There are significant divides between younger Republicans – Millennial and Gen Z adults, currently ages 18 to 38 – and their elders in the GOP on a range of environmental and energy issues.
About a third (34%) of Millennial and Gen Z Republicans (including those who lean to the Republican Party) say human activity contributes to climate change a great deal, more than double the share of Republicans in the Baby Boomer or older generations who say the same (14%), according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Past Center surveys (2018 and 2017) found similar generational divides in beliefs about the most important cause of climate change. In these surveys, younger Republicans were more likely to attribute climate change, or global warming, to human activity than their older counterparts.
In addition, 47% of Millennial and Gen Z Republicans say they are seeing at least some effects of global climate change in the communities where they live, compared with about a third (32%) of Republicans in the Baby Boomer or older generations. Read More →
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but a growing number of states have legalized the drug for recreational or medical purposes in recent years. The changing legal landscape has coincided with a dramatic increase in public support for legalization, which is favored by a majority of Americans.
Here are six facts about Americans and marijuana:
1Two-thirds of Americans favor marijuana legalization, reflecting a steady increase in public support, according to a September 2019 Pew Research Center survey. Public opinion on marijuana legalization was essentially the opposite nearly two decades ago: In 2000, 63% said the use of marijuana should be illegal.
2Views of marijuana legalization differ by generation and political party, though support has increased across demographic groups over time. Majorities of Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997), Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980) and Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) say the use of marijuana should be legal, up sharply from a decade ago. And while a smaller share of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) currently favors legalization, support among these Americans has also increased.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are more likely than Republicans and GOP leaners to support the legalization of marijuana (78% vs. 55%). In both groups, however, support for legalization has risen.
3Few Americans say marijuana should be illegal under all circumstances. In the fall 2019 survey, 59% of U.S. adults said marijuana should be legal for recreational and medical purposes, while another 32% said it should be legal for medical use only. Just 8% said the drug should not be legal.
About two-thirds of Democrats (68%) said marijuana should be legal for both medical and recreational use, compared with 49% of Republicans. Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say it should be legal just for medical purposes (38% vs. 28%) or should not be legal at all (12% vs. 4%). Read More →
Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home have gained popularity over the last several years, and consumer experts found that these devices were especially popular with holiday season gift buyers last year. But even as some Americans are integrating these devices into their homes, many owners express concerns over data collection and personalization, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted June 3-17, 2019.
Here are five findings about Americans and smart speakers:
1Smart speaker ownership varies across demographic groups. One-quarter of U.S. adults say they have a smart speaker in their home. However, ownership of these devices varies, especially by age and annual household income. Adults younger than 50 are more likely than those 50 and older to say they have this type of device in their household (29% vs. 19%). And while around one-third of Americans living in households earning $75,000 or more a year (34%) say they have a smart speaker, that share drops to 15% among those whose annual family income falls below $30,000.
2Just over half of smart speaker owners are at least somewhat concerned about the amount of data collected by these devices. Some 54% of smart speaker owners (which amounts to 13% of all U.S. adults) say they are very or somewhat concerned about the amount of personal data their speakers collect. Though smart speaker ownership varies, privacy concerns among those who have these devices are mostly similar across demographic groups. Read More →
Non-Hispanic white Americans account for 60% of the U.S. population, but in a growing number of counties, a majority of residents are Hispanic or black, reflecting the nation’s changing demographics and shifting migration patterns.
In 2018, there were 151 U.S. counties where Hispanics, blacks or two much smaller racial and ethnic groups – American Indians and Alaska Natives – made up a majority of the population, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. That was an increase from 110 such counties in 2000. The 41 counties that joined the list between 2000 and 2018 are all majority Hispanic or majority black. (For a full list of these counties, see the sortable table at the end of the post.)
Overall, 69 counties were majority Hispanic in 2018, 72 were majority black and 10 were majority American Indian or Alaska Native. The majority American Indian or Alaska Native counties are unique in that most have experienced overall population declines since 2000, even as the share of American Indian or Alaska Native residents in these counties remained fairly flat.
There were no U.S. counties where Asians accounted for more than half of the population, but in Honolulu County, Hawaii, the population was 42% Asian and 9% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
The South and Southwest of the United States hold most of the counties where Hispanic, black or indigenous people make up a majority of residents. These counties represent just 5% of the 3,142 counties in the U.S. and about half of the country’s 293 majority nonwhite counties (a figure that includes counties where multiple racial and ethnic groups combine to account for a majority). Read More →
Americans continue to be more likely to get news through mobile devices than through desktop or laptop computers. Roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults (57%) often get news this way, compared with 30% who often do so on a desktop or laptop computer, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
The share of Americans who often get news on a mobile device is more than double the 21% who did so in 2013, the first time we asked this question. At the same time, the portion of Americans who often get news on a desktop or laptop computer has remained relatively stable during this period.
Mobile also outpaces desktop when it comes to more occasional use of digital devices for news. Eight-in-ten U.S. adults get news on mobile devices either sometimes or often. By comparison, six-in-ten Americans get news using a desktop or laptop computer at least sometimes. Overall, a majority of U.S. adults (82%) get news online at least sometimes, whether from mobile devices or desktop or laptop computers. Read More →
Lebanese protests that were in part prompted by a proposed tax on the use of the messaging platform WhatsApp have since turned into a broader call for rebuilding the nation’s political and economic system. In response to the demonstrations, Lebanon’s prime minister, Saad Hariri, announced he was resigning at the end of October to make way for a new government.
Amid the unrest, here is a closer look at the widespread use of WhatsApp in Lebanon, as well as public unhappiness with the country’s political and economic situation. All findings are based on Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019.
Who uses WhatsApp in Lebanon?
The protests initially broke out in part as a response to the Lebanese government proposing a tax on WhatsApp, a popular messaging platform that can be used to send encrypted text and audio messages, make audio and video calls and share digital content.
In a survey conducted in fall 2018, more than four-in-five Lebanese adults (84%) said they use WhatsApp, the highest rate among 11 emerging economies included in the survey. It is the most commonly used social network or messaging platform in Lebanon, beating out Facebook, Instagram and other platforms.
Europe’s political environment has been rocked in recent years by the emergence of populist parties, many of which sit on the far right of the political spectrum and question the fundamental value of European integration. These parties generally receive relatively low favorability marks in national surveys, but their supporters stand out on a range of important issues. Below is a look at how supporters of Europe’s populist parties compare with nonsupporters on key issues, based on Pew Research Center’s 2019 Global Attitudes Survey.
People with positive views of populist parties in Europe tend to have a much less favorable attitude toward the European Union. The starkest difference appears in Germany, where those who support the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party are 34 percentage points less likely to express a favorable view of the EU than people who do not support AfD.
Differences of 20 percentage points or more also exist between supporters and nonsupporters of right-wing populist parties in Sweden, France, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
The Czech Republic’s populist ANO 2011 party does not fit into a right-wing categorization but follows a similar pattern: 41% of its supporters have a positive view of the EU, compared with 66% of Czechs who do not support the party.
For some European populist parties that have recently tempered their rhetoric and moved toward the center of the political spectrum, the opposite pattern emerges. Those who support Slovakia’s OLaNO party, Hungary’s Jobbik, or Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S), for example, are more likely than nonsupporters to have a favorable opinion of the EU. Likewise, supporters of the left-wing Greek party Syriza hold more favorable views of the EU than those who do not support the party. Read More →
Europe is one of the world’s top destinations for immigrants, and in recent years it has seen new waves of people arrive on its shores seeking asylum. The number of unauthorized immigrants living in Europe has grown, though it has leveled off more recently. In 2017, 3.9 million to 4.8 million unauthorized immigrants lived in Europe, according to new Pew Research Center estimates.
Senior Researcher Phillip Connor and Senior Demographer Jeffrey S. Passel developed the Center’s estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population in Europe. In this Q&A, they explain the variety of methods and data sources they used, as well as the challenges they faced. You can also watch the video above for a summary of how they arrived at their estimates.
Who is defined as an unauthorized immigrant in your new study of Europe?
Passel: In general, unauthorized immigrants in Europe are defined as those who are not citizens of a European country and do not have valid residency permits. Some entered their country of residence without authorization, while others became unauthorized immigrants after entering on a visa and staying past its expiration date. Our estimates include some people who have temporary permission to stay in a country but face an uncertain legal future – for example, those whose deportation has been deferred. We also included individuals who applied for asylum but are still waiting for a final decision on their application. (Note: In the Center’s new study, Europe includes countries in the European Union,including the United Kingdom, and the European Free Trade Association countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.)Read More →
In key ways, today’s digitally networked society runs on quid pro quos: People exchange details about themselves and their activities for services and products on the web or apps. Many are willing to accept the deals they are offered in return for sharing insight about their purchases, behaviors and social lives. At times, their personal information is collected by government on the grounds that there are benefits to public safety and security.
A majority of Americans are concerned about this collection and use of their data, according to a new report from Pew Research Center.
Here are 10 key takeaways from the report:
1 Americans are concerned about how much data is being collected about them, and many feel their information is less secure than it used to be. The majority of Americans say they are at least somewhat concerned about how much data is collected about them by both companies (79%) and the government (64%). Additionally, seven-in-ten Americans say they feel their personal information is less secure than it was five years ago. This compares with just 6% who say they feel their information is more secure, and about one-quarter (24%) who feel it’s about the same. Read More →
Americans agree that religion’s role in public life is ebbing. But while Republicans largely lament the trend, Democrats are split in their reactions.
A majority of U.S. adults who identify with or lean toward the GOP (63%) say that religion is losing influence in American life and that this is a “bad thing,” while just 7% say it is a “good thing,” according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. But there is no clear consensus among Democrats and Democratic leaners: Similar shares either say religion’s declining influence is a bad thing (27%) or a good thing (25%), while 22% say that it doesn’t make a difference. At the same time, a quarter (24%) feel that religion is gaining influence in society.
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.