.

Despite this economic optimism, about half (52%) of Latinos say jobs are difficult to find in their community, a share similar to blacks and whites. At the same time, the unemployment rate for Latinos has improved over the past year, standing at 5.8% in the second quarter of 2016, down from 6.7% a year ago. However, it remains above the 4.7% national average for non-Hispanics. Read More

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, National Economy

Jul 14, 2016 10:00 am

Evangelicals increasingly say it’s becoming harder for them in America

The U.S. has long been a Christian-majority nation, but major social changes may be making at least one segment of Christians — evangelicals — feel like America is becoming a more difficult place for them to live.

Being evangelical Christian in the U.S.A growing share of self-identified “evangelical or born-again” Protestants (41%) say it has become more difficult to be an evangelical Christian in the U.S. in recent years; just 34% answered the question the same way in September 2014. Only about one-in-ten evangelicals now say it has become easier for their community in the U.S., while nearly half (47%) say it has not changed very much.

Some of this feeling may stem from the fact that the country is becoming more secular: A rising share of Americans do not identify with any religion, while a shrinking portion of the population is Christian. Another factor may be the spread of legal same-sex marriage nationwide and increasing social acceptance of homosexuality, developments with which many conservative Christians disagree. And other clashes with the values many conservative Christians hold continue to play out across the country, whether it be over the teaching of evolution in public schools, the presence of religious displays on public property for Christmas or whether public school cheerleaders can put Bible verses on their banners. Read More

Topics: Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation

Jul 14, 2016 7:00 am

Most Americans already feel election coverage fatigue

The November election is still about four months away, yet most Americans are already worn out by the amount of news coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Nearly 6-in-10 Americans worn out by the amount of election coverageA new Pew Research Center survey conducted June 7-July 5 finds that about six-in-ten Americans (59%) feel exhausted by the amount of election coverage, while 39% say they like getting a lot of coverage about the election. This feeling of fatigue is particularly true among those who aren’t following news about the election very closely – 69% of this group say they are worn out compared with about 41% of those who follow the election very closely.

That said, just because Americans are worn out by the amount of coverage does not imply that interest in or attention to the election itself is low. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center report showed that there was greater interest than during previous campaigns. Further, in February, we found that 91% of Americans had learned about the election from at least one type of source in the previous week.

With so many saying they are worn out by the coverage, what is it that Americans think has been getting too much attention? Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Election News, News Audience Trends and Attitudes

Jul 13, 2016 7:00 am

Is treatment of minorities a key election issue? Views differ by race, party

63% say treatment of minorities is very important to their vote for presidentRace figures prominently in the national debate as the Republican and Democratic national conventions near, but how important this issue is to American voters varies by their race and which presidential candidates they support.

Though a 63% majority of registered voters overall name treatment of racial and ethnic minorities as very important to their vote, it is not the top issue on the voters’ agenda: Eight-in-ten or more rank the economy (84%) and terrorism (80%) as very important issues to their vote. Other issues that rank highly on voters’ 2016 importance list include foreign policy (75% very important), health care (74%), gun policy (72%) and immigration (70%). (This Pew Research Center survey was conducted in late June, before the events of last week, including the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the deaths of five police officers in Dallas.) Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Vote, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Issue Priorities, Race and Ethnicity, Religion and U.S. Politics, U.S. Political Parties

Jul 12, 2016 9:55 am

In views of diversity, many Europeans are less positive than Americans

Americans more likely to say growing diversity makes their country a better place to liveThe surge of refugees to Europe has helped make it a region of increasing cultural diversity and foreign-born populations, just as immigration to the United States has pushed its foreign-born share to near record levels. But a new Pew Research Center survey paints a picture of a Europe that is far less positive about what greater diversity means for many of its countries.

The most common view among the 10 European countries surveyed is that cultural diversity is neither a plus nor a minus in terms of quality of life. In no nation does a majority say increasing diversity is a positive for their country. At most, roughly a third in Sweden (36%), the UK (33%) and Spain (31%) describe growing racial, ethnic and national diversity in favorable terms.

By contrast, more than half in Greece (63%) and Italy (53%) say that growing diversity makes their country a worse place to live. Roughly four-in-ten Hungarians (41%) and Poles (40%) agree.  Read More

Topics: Educational Attainment, Europe, Immigration Attitudes, Migration, Political Attitudes and Values

Jul 12, 2016 7:00 am

28% of Americans are ‘strong’ early adopters of technology

Technology is changing the ways people seek and get knowledge, communicate and work. But Americans still tend to embrace familiarity over newness when it comes to their choices of new products, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data.

When it comes to technology, a minority of Americans prefer the new over the familiar Overall, 52% of adults say they “feel more comfortable using familiar brands and products,” and 39% describe themselves as preferring to wait until they hear about others’ experiences before trying something new themselves. Similarly, 39% say they prefer their “tried and trusted” brands.

But 35% of Americans say they like the variety of trying new products, and three-in-ten like being able to tell others about their experiences with new technology. About one-in-six adults (15%) say they usually try technology products before others do. Read More

Topics: Emerging Technology Impacts, Technology Adoption

Jul 11, 2016 7:00 am

Which U.S. religious groups are oldest and youngest?

The U.S. religious landscape is already in the midst of some dramatic changes when it comes to the growth or decline of people with certain religious identities. And while it is impossible to predict exactly how that landscape will shift in the future, some key demographic factors — particularly age — can provide a clue as to how things might unfold in the coming decades.

For example, religious groups whose members are younger may be more likely to grow, not only because those members will live longer, but also because more of them are still of childbearing age (and thus have a greater chance of passing on their religion to their descendants).

With this in mind, some of the groups that have already been growing in recent years may be primed for continued growth. This includes people with no religious affiliation: The median age of adults who say their religion is “nothing in particular” is 38, while for atheists and agnostics it is 34.

Age structure and median age of U.S. religious groups

Overall, these three groups together (often called religious “nones”) have a median age of 36 – fully a decade younger than the median age of U.S. adults overall (46), according to data from our 2014 Religious Landscape Study.

Members of some non-Christian faiths also are very young – U.S. Muslims and Hindus in the survey each have a median age of 33. About four-in-ten Muslim adults in the U.S. are under the age of 30, and nine-in-ten Hindu adults are under 50. Read More

Topics: Demographics, Generations and Age, Religion and Society