Americans turn to family and friend networks to talk about race and race relations. But who is likely to be having these conversations, with whom and how often depend at least in part on a person’s racial and ethnic identity, age, education and political affiliation, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey.
Most black and Asian adults (63% and 66%, respectively) say race or race relations come up in their conversations with family and friends at least sometimes, compared with about half of white (50%) and Hispanic (49%) adults. Blacks are more likely than other racial or ethnic groups to say these topics come up often; 27% of black adults say this compared with 11% of white, 15% of Hispanic and 13% of Asian adults.
In addition to exploring who is having these conversations – and with whom – the survey asked how comfortable people feel when race or race relations comes up in their conversations. Most black (77%), white (74%), Asian (70%) and Hispanic (62%) adults who ever have conversations about race say they are generally very or somewhat comfortable when the topic comes up. Among Hispanics, roughly four-in-ten (37%) say they feel at least somewhat uncomfortable when race comes up in conversations with family and friends, and this is particularly the case among foreign-born Hispanics (47% say these conversations make them uncomfortable vs. 29% of Hispanics born in the U.S.).
When Republicans take stock of the national climate for political discourse, they see a much more hospitable environment for Democrats than for members of their own party. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (64%) think that “Democrats in this country are very comfortable to freely and openly express their political views,” but only about a quarter (26%) think Republicans around the nation experience that same level of comfort.
By contrast, Democrats have only modestly different assessments of the national climate for members of the two parties, according to a new Pew Research Center study of views about political discourse.
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that granted same-sex couples a constitutional right to marry. The 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized gay marriage nationwide, including in the 14 states that did not previously allow gays and lesbians to wed. The decision rested in part on the court’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment; the justices ruled that limiting marriage to heterosexual couples violates the amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
As we approach the fourth anniversary of the ruling, here are five key facts about same-sex marriage:
1The share of Americans who favor same sex-marriage grew steadily for most of the last decade, but public support has leveled off in the last few years. Around four-in-ten U.S. adults (37%) favored allowing gays and lesbians to wed in 2009, a share that rose to 62% in 2017. But views are largely unchanged over the last few years. About six-in-ten Americans (61%) support same-sex marriage in the most recent Pew Research Center survey on the issue, conducted in March 2019.
2Although support in the U.S. for same-sex marriage has increased among nearly all demographic groups, there are still sizable demographic and partisan divides. For example, today, 79% of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated favor same-sex marriage, as do 66% of white mainline Protestants and 61% of Catholics. Among white evangelical Protestants, however, only 29% favor same-sex marriage. Still, this is roughly double the level (15%) in 2009.
While support for same-sex marriage has grown steadily across generational cohorts in the last 15 years, there are still sizable age gaps. For instance, 45% of adults in the Silent Generation (those born between 1928 and 1945) favor allowing gays and lesbians to wed, compared with 74% of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996). There also is a sizable political divide: Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are much less likely to favor same sex marriage than Democrats and Democratic leaners (44% vs. 75%).
As online dating has increased in popularity and lost much of its stigma over the past few decades, researchers have speculated that it could change the landscape of dating – and perhaps marriage – in big ways. By providing ways to meet others they wouldn’t bump into in their day-to-day lives, has online dating made its users more likely to choose a partner who is different from them in race or ethnicity, education, political party or income?
A Pew Research Center analysis of recently released survey data from Stanford University finds that couples who meet online are, in fact, more likely to be diverse in some of these dimensions. But this can be explained by the fact that online daters tend to be younger than those who meet offline, and younger people are more likely to be in relationships with people who are different from them, regardless of how they meet.
The recent decision by Ecuador’s highest court to legalize same-sex marriage makes it the fifth nation in Latin America to do so. The ruling in Ecuador comes less than a month after Taiwan’s parliament passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, making the island nation the first country in Asia to permit gays and lesbians to wed. And both developments come on the heels of Austria’s move on Jan. 1, 2019, to allow same-sex couples there to marry.
These events follow a number of other high-profile victories in recent years for gay marriage advocates, including decisions in 2017 by Australia, Germany and the Mediterranean island nation of Malta to allow gays and lesbians to wed.
U.S. President Donald Trump characteristically took to Twitter during his state visit to the United Kingdom earlier this month, tweeting content ranging from calling London Mayor Sadiq Kahn “nasty” to praising the royal family’s hospitality. At the same time, UK legislators in the House of Lords and House of Commons tweeted more critical content of Trump’s visit, especially as it relates to U.S. influence on the UK, according to a new analysis of 547 tweets collected by Pew Research Center over 10 days immediately before, during and after the trip.
Among the legislators’ original tweets relevant to Trump’s visit, the most mentioned topic was the impact of a potential U.S.-UK trade deal on the National Health Service (NHS), the publicly funded, single-payer national health care system.
Many of the 110 NHS-related tweets expressed concern or disapproval that due to Brexit – Britain’s impending exit from the European Union – the UK would entertain a trade deal with the U.S. that could potentially open the NHS to greater involvement by U.S. health care companies. And among retweets shared by legislators during the time, the most retweeted sentiment came from the Labour Party’s official account, appealing to Britons to protect the NHS.
Women are approaching a milestone in gender parity. 2019 will likely be the first year in which they are a majority of the college-educated labor force. As of the first quarter of 2019, 29.5 million women in the labor force had at least a bachelor’s degree, effectively matching the number of college-educated men in the workforce (29.3 million), according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This milestone matters for women because educational attainment is highly correlated with income. Women now comprise 50.2% of the college-educated labor force, up from 45.1% in 2000. They remain less than half (46.7%) of the overall workforce ages 25 and older.
While women have only recently reached parity with men in the college-educated workforce, they have been a majority of college-educated adults for more than a decade. Women first received more than half of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the 1981-82 academic year; today they earn about 57% of bachelor’s degrees. The number of college-educated women in the adult population (ages 25 and older) surpassed the number of college-educated men in 2007. Read More →
Canada resettled 28,000 refugees last year, similar to its total in 2017. Meanwhile, the U.S. resettled 23,000, down from 33,000 the previous year – and a recent high of 97,000 in 2016. Several other leading countries for refugee resettlement, including Australia and the United Kingdom, also saw declines last year.
Globally, 92,000 refugees were resettled in 2018, down from 103,000 in 2017 and a peak of 189,000 in 2016. The decrease occurred despite an increase in the world’s total refugee population in 2018, when it reached a record 20.4 million, according to UNHCR.
Think of a place that exports a lot and you might picture a bustling seaport, such as New York or the Los Angeles/Long Beach complex. But the most export-dependent places in the United States often are far from the big cities, and are much more likely to be in the South or the Midwest than on either coast, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of county-level data compiled by the Brookings Institution for its “Export Monitor” project.
Local economies that rely heavily on exports, in turn, have a lot at stake as multiple trade disputes play out between the U.S. and China, Mexico and other trading partners.
Measured as a share of gross domestic product, four sparsely populated parishes (Louisiana’s county equivalents) outside New Orleans are the most export-reliant localities in the country, according to the Center’s analysis. Those parishes are home to several giant oil and gas refineries and petrochemical plants, which account for the great majority of their exports. Taken together, exports from those parishes totaled more than $11 billion in 2017, or nearly two-thirds of their combined GDP.
Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly say it is very important for elected officials in the opposing party to treat officials from their own party with respect. They are much less demanding when it comes to members of their party treating the other side with respect, according to a new Pew Research Center study of political discourse in the United States.
The study finds a similar pattern of opinion in views of political compromise: Republicans and Democrats both like the idea of compromise in principle and place great importance on the opposing party making compromises with members of their party. But much smaller shares say it’s very important for politicians in their own party to compromise.
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.