The U.S. House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s interactions with the president of Ukraine comes more than two decades after the last presidential impeachment crisis – the one that engulfed President Bill Clinton in 1998 and early 1999. The circumstances – factual, political and societal – were very different back then, and so was U.S. public opinion about the push for impeachment.
A quick review of the facts: In early 1998, rumors began circulating that Clinton had had a sexual relationship with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Clinton denied the allegations, both publicly and in a sworn deposition, but later admitted they were true. Independent counsel Kenneth Starr, whose investigation started as an inquiry into the Clintons’ financial dealings but broadened to other matters, argued that Clinton had committed perjury and obstructed justice by trying to influence the testimony of Lewinsky and other witnesses. The Republican-controlled House impeached Clinton on those charges, but in February 1999 the Senate – also led by Republicans – acquitted him.
While the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits school-sponsored prayer in public schools, the court also has made clear that individual students have a right to pray in public settings. And, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of teens ages 13 to 17, a sizable share of students in public school are availing themselves of this right.
About a quarter of teens who identify with a religion and attend public school (26%) say they regularly pray before eating lunch at school. There are differences across religious groups, with 39% of evangelical Protestant teens, 18% of Catholic teens and 11% of mainline Protestant teens saying they often or sometimes pray before eating lunch. (The survey’s sample size was not large enough to report on the practices of teens who belong to most other religious groups.)
The survey also examined public school prayer from a different angle by asking teens whether they see other students praying before eating lunch. Around one-in-six teens in public schools (16%) say they often or sometimes see other students doing this. Teens who identify with a religion are more likely than those who self-identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” to notice this (19% vs. 9%).
Over the course of the nation’s history, there has been a slow but steady decrease in the size of the average U.S. household – from 5.79 people per household in 1790 to 2.58 in 2010. But this decade will likely be the first since the one that began in 1850 to break this long-running trend, according to newly released Census Bureau data. In 2018 there were 2.63 people per household.
Households are increasing in size mathematically because the growth in the number of households is trailing population growth. The newly released data indicates that the population residing in households has grown 6% since 2010 (the smallest population growth since the 1930s), while the number of households has grown at a slower rate (4%, from 116.7 million in 2010 to 121.5 million in 2018).
The increase in household size is significant because it could have implications for national economic growth. Rising household size reduces the demand for housing, resulting in less residential construction and less demand for home appliances and furniture. In general, it leads to a less vigorous housing sector – fewer apartment leases and home purchases, as well as less spending related to housing, such as cable company subscriptions and home accessories suppliers.
The long-running decline in American household size can be tied to at least two demographic trends. The size of immediate families has declined over time as women have had fewer children. In 1790, the total fertility rate of white women was 7.0 births (meaning a white woman had, on average, seven births in her lifetime). By 1870 it had fallen to 4.6 births, and by 1940 it stood at 2.2. For black women, the total fertility rates were 7.7 and 2.8 births for 1870 and 1940, respectively.
The first full fiscal year of the Trump administration saw large increases in the number of people arrested and criminally prosecuted for immigration offenses such as entering and reentering the United States illegally, according to recently published government data.
The number of federal criminal arrests for immigration offenses surged from 58,031 in fiscal 2017 to 108,667 in fiscal 2018 – an 87% increase, according to an August report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The 2018 total was considerably higher than in any other fiscal year in two decades.
Following the same trajectory, the number of suspects who were criminally prosecuted for immigration offenses rose 66% between fiscal 2017 and 2018, from 59,797 to 99,479 – also a two-decade high.
The tandem increases follow a sharp decline during the second term of the Obama administration and appear to be largely the result of recent policy changes to subject more border crossers to criminal rather than civil penalties, as opposed to an increase in migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. The year-over-year growth in criminal arrests and prosecutions far outpaced the 30% increase in apprehensions at the southwest border during the same period, according to separate data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (The 2018 fiscal year ended last Sept. 30.)
An outbreak of lung injuries among e-cigarette users across much of the United States has focused national attention on the potential dangers of vaping, prompting the federal government and some states to take policy steps in response.
The exact cause of the respiratory illness has not yet been determined, and there is still uncertainty surrounding the specific health risks associated with vaping. E-cigarettes create a water vapor that users inhale, using cartridges that typically contain nicotine, flavorings or cannabis products along with chemicals.
As medical professionals and policymakers grapple with questions over e-cigarettes and public health, here’s a look at what survey data – gathered before the recent outbreak – shows about e-cigarette use in the United States.
Roughly a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 8 to Feb. 7. Who are these non-book readers?
Several demographic traits correlate with non-book reading, Pew Research Center surveys have found. For instance, adults with a high school diploma or less are far more likely than those with a bachelor’s or advanced degree to report not reading books in any format in the 12 months before the survey (44% vs. 8%). Adults with lower levels of educational attainment are also among the least likely to own smartphones, a device that saw a substantial increase in usage for reading e-books from 2011 to 2016. (College-educated adults are more likely to own these devices and use them to read e-books.)
Adults whose annual household income is $30,000 or less are more likely than those living in households earning $75,000 or more a year to be non-book readers (36% vs. 14%). Hispanic (40%) and black (33%) adults are more likely than whites (22%) to report not having read a book in the past 12 months. But there are differences between Hispanics born inside and outside the United States: 56% of foreign-born Hispanics report not having read a book, compared with 27% of Hispanics born in the U.S.
Although the differences are less pronounced, non-book reading does vary by gender, age and community type.
Andrew Kohut, the founding director of Pew Research Center and its president from 2004 to 2012, was one of the nation’s leading pollsters. He died in 2015. His work, over three decades, won him wide respect for his expertise and ability to craft stories about what people could learn from survey research. One of his particular talents was to reach back in time to take a snapshot of the mood of Americans in another era to show how much times had changed.
Here is one of those articles, originally published on Aug. 8, 2014.
Forty years ago today, Richard Nixon announced his resignation from the nation’s highest office, making that decision in the face of almost certain impeachment by the House and plummeting public support, as a majority of Americans called for his removal from office. But it happened in stages.
Americans are spreading their book consumption across several formats, and the use of audiobooks is on the rise.
Roughly seven-in-ten U.S. adults (72%) say they have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 8-Feb. 7, 2019. Print books remain the most popular format for reading, with 65% of adults saying they had read a print book in the year before the survey.
And while shares of print and e-book readers are similar to those from a Center survey conducted in 2016, there has been an uptick in the share of Americans who report listening to audiobooks, from 14% to 20%.
Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to say they at least sometimes feel the need to change the way they express themselves when they are around people with different racial and ethnic backgrounds – a phenomenon sometimes called “code-switching.” And black college graduates, particularly those under 50, are especially likely to feel this is necessary.
Overall, four-in-ten black and Hispanic adults and a third of whites say they often or sometimes feel the need to change the way they talk around others of different races and ethnicities, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by Pew Research Center.
Among black adults, 48% of those with at least a four-year college degree say they often or sometimes feel the need to code-switch, compared with 37% of those who do not have a college degree. Among Hispanic and white adults, there are no significant differences by education.
More than half of married couples in the United States say sharing household chores is “very important” to a successful marriage. But when it comes to grocery shopping and cooking, women tend to say they’re the ones usually doing the work, according to a time-use survey sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In U.S. households consisting of married or cohabiting parents and one or more children under the age of 18, 80% of mothers say they are the household member who usually prepares the meals – the same as the share who say they are the primary grocery shopper, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. Some 71% of moms say they primarily handle both chores.
This compares with about two-in-ten fathers in this type of household who say they are the person who usually prepares the meals (19%) or grocery shops (20%). About one-in-ten (11%) say they are the one who usually does both tasks.
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.
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