The coronavirus outbreak has pushed millions of Americans, especially young adults, to move in with family members. The share of 18- to 29-year-olds living with their parents has become a majority since U.S. coronavirus cases began spreading early this year, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression era.
In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions. Growth was sharpest for the youngest adults (ages 18 to 24) and for White young adults.
Public attitudes about the economy have turned bleak in much of the world as the coronavirus outbreak continues to affect daily life, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted this summer in 14 nations in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Assessments of national economies have seen swift downturns in many countries, and few see improvements anytime soon amid what the International Monetary Fund calls a “crisis like no other.”
Overall, a median of only 31% of adults across the surveyed nations assess their country’s current economic situation as good, while 68% say conditions are bad.
In 10 of the countries surveyed – including all of those surveyed in North America and the Asia-Pacific region – majorities consider the current economic situation bad.
In Europe, attitudes are mixed. Generally, Northern Europeans surveyed have more positive assessments, with a majority of Danes, Swedes and Dutch rating their country’s economic condition positively. Germans are split (51% good, 47% bad). In the rest of the European countries surveyed – Belgium, the UK, France, Spain and Italy – large majorities rate economic conditions negatively.
The results of U.S. Senate elections increasingly are aligned with states’ party preferences in presidential elections – a trend that could have major implications in this year’s battle for control of the Senate.
The vast majority of the regular and special Senate elections held since 2012 – 122 of 139 – have been won by candidates who belonged to or were aligned with the party that won that state’s most recent presidential race, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of election results going back to 1980. That represents a marked contrast with prior years: As recently as 2006, nearly a third of Senate contests (10 out of 33) were won by candidates of different parties than their state’s most recent presidential pick.
Even in the 2017-18 election cycle, which represented a bit of a departure from this recent pattern, there were only eight such “mismatches” out of 34 regular and special Senate elections – all Democratic victories in states Donald Trump had carried in 2016. (The election data we used came mostly from the Federal Election Commission, supplemented by information from the U.S. House Clerk’s office.)
Remittances to several Latin American nations with close migrant ties to the United States declined sharply in the first half of 2020 – especially in April, when much of the U.S. was locked down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from their national central banks.
Across the six countries included in the analysis – Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico – remittances were 17% (or $981.2 million) lower in April 2020 than in April 2019. Most of these countries rely on the U.S. for the vast majority of their remittances. These nations also are the birthplaces of roughly eight-in-ten of the 20 million Latino immigrants who reside in the U.S.
Some Latin American countries were hit harder than others by this spring’s decline in remittances, or the money sent by migrants to their origin nations. El Salvador experienced a 40.0% drop in remittances in April 2020 compared with April 2019, the largest decline among the six nations analyzed. Remittances to Colombia declined by 38.5% during this time, the second-sharpest drop.
Many Christian traditions disapprove of premarital sex. And even though Christians in the United States hold less permissive views than religiously unaffiliated Americans about dating and sex, most say it’s acceptable in at least some circumstances for consenting adults to have sex outside of marriage, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Half of Christians say casual sex – defined in the survey as sex between consenting adults who are not in a committed romantic relationship – is sometimes or always acceptable. Six-in-ten Catholics (62%) take this view, as do 56% of Protestants in the historically Black tradition, 54% of mainline Protestants and 36% of evangelical Protestants.
Among those who are religiously unaffiliated, meanwhile, the vast majority (84%) say casual sex is sometimes or always acceptable, including roughly nine-in-ten atheists (94%) and agnostics (95%) who say this. The religiously unaffiliated, also known as “nones,” are those who describe themselves, religiously, as atheist, agnostic or as “nothing in particular.”
After the Democratic and Republican party conventions, the next big events on the U.S. political calendar are the debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which has sponsored the events since 1988, has scheduled three debates between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, on Sept. 29, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, and one debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris on Oct. 7.
Although the debates have long been criticized on both substantive and stylistic grounds, they remain a major part of the way Americans elect their presidents. Here are five important things to know before the first debate kicks off next month in Cleveland.
Scientists are held in high esteem by most Americans, with public confidence in scientists outpacing that for other prominent groups, but Black adults are significantly less likely than White adults to share that view.
While views of scientists generally tilt positive, there’s a 14-point gap between the shares of White and Black adults who say they have a great deal of confidence in scientists (41% vs. 27%). And while most adults in both groups have at least a fair amount of confidence in scientists, Black adults are about twice as likely as White adults to say they have not too much or no confidence in scientists to act in the public interest (21% vs. 11%).
U.S. Hispanics rate scientists about the same as White adults do, expressing more confidence in them than Black adults do.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, a growing share of Americans say they are regularly wearing a mask or face covering in stores and other businesses. More than eight-in-ten U.S. adults (85%) say they have done so all or most of the time over the past month, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 3 to 16. When asked the same question in early June, 65% of Americans said they had been regularly wearing masks.
The partisan divide has narrowed during this period, and solid majorities in both party coalitions now report regularly wearing masks. In the new survey, 92% of Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party say they usually wear masks in stores and other businesses, as do 76% of Republicans and GOP leaners. In June, 76% of Democrats said they had usually worn masks in stores and other businesses over the past month, compared with a little over half of Republicans and GOP leaners (53%). The partisan gap is now 16 percentage points, down from 23 points this spring.
In the new survey, 82% of adults under age 30 say they regularly wear a mask – up 20 percentage points since June, when 62% said they did so. The youngest adults are now nearly on par with those ages 65 and older, 88% of whom say they have usually worn masks to stores over the past month as of mid-August, up from 74% in the spring.
Recent surveys by Pew Research Center and other organizations have shown public divides over science-related issues such as climate change and food science. But public confidence in the scientific community as a whole has remained stable for decades, according to data collected by NORC, an independent research organization at the University of Chicago.
In the group’s 2018 General Social Survey, the most recent available, 44% of Americans overall have a great deal of confidence in the scientific community, while 47% have only some confidence and 7% have hardly any. This was roughly the same share as in 2016, when 40% said they had a great deal of confidence in scientific leaders. (The 4-percentage-point uptick does not reach statistical significance.)
Public confidence in the scientific community stands out as among the most stable of about a dozen institutions rated in the GSS since the mid-1970s. Confidence in medicine has been somewhat less stable, however. It declined in the early 1990s and has ticked downward again in more recent years, from 41% in 2010 to 36% in 2016 and 37% in NORC’s most recent survey.
As Election Day draws closer, it is difficult to recall a presidential election for which the act of voting has been more contentious and potentially more confusing. Voters living in states with different voting procedures have divergent views about the challenges of voting this fall – with the sharpest differences among those who support Joe Biden for president, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.
In general, voters in states where elections are conducted solely by mail or where absentee ballots are widely available are more likely than those in other states to say it will be easy to vote for them personally. About six-in-ten registered voters (61%) in the five states where elections are conducted entirely by mail expect voting to be easy. That compares with about half (53%) of voters in the four states and Washington, D.C., that do not conduct their elections entirely by mail but will be mailing ballots to all registered voters, and in the 34 states where mail ballots are available to any voters by request this year (51%). (See the appendix for details about the state classification.)
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.