Sep 25, 2017 2:03 pm

Key facts about unauthorized immigrants enrolled in DACA

Approximately 800,000 young unauthorized immigrants have received work permits and protection from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, since its creation five years ago. And nearly 690,000 of these immigrants are currently enrolled in the program, according to new data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The program’s future is uncertain after President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of plans to phase it out. The U.S. government is not accepting new DACA applications and will stop accepting renewal applications on Oct. 5. Those currently enrolled in the program retain their benefits, which last for a total of two years.

Trump has urged Congress to pass legislation by March 2018 that would give legal status to unauthorized immigrants enrolled in DACA, and some members of Congress have said they plan to propose legislation along those lines. (DACA enrollees whose benefits expire after March 5, 2018, will be the first to be dropped from the program.)

In the new data, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has for the first time released detailed demographic information about those currently enrolled in DACA, a group sometimes called “Dreamers.” Here are some key facts about these individuals, based on the new data.

About 690,000 unauthorized immigrants were enrolled in DACA as of Sept. 4. Although roughly 800,000 unauthorized immigrants have ever received benefits through DACA, about 110,000 of this group are no longer enrolled in the program. About 70,000 former DACA participants did not renew their benefits or had their renewal applications denied. Another 40,000 have adjusted their legal status and obtained green cards, which grant lawful permanent residence. (Some unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. can obtain legal status by marrying an American citizen or lawful permanent resident, obtaining asylum, or receiving certain types of visas such as those given to victims of a crime, among other ways.)

To qualify for DACA, enrollees must meet certain conditions, such as being enrolled in high school or having a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and not being convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors.

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Topics: Demographics, Unauthorized Immigration, Immigration Trends

Sep 25, 2017 7:00 am

Shows and films about crime, medicine help foster a positive view of scientists, say many Americans

The general news media and specialty publications are major ways most Americans get their information about science. But many also are exposed to scientific subjects through movies and television shows – and they come away from these fictional portraits with a positive impression of working in science, technology and medicine.

Roughly eight-in-ten Americans (81%) say they at least sometimes watch one or more of three types of science-related entertainment shows and movies: those focusing on criminal investigations, ones about hospitals and medical settings, or science fiction, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in May and June.

While many of these viewers come away with a favorable view of scientists, they also regard the TV shows and movies as focusing more on entertainment than getting the facts right.

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Topics: Work and Employment, Science and Innovation, Television

Sep 21, 2017 11:01 am

Most Americans get their science news from general outlets, but many doubt their accuracy

As debates swirl around science-related issues ranging from climate change to the food we eat, an important question is where Americans go to stay informed about science topics, if anywhere. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in May and June finds that general news outlets – those that cover a variety of topics in a given day – play a large role in how Americans stay informed about science.

Here are some key takeaways about Americans’ science news habits today:

1A majority of Americans get their science news from general outlets, though many question how often these outlets get the science facts right. More than half (54%) say they regularly get their science news from general news outlets, outpacing every other source type asked about, including a range of specialty science sources.

But just 28% of U.S. adults say general news outlets get the facts right about science almost always or more than half of the time. By contrast, roughly half of Americans say specialty sources – specifically, science documentaries, science magazines or science museums – get the facts right most of the time.

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Topics: News Interest, News Sources, Science and Innovation, News Audience Trends and Attitudes

Sep 20, 2017 7:00 am

Americans see men as the financial providers, even as women’s contributions grow

In about a third of married or cohabiting couples in the United States, women bring in half or more of the earnings, a significant increase from the past. But in most couples, men contribute more of the income, and this aligns with the fact that Americans place a higher value on a man’s role as financial provider.

Roughly seven-in-ten adults (71%) say it is very important for a man to be able to support a family financially to be a good husband or partner. By comparison, 32% say it’s very important for a woman to do the same to be a good wife or partner, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Men are especially likely to place a greater emphasis on their role as financial providers. While a nearly equal share of men and women say a man needs to be able to provide for his family to be a good husband or partner (72% and 71%, respectively), men are less likely than women to say the same about women. Just a quarter of men say this is very important for a woman to be a good wife or partner, compared with 39% of women.

However, the importance of being the financial provider ranks behind being caring and compassionate when it comes to being a good spouse or partner, in the public’s estimation. Overwhelming majorities say it is very important for men (86%) and women (90%) to have these qualities to be good spouses or partners.

The nationally representative survey of 4,971 adults was conducted Aug. 8-21, 2017, using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.

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Topics: Gender, Income, Marriage and Divorce, Household and Family Structure

Sep 19, 2017 2:00 pm

5 facts about government debt around the world

Public debt has increased sharply in many countries in recent years, particularly during and after the Great Recession. Globally, the total amount of government debt now exceeds $63.1 trillion, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of International Monetary Fund data.

Here are five facts about government debt around the world. This analysis is based on IMF data for 43 countries that are members of the Group of Twenty or the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The figures used are for consolidated debt issued by all levels of government, less debt held by other governmental units (unless otherwise noted).

1The United States has more government debt than any other country analyzed, with nearly $20 trillion in gross debt in 2016. Japan was second, with 1,285 trillion yen (more than $11 trillion in 2016 dollars), followed by China with 34.5 trillion yuan (nearly $5 trillion). (Gross debt refers to all public debt – including intragovernmental debt, or what the government owes itself. Net debt, by contrast, is gross debt minus government assets related to debt, such as pensions for government workers.)

Worldwide, public debt is still significantly lower than total debt owed by the private sector. Private debt made up about two-thirds of all non-financial-sector global debt in 2015.

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Topics: National Economy, Economic Recession, World Economies

Sep 19, 2017 11:02 am

Going into election, Germans are happy with their economy and political establishment

Supporters of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, top candidate for the conservative Christian Democratic Union party in the upcoming general elections, hold up posters to cheer for her during an election campaign event in Freiburg, southwestern Germany, on Sept. 18, 2017. (Patrick Seeger/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, top candidate for the conservative Christian Democratic Union party in the upcoming general elections, hold up posters to cheer for her during an election campaign event in Freiburg, southwestern Germany, on Sept. 18, 2017. (Patrick Seeger/AFP/Getty Images)

Germans are feeling good about their country ahead of a national election on Sept. 24 that will determine whether Chancellor Angela Merkel leads her nation for a fourth consecutive term. Unlike many of their fellow European Union members, Germans are satisfied with the state of the economy and are broadly positive toward the political establishment that has led the nation through the post-World War II era.

An overwhelming 86% of Germans believe their economy is doing well, up from 75% last year, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in spring. Views of the economy have been consistently positive since 2011, reflecting Germany’s quick recovery from the global financial crisis. By comparison, just 2% of Greeks, 15% of Italians, 21% of French and 28% of Spanish say their economies are doing well.

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Topics: Europe, Western Europe, Non-U.S. Political Leaders

Sep 18, 2017 2:06 pm

How the U.S. Hispanic population is changing

The Latino population in the United States has reached nearly 58 million in 2016 and has been the principal driver of U.S. demographic growth, accounting for half of national population growth since 2000. The Latino population itself has evolved during this time, with changes in immigration, education and other characteristics.

This summary draws on a statistical portrait of the nation’s Hispanic population, which includes trends going back to 1980. Here are some key facts about the nation’s Latino population.

The Hispanic population has reached a new high, but growth has slowed. In 2016, Hispanics accounted for 18% of the nation’s population and were the second-largest racial or ethnic group behind whites. (All racial groups are single race non-Hispanic.)

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Topics: Demographics, Race and Ethnicity, Generations and Age, Educational Attainment, Hispanic/Latino Demographics

Sep 18, 2017 7:02 am

Muslims more likely than Americans overall to say blacks lack equal rights in U.S.

Two-thirds of Muslims in the United States (67%) say the country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites, a higher percentage than the share of Americans in general who say this (57%).

Muslim Americans are also more likely than the general public to say there is a lot of discrimination against black people in the U.S. About seven-in-ten U.S. Muslims (71%) say this, compared with 59% of the overall population, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey.

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Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Muslims and Islam, Muslim Americans, Discrimination and Prejudice

Sep 15, 2017 12:00 pm

Proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution seldom go anywhere

U.S. politicians say they revere the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have plenty of ideas for changing it. Since 1999, 742 proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution have been introduced in the House or Senate, including 59 so far in the current Congress, according to our analysis ahead of Constitution Day on Sunday.

The proposals cover dozens of topics, from lengthening House terms (from two years to four) to prohibiting any future attempt to replace the U.S. dollar with a hypothetical global currency. But not one has become part of the Constitution. In fact, the last time a proposed amendment gained the necessary two-thirds support in both the House and Senate was 1978, when a measure giving District of Columbia residents voting representation in Congress was sent to the states for ratification. Only 16 states had ratified it when the seven-year time limit expired.

Indeed, the vast majority of proposed amendments die quiet, little-mourned deaths in committees and subcommittees. Only 20 times since 1999 have proposed amendments even been voted on by the full House or Senate, according to our analysis of legislative data from the Library of Congress. The most recent instance was three years ago this month, when a campaign-finance amendment failed in the Senate on a procedural vote.

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Topics: Congress

Sep 15, 2017 10:33 am

Deep racial, partisan divisions in Americans’ views of police officers

While a large majority of Americans rate police officers positively on a 0-to-100 “feeling thermometer,” whites and blacks differ widely in their views, including among Democrats, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August.

About two-thirds of the public (64%) give officers a warm rating on the scale (between 51 and 100), including 45% who rate them very warmly (76-100). Fewer give a neutral rating of 50 (16%), and just 18% give a cold rating on the scale (0-49).

But while a clear majority of whites give law enforcement warm ratings (74%), black and Hispanic views of police are more mixed.

Just three-in-ten black Americans (30%) express warm attitudes about police officers, while 28% offer a neutral rating. Another 38% give a cold rating, including 30% who give a very cold rating (24 or lower on the 0-100 scale).

Among Hispanics, 55% give police officers a warm rating, 25% give law enforcement a neutral rating and 17% have cold views.

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Topics: Work and Employment, U.S. Political Parties, Race and Ethnicity, Social Values, Political Polarization