When it comes to potential trade-offs between the environment and the economy, most Americans say stricter environmental regulations are worth the cost, while fewer say stricter environmental regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. But there are substantial differences in opinion about this issue from one state to the next that tell a different story than national surveys on the issue.
Generally, public attitudes on environmental regulation, as well the environment generally, are strongly linked with politics. Democrats and liberals are much more likely to support stricter environmental regulations, while Republicans and conservatives are by comparison more likely to say such regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. Read More →
The death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and the subsequent partisan wrangling over whether the Senate should act on any nominee sent to it by President Obama, has cast a spotlight on an institution that many people know little about.
As a Fact Tank post last year noted, the court “remains an institution whose members – and even the facts about some of its most important decisions – are a mystery to many Americans.” In a 2013 survey, 20% incorrectly identified staunch conservative Scalia, rather than Anthony Kennedy, as the court’s most frequent “swing vote.” And a Gallup poll last summer found that Scalia was unknown to 32% of Americans, while 12% had heard of Scalia but didn’t have an opinion about him.
But in a Pew Research Center survey released earlier this week, about seven-in-ten Americans said they had heard a lot (45%) or a little (26%) about Scalia’s death and the vacancy on the court; fully 94% expressed an opinion on whether the Senate should hold hearings and vote on Obama’s eventual nominee. Read More →
Topics: Supreme Court
Hispanic and black parents are significantly more likely than white parents to say it’s essential that their children earn a college degree, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Today, 86% of Hispanic parents and 79% of black parents with children under 18 say it is either extremely or very important that their children earn a college degree. By comparison, about two-thirds (67%) of white parents say the same.
This gap may be linked to differing views on a college degree’s importance in moving up the economic ladder. Roughly half (49%) of Hispanics and 43% of blacks say that a college education is a requirement to be part of the middle class, compared with just 22% of whites. However, white adults are more likely than black or Hispanic adults to already be in the middle class or higher, which may account in part for the fact that fewer whites see college as essential.
The 2020 census could be the first in which most Americans are counted over the internet. In fact, if all goes as planned, the Census Bureau won’t even send paper questionnaires to most households.
The bureau’s goal is that 55% of the U.S. population will respond online using computers, mobile phones or other devices. It will mark the first time (apart from a small share of households in 2000) that any Americans will file their own census responses online. This shift toward online response is one of a number of technological innovations planned for the 2020 census, according to the agency’s recently released operational plan. The plan reflects the results of testing so far, but it could be changed based on future research, congressional reaction or other developments.
Starting next month, the agency will conduct test censuses of 225,000 households each in Los Angeles County and Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston. Further tests are planned into 2019. The bureau also is testing use of other government or third-party records to supplement the census-taking, as well as experimenting with new question wording on race, ethnicity and relationships.
Mormons are the most heavily Republican-leaning religious group in the U.S., while a pair of major historically black Protestant denominations – the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the National Baptist Convention – are two of the most reliably Democratic groups, according to data from Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study.
Explore the affiliations, demographics, religious practices and political beliefs of each group using our interactive database.
Seven-in-ten U.S. Mormons identify with the Republican Party or say they lean toward the GOP, compared with 19% who identify as or lean Democratic – a difference of 51 percentage points. That’s the biggest gap in favor of the GOP out of 30 religious groups we analyzed, which include Protestant denominations, other religious groups and three categories of people who are religiously unaffiliated.
At the other end of the spectrum, an overwhelming majority of members of the AME Church (92%) identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while just 4% say they favor the Republican Party (an 88-point gap). Similarly, 87% of members of the National Baptist Convention and 75% of members of the Church of God in Christ (another historically black denomination) identify as Democrats. Read More →
Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Christians and Christianity, Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Jews and Judaism, Mormons and Mormonism, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Party Affiliation, Religion and U.S. Politics
In a relatively short period of time, the internet has become an influential arena for public debates about political and social issues. And around the world, many consider free expression in cyberspace to be a fundamental right.
Majorities in 32 of 38 countries surveyed by Pew Research Center in 2015 believe that allowing people to use the internet without government censorship is important. And in 20 countries, at least 80% hold this view. Moreover, across the nations polled, a median of 50% say freedom on the internet is very important.
Support for internet freedom is especially strong in Argentina (71% very important), the U.S., Germany and Spain (each 69%), and Chile (68%). In many countries, young people, those with more years of education and high-income respondents tend to place a higher value on internet freedom.
Even though support for internet freedom is common around the globe, it is not as strong as support for other fundamental aspects of democracy. Across the 38 countries in our study, larger percentages of people say religious freedom (median of 74%), gender equality (65%), honest and competitive elections (61%), free speech (56%) and media freedom (55%) are very important. Read More →
A new Pew Research Center survey shows that across 40 countries surveyed in 2015, a median of 67% use the internet and 43% report owning a smartphone. But one trend stands out: People in emerging and developing nations are quickly catching up to those in advanced nations in terms of access to technology.
Here are five takeaways on technology use in the emerging and developing world:
1About half of adults across the 29 emerging and developing economies surveyed say that they use the internet. While many people are not yet experiencing the technology revolution, it also means most people in these countries now use the internet. Among the 21 countries surveyed in both 2013 and 2015, a median of only 45% had access in 2013, but that number had risen to 54% by 2015.
Americans have long been divided in their views about the trade-off between security needs and personal privacy. Much of the focus has been on government surveillance, though there are also significant concerns about how businesses use data. The issue flared again this week when a federal court ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the suspects in the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, in December. Apple challenged the order to try to ensure that security of other iPhones remained protected, and also to provoke a wider national conversation about how far people would like technology firms to go in protecting their privacy or cooperating with law enforcement.
Events have had a major impact on public attitudes on this issue. Terrorist attacks generate increased anxieties. For instance, the San Bernardino and Paris shootings in late 2015 had a striking impact. A Pew Research Center survey in December found that 56% of Americans were more concerned that the government’s anti-terror policies have not gone far enough to protect the country, compared with 28% who expressed concern that the policies have gone too far in restricting the average person’s civil liberties. Just two years earlier, amid the furor over Edward Snowden’s revelations about National Security Agency surveillance programs, more said their bigger concern was that anti-terror programs had gone too far in restricting civil liberties (47%) rather than not far enough in protecting the country (35%).
At the same time, there are other findings suggesting that Americans are becoming more anxious about their privacy, especially in the context of digital technologies that capture a wide array of data about them. Here is an overview of the state of play as the iPhone case moves further into legal proceedings. Read More →
During Saturday’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, Marco Rubio questioned (in English) whether Ted Cruz speaks Spanish. Cruz responded in Spanish with a challenge to Rubio to discuss their views on immigration in that language.
Rubio’s confrontation with Cruz, who recently became the first Hispanic to win the Iowa caucuses, was interpreted by some as a challenge to how much Cruz belongs to or identifies with the Hispanic community in the U.S. (It’s worth noting that this is not a new tactic. Hispanic Democrats have been confronted before by fellow Latinos in a similar way.)
But what does the Hispanic public think when it comes to the question of whether it is necessary to speak Spanish in order to be considered Hispanic?
On the one hand, Spanish is an important part of Latino culture and identity, with 95% of Latinos saying it is important for future generations to speak Spanish.
Discussions of the “digital divide” often touch on race and ethnicity – and the narrative is often that whites lead in technology adoption while other racial or ethnic groups struggle to keep up. But a new analysis of four Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2015 finds that this isn’t true for one group: English-speaking Asian Americans adopt a number of common technologies at rates that exceed the rest of the population, including whites.
It’s important to note that the figures reported here are based on surveys conducted only in English (and Spanish for non-English-speaking Hispanics); they do not include non-English-speaking Asian Americans. Our 2012 survey found that among all Asian Americans, 63.5% say they speak English “very well,” including about half of immigrant Asians.
Here are three key findings relating to English-speaking Asian Americans and technology use:
195% of English-speaking Asian Americans use the internet. English-speaking Asian Americans have long led other racial and ethnic groups when it comes to internet adoption, and that trend continues to hold true: This analysis shows that 95% of English-speaking Asian Americans reported using the internet in 2015, compared with 87% of whites, 81% of blacks and 82% of Hispanics.
284% of English-speaking Asian Americans have broadband service at home. The level of adoption of home broadband by English-speaking Asian Americans is nearly 20 percentage points higher than that of the overall population (67%) and is also higher than those of whites (72%), blacks (54%) and Hispanics (50%). Overall, home broadband use in the U.S. has plateaued in recent years after rising steadily since 2000. Read More →
Category: 5 Facts