Many Europeans will head to the polls later this month to elect a new European Parliament, the directly elected legislative body of the European Union. The voting comes as the EU faces a number of challenges, including the United Kingdom’s planned departure from the bloc and public concerns about the economy, refugees and other issues. Some observers have suggested that this year’s elections could serve as a referendum on the entire European experiment.
Here’s an overview of how Europeans in 10 EU member states feel about key institutions and issues ahead of the elections, based on data from Pew Research Center’s spring 2018 Global Attitudes Survey:
1People tend to have a more favorable opinion of the EU than of the European Parliament. Across 10 surveyed EU countries, a median of 62% see the EU favorably, compared with a median of 50% who see the European Parliament favorably. The UK and Greece stand out for their negative assessments of both. In two of the EU’s biggest countries – France and Germany – majorities have a favorable view of the EU, but views of the European Parliament are divided.
The recent approval of a bill by Taiwan’s legislature legalizing gay marriage makes it the first nation in Asia to permit gays and lesbians to wed. The vote comes roughly a year and half after Austria’s highest court ruled that same-sex couples must be allowed to wed beginning in 2019.
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For years, proposals have sought to shift the nation’s immigration system away from its current emphasis on family reunification and employment-based migration, and toward a points-based system that prioritizes the admission of immigrants with certain education and employment qualifications.
The Trump administration has announced a proposal that would grant green cards to immigrants who meet requirements related to education, age and English-speaking ability. The administration has previously proposed regulation that would deny immigrants entry to the U.S. or lawful permanent residence if they are likely to use Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) and other forms of public assistance. Here are key details about existing U.S. immigration programs:
In fiscal 2017, 748,746 people received family-based U.S. lawful permanent residence. The program allows someone to receive a green card if they already have a spouse, child, sibling or parent living in the country with U.S. citizenship or, in some cases, a green card. Immigrants from countries with large numbers of applicants often wait for years to receive a green card because a single country can account for no more than 7% of all green cards issued annually. President Donald Trump said his legislation, when proposed, would prioritize family-based green cards to immediate family members. Today, family-based immigration – referred to by some as “chain migration” – is the most common way people gain green cards, in recent years accounting for about two-thirds of the more than 1 million people who receive them annually. This share could decline to about one-third under the president’s proposal. Read More →
While ideas about religious liberty and tolerance are central to America’s founding and national story, different religious groups – including Catholics, Jews and Mormons – have suffered discrimination in the United States at various points in history. Today, Americans say some religious groups continue to be discriminated against and disadvantaged, according to an analysis of recent Pew Research Center surveys.
Most American adults (82%) say Muslims are subject to at least some discrimination in the U.S. today, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March – including a majority (56%) who say Muslims are discriminated against a lot.
Among U.S. Muslims themselves, many say they have experienced specific instances of discrimination, including being treated with suspicion, singled out by airport security or called offensive names, according to a 2017 survey of Muslim Americans.
In this year’s survey, roughly two-thirds of Americans (64%) also say Jews face at least some discrimination in the U.S., up 20 percentage points from the last time this question was asked in 2016. More say Jews face some discrimination than a lot (39% vs. 24%).
Here are 10 facts about Americans and Facebook, based on Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019:
1Around seven-in-ten U.S. adults (69%) use Facebook, according to a survey conducted in early 2019. That’s unchanged since April 2016, but up from 54% of adults in August 2012.
With the exception of YouTube – the video-sharing platform used by 73% of adults – no other major social media platform comes close to Facebook in terms of usage. Around four-in-ten U.S. adults (37%) say they use Instagram, while smaller shares say they use Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp. Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
Partisan divides in the United States are as wide as they’ve ever been in the modern political era. But what about the large share of Americans who identify as independents?
A recent Pew Research Center report took a detailed look at these Americans. Among other things, it illustrated that independents have lower levels of political participation and are demographically different from those who affiliate with a party – and that their views are often as divided as those of self-identified partisans.
Here are six facts about political independents:
1Nearly four-in-ten U.S. adults (38%) identify as politically independent, but most “lean” toward one of the two major parties. Only 7% of Americans overall don’t express a partisan leaning, while 13% lean toward the Republican Party and 17% lean toward the Democratic Party.
As of the end of 2017, 96 out of 167 countries with populations of at least 500,000 (57%) were democracies of some kind, and only 21 (13%) were autocracies. Nearly four dozen other countries – 46, or 28% – exhibited elements of both democracy and autocracy. Broadly speaking, the share of democracies among the world’s governments has been on an upward trend since the mid-1970s, and now sits just shy of its post-World War II record (58% in 2016).
To track the spread of democracy around the globe, we used the ratings contained in the Center for Systemic Peace’s Polity IV dataset. Polity is a widely used resource in political science that analyzes and codes how political authority is gained and used in every fully independent state with a population of 500,000 or more (167 of the world’s 200 or so sovereign states in the current version).
Exposure to false or incorrect information is a key concern for people in 11 emerging economies, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Many social media users report being regularly exposed to misinformation when using the platforms. In most countries surveyed, more than a quarter of social media and messaging app users say they frequently encounter this sort of content, and majorities in 10 of the 11 countries say they see it at least occasionally.
About two-in-ten Americans (21%) say they have ever spoken with or been interviewed by a local journalist, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Among those who have, the likelihood varies by personal characteristics.
About 23% of whites have had this kind of interaction, compared with 19% of blacks and 14% of Hispanics, according to the survey, conducted Oct. 15-Nov. 8, 2018, among nearly 35,000 U.S. adults.
Older Americans are also more likely to have had personal contact with a local journalist: A quarter of U.S. adults ages 65 and over have done so, compared with 17% of those ages 18 to 29. (This may not come as a surprise: Since the question asked whether Americans have “ever” spoken to a local journalist, older adults have had more time – and a greater chance – to interact with a local reporter.)
These women, all seeking the same high political office, became mothers at different points in their careers – some while they were starting out in politics and others long before that.
Roughly half of Americans (51%) say it’s better for a woman who wants to reach high political office to have children before entering politics, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey on gender and leadership. About a quarter (26%) say it would be better to wait until she is well-established in her political career, while 19% say it would be better for a woman not to have children at all if she plans to seek higher office.
Views are different when it comes to leadership positions in the business world. About a quarter of Americans (23%) say it’s better for women who want to reach top executive jobs in business to have children early in their careers, 41% say they should wait and 34% say it’s better for them not to have children at all.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.