In a late 2019 survey conducted as part of Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways project, Fox News and CNN were named by the largest segments of U.S. adults as their main political news source – 16% and 12%, respectively. Six other news outlets – NPR, NBC News, ABC News, MSNBC, CBS News and The New York Times – were named by at least 2% of adults. The sources named by the remaining 51% of U.S. adults resulted in a long tail of more than 50 other individual brands.
As COVID-19 spreads around the world, billions of people are being asked to stay home, except to buy necessities or access health care. While quarantine rules are usually the same for any one community, the experiences of individual people can vary substantially depending on their personal living arrangements.
A recent Pew Research Center study examined household living arrangements in 130 countries and territories. It found stark differences by region and country in the size and type of households experienced by average people. Here’s a look at some of the study’s findings, which may shed light on how coronavirus-related quarantines are being felt.
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As the spread of COVID-19 upends work, classes and even doctor appointments across the country, a majority of Americans are turning to digital means to stay connected and track information about the outbreak.
Amid this increased reliance, about nine-in-ten U.S. adults (93%) say that a major interruption to their internet or cellphone service during the outbreak would be a problem in their daily life, including 49% who foresee an outage being a very big problem for them and 28% who believe it would be a moderately big problem.
But while digital connections may provide an alternative during a time of social distancing, only a minority (27%) thinks interacting via these technologies will be as effective as in-person contact. Some 64% of Americans think the internet and phones will help but are not a replacement for face-to-face encounters.
Health experts are concerned about the potential mental health effects of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, and mental health hotlines report a substantial uptick in calls since the outbreak began. Nearly one-in-five U.S. adults (18%) say they have had a physical reaction at least some or a little of the time when thinking about the outbreak, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted March 19-24. This is particularly true of those affected financially.
When asked more broadly how they’ve felt in the past seven days, not in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, 18% report experiencing nervousness or anxiety most or all of the time during the past week. For context, a 2018 federal survey – which was not taken in the midst of a national crisis – found 9% of U.S. adults reported feeling nervous most or all of time over the past 30 days, indicating that the current level might be above normal. Read More →
While much attention has been paid to online platforms that have become vehicles for misinformation and campaigns to sow division, the collection of connected conspiracy theories known as QAnon represents a different phenomenon. QAnon originated on internet chat boards, and its message has spread into the offline world, where its adherents surface at political and other rallies or are moved to actions that result in real-life incidents.
The conspiracy theories center around the idea of a “deep state” in which anti-American elements in the government, industry, media and other institutions are involved in activities including bringing down President Donald Trump. Also featured are allegations that prominent political figures and others participated in a global pedophile ring.
But despite QAnon’s spread, about three-quarters of U.S. adults (76%) say they have heard or read nothing at all about it, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in February and March. Around a quarter (23%) say they have heard or read a lot or a little, with 3% saying they’ve heard or read a lot. The data was gathered as part of the Center’s Election News Pathways project.
COVID-19 and the coronavirus that causes it are proving to be not only a public health crisis but also an economic one. With calls for social distancing, service sector jobs that depend on customer-provider interactions or involve the congregation of large numbers of people are likely to take a huge hit. Workers in industries such as restaurants, hotels, child care services, retail trade and transportation services are at a higher risk of losing their jobs.
Nearly one-in-four U.S. workers – 38.1 million out of 157.5 million – are employed in the industries most likely to feel an immediate impact from the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Among the most vulnerable are workers in retail trade (10% of all workers) and food services and drinking places (6%). In total, these two industries employ nearly 26 million Americans. Read More →
Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff around the country have raised concerns about a shortage of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the U.S. public is generally confident that hospitals and medical centers will be able to care for seriously ill people during the outbreak, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
About seven-in-ten U.S. adults (71%) say they are very or somewhat confident that hospitals and medical centers in their area can handle the needs of seriously ill people during the outbreak. Around two-thirds (68%) say this about hospitals and medical centers around the country, according to the survey, conducted March 19 t0 24.
By comparison, a smaller share of Americans (54%) say they are very or somewhat confident that nursing homes in their area can handle the needs of seriously ill people during the outbreak. Nursing homes in more than half the states have reported coronavirus cases, according to federal data. (You can explore all survey data in this analysis and the accompanying report by using our interactive data tool.)
President Donald Trump has often used religious language while in office, and he has surrounded himself with evangelical leaders and supported conservative Christian causes. But Trump’s personal religious beliefs and practices have not been as public.
Indeed, half of U.S. adults either say they’re not sure what Trump’s religion is (34%) or that he has no religion (16%), while just 33% say he’s Protestant.
And Americans overall don’t think Trump is particularly religious: A majority say Trump is “not too” (23%) or “not at all” (40%) religious, while 28% say he’s “somewhat” religious and only 7% say he’s “very religious,” according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
Uncertainty driven by the current coronavirus outbreak has caused the U.S. stock market to wipe away three years of gains in a matter of weeks. The S&P 500 index fell from 3,386 on Feb. 19 this year to 2,305 on March 20, a loss of 32%. This rate of descent is much sharper than during the initial stages of the Great Recession, when it took from October 2007 to October 2008 to see a similar decrease in the index.
The economic stimulus package agreed to by Senate leaders and the White House appears to have restored some optimism in the market, at least for now. Even so, the losses will impact a wide swath of American families.
The steep fall in stock prices comes at a time when roughly four-in-ten U.S. workers (41%) have access to employer- or union-sponsored retirement plans, with the values of many of these plans linked to the stock market.
Data from 2016, the latest available, provides key insights into the broad reach of stock market investment in the United States. While a relatively small share of American families (14%) are directly invested in individual stocks, a majority (52%) have some level of investment in the market. Most of this comes in the form of retirement accounts such as 401(k)s. Read More →
Hispanics are more concerned than Americans overall about the threat the COVID-19 outbreak poses to the health of the U.S. population, their own financial situation and the day-to-day life of their local community, according to a new survey fielded as part of Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways project.
The spread of the coronavirus has the potential to hit many of the nation’s nearly 60 million Latinos particularly hard. Although the Latino unemployment rate dipped at the end of 2019 to a near record low, many Latinos work in the leisure, hospitality and other service industries – and they are less likely to have health insurance. Latinos were hit especially hard by the Great Recession more than a decade ago, and some workers have only recently seen their median personal incomes bounce back and exceed pre-recession levels. Read More →