Despite an extended economic downturn, the public’s impression of whether the nation is economically divided remains relatively stable. While 45% say American society is divided between “haves” and “have-nots,” 52% say it is incorrect to think of the country this way.
Three-quarters of Republicans (76%) say news organizations are politically biased, a view shared by 54% of Democrats.
Nearly six in ten Americans (58%) say we should pay less attention to problems overseas and instead concentrate on problems here at home, while 33% say it is best for the future of our country to be active in world affairs.
A sharp decline in fertility rates in the United States that started in 2008 is closely linked to the souring of the economy that began about the same time. Births fell from a record high of 4,316,233 in 2007 to an estimated 4,007,000 in 2010.
Nearly half of Americans (47%) say that Wall Street hurts the U.S. economy more than it helps, while 38% say it helps more than hurts; 15% offer no opinion.
The number and share of Americans living in multi-generational households rose for all age groups from 2007 to 2009, but the sharpest growth was for adults ages 25 to 34. Their numbers increased from 7.4 million to 8.7 million during that period.
A majority (55%) of Americans say the government is almost always wasteful and inefficient; half prefer a smaller government that provides fewer services.
The American public is closely divided on the question of whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry legally, with 46% opposing same-sex marriage and 45% supporting it. Those divisions extend to groups within the Republican and Democratic coalitions.
During this decade of sustained warfare, only about 0.5% of the American public has been on active duty at any given time.
Two-thirds (67%) of post-9/11 combat veterans who had traumatic wartime experiences say their readjustment to civilian life was difficult.