Most people around the world identify with a religion or religious group. The rest, an estimated 16% of the global population in 2020, are religiously unaffiliated, meaning they identify as atheists, agnostics or describe their religion as “nothing in particular.”
In many countries, being religiously unaffiliated is linked to certain social and political views. For example, in some countries, religiously unaffiliated adults – a group also known as religious “nones” – are more likely to express accepting views of homosexuality, less likely to prefer traditional gender roles in marriages, and more likely to identify with the political left than are adults who identify with a religion, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey.
The survey included 34 countries, 18 of which had samples of religiously unaffiliated adults that were large enough to be analyzed.
In most of these 18 countries, religiously unaffiliated adults were more likely than those who identify with a religion to say homosexuality should be accepted by society.
For example, in South Korea, 60% of religious “nones” say homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared with 30% of religiously affiliated adults who say the same. Significant gaps also occur in Slovakia (34 percentage points), the United States (22 points), the Czech Republic (19 points) and even Russia (15 points), where acceptance of homosexuality is far less widespread across society.
As analysts start to consider what an economic recovery might look like and who is likely to benefit, disparities across income groups in the United States come into stark relief – particularly when it comes to those who own stocks and those who do not.
About one-third of U.S. adults (35%) said they personally owned stocks, bonds or mutual funds outside of retirement accounts in a Pew Research Center survey from September 2019. And upper-income Americans were much more likely than lower-income Americans to be invested in the market.
That same survey found that more Americans said wages, the availability of jobs and the cost of health care mattered in their assessment about how the economy is doing, rather than how the stock market is performing. To be sure, the labor market, the health care system and the stock market have been shaken over the past six months. For those who have experienced job or wage loss during the coronavirus pandemic, the job situation may be even more top of mind now.
Before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Sept. 18, majorities of Americans said the Supreme Court has the right amount of power and that the court is “middle of the road” ideologically.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) said the Supreme Court has the right amount of power. Similar shares of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (66%) and Democrats and Democratic leaners (64%) said the court has the right amount of power, according to a national Pew Research Center survey conducted July 27-Aug. 2 among 11,001 adults.
A smaller majority (56%) viewed the Supreme Court as middle of the road rather than liberal or conservative. Republicans (66%) were more likely than Democrats (47%) to say the court is middle of the road. Nearly half of Democrats (47%) – including 58% of liberal Democrats – saw the court as conservative, compared with just 12% of Republicans.
Partisans’ views of the Supreme Court’s ideology have changed since 2016. The share of Republicans who view the court as middle of the road has increased while the share who say it is liberal has fallen. Over the same period, Democrats have become more likely to say the court is conservative. Since 2016, President Donald Trump has appointed two justices to the court.
The terms Hispanics in the United States use to describe themselves can provide a direct look at how they view their identity and how the strength of immigrant ties influences the ways they see themselves. About half of Hispanic adults say they most often describe themselves by their family’s country of origin or heritage, using terms such as Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican or Salvadoran, while another 39% most often describe themselves as “Hispanic” or “Latino,” the pan-ethnic terms used most often to describe this group in the U.S.
Meanwhile, 14% say they most often call themselves American, according to a national Pew Research Center survey of Hispanic adults conducted in December 2019.
The use of these terms varies across immigrant generations and reflects their diverse experiences. More than half (56%) of foreign-born Latinos most often use the name of their origin country to describe themselves, a share that falls to 39% among the U.S.-born adult children of immigrant parents (i.e., the second generation) and 33% among third- or higher-generation Latinos.
More than half of U.S. adults (54%) say social media companies should not allow any political advertisements on their platforms. And a larger share (77%) finds it not very or not at all acceptable for these companies to use data about their users’ online activities to show them ads from political campaigns, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Sept. 8-13, 2020.
At the same time, 45% say social media companies should allow at least some political ads on their platforms, with 26% saying these firms should allow all of these ads and 19% backing the idea that only some should be allowed. And 22% think it is at least somewhat acceptable for social media companies to use data about their users’ online activities to show them political campaign ads.
The sentiments against political ads extend across most groups, though there are some differences tied to factors like partisanship and age. For instance, just 15% of Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party say that social media companies should allow all political ads on their platforms, compared with 38% of Republicans and GOP leaners. Some 27% of Democrats say only some political ads should be allowed on these platforms, compared with a much smaller share of Republicans (10%) who say the same. When it comes to not allowing any political ads on these sites at all, 56% of Democrats and half of Republicans express this view.
2020 has been a year unlike any in recent memory. And a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 14 countries over the summer – as the coronavirus outbreak spread around the globe – tells us much about people’s thoughts and concerns amid the pandemic. Here are some highlights from the survey, including how people see their own country’s response to the virus and how they view the economic and political implications of COVID-19.
As the presidential election fast approaches and early voting gets underway in some states, interest is building over the impact Generation Z voters – who will make up one-in-ten eligible voters this fall – will have on the outcome.
Gen Z eligible voters, who range in age from 18 to 23, are a more racially and ethnically diverse group than older generations. While a majority (55%) are non-Hispanic White, a notable 22% are Hispanic, according to a Pew Research Center analysis based on Census Bureau data. Some 14% of Gen Z eligible voters are Black, 5% are Asian and 5% are some other race or multiracial.
The share of Gen Z voters who are Hispanic is significantly higher than the share among Millennial, Gen X, Baby Boomer or Silent Generation and older voters.
Hispanics, who make up one of the nation’s fastest growing racial and ethnic groups and are its youngest, tend to be more religious than Americans overall on several measures, such as attending worship services regularly and saying religion is very important in their lives.
However, these differences aren’t as stark among younger Americans: Hispanic teenagers (ages 13 to 17) look a lot like their peers when it comes to religion, even though they are more likely than U.S. teens overall to identify as Catholic and say it’s necessary to believe in God to be moral, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Rates of religious service attendance among Hispanic adolescents are on par with those of other teens. For example, 45% of Hispanic teens say they attend services at least once or twice a month, while 53% say they attend less often. And roughly four-in-ten Hispanic teens (41%) attend services with both parents, while a quarter attend with either just their mother (24%) or father (3%). Among teens overall, those shares are virtually identical.
As the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak approaches 200,000 in the United States, Americans give their country comparatively low marks for its handling of the pandemic – and people in other nations tend to agree with that negative assessment. Below is a closer look at how people in the U.S. and around the world view America’s response to COVID-19, based on recent Pew Research Center surveys in the U.S. and other countries.
Supporters of Donald Trump and Joe Biden are divided not just in their views of the two presidential candidates and in their broader political beliefs and values. They are also largely divided in their personal relationships: Roughly four-in-ten registered voters in both camps say that they do not have a single close friend who supports the other major party candidate, and fewer than a quarter say they have more than a few friends who do, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in July and August.
Most voters instead report having a lot of friends who share their political preferences. Around six-in-ten Trump supporters (59%) say they have a lot of friends who share their support for the president’s reelection bid, while a slightly smaller share of Biden supporters (48%) say a lot of their close friends also back the former vice president in the election this fall. Nearly nine-in-ten backers of both Trump (89%) and Biden (87%) say they have at least some close friends who support their candidate for president.
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.