The new coronavirus pandemic erupted in the midst of the 2020 U.S. census, creating a new set of challenges to achieving an accurate count. The Census Bureau has since delayed field operations, suspended in-person outreach events and asked Congress for an extension of legal deadlines to deliver data. The COVID-19 pandemic also sent many Americans on the move to places other than their usual residence – and they may not know where or how they should be counted.
Americans who relocated because of the coronavirus outbreak include millions of college students sent away from their dorms (or from study abroad), young adults working remotely who returned to their parents’ homes and people who fled urban areas for rural communities. The census is based on the idea that most people in the United States have a “usual residence,” and that is where they should be counted. But what does that mean for people who unexpectedly relocated due to the pandemic?
Census Bureau rules state that most people should be counted at their usual residence on Census Day, which is April 1. The census concept of “usual residence” is not based on where you vote or pay taxes or otherwise are a legal resident. It is defined as the place where you live and sleep most of the time. This idea goes back to the law that governed the nation’s first census, in 1790, which stated that people should be counted at their “usual place of abode.” Read More →
As governments around the world turn to technology to help fight the spread of COVID-19, a majority of Americans are skeptical that tracking someone’s location through their cellphone would help curb the outbreak. At the same time, the public holds mixed views on when – and if – this type of monitoring is acceptable.
Six-in-ten Americans say that if the government tracked people’s locations through their cellphone it would not make much of a difference in limiting the spread of the virus, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted April 7-12, 2020. Smaller shares of Americans – about four-in-ten – believe this type of monitoring would help a lot (16%) or a little (22%) in limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Across demographic groups, roughly half or more believe this type of tracking would have little impact on slowing the COVID-19 outbreak. Still, Democrats (46%) and independents (42%) are more likely than Republicans (31%) to say that if the government tracked people’s locations through their cellphone during the outbreak it would help at least a little to limit the spread of the virus.
The share of Americans who say global climate change is a major threat to the well-being of the United States has grown from 44% in 2009 to 60% this year. But the rise in concern has largely come from Democrats. Opinions among Republicans on this issue remain largely unchanged.
About nine-in-ten Democrats (88%, including independents who lean to the party) now consider climate change a major threat to the nation, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted March 3-29. That’s up 27 percentage points from a 2009 survey. Concern about climate change has increased among both liberal Democrats and moderate or conservative Democrats (rising 20 and 27 points, respectively).
By contrast, the 6 percentage point increase among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents since 2009 is not statistically significant. In the new survey, about three-in-ten Republicans (31%) consider climate change a major threat, while 45% say it is a minor threat and 24% say it is not a threat to the nation.
The character of the person who occupies the Oval Office matters to the vast majority of Americans. Across party lines and religious groups, roughly nine-in-ten or more say it is either somewhat or very important to have a president who lives a moral, ethical life. But Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party are more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to say it is “very” important (71% vs. 53%), according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Fewer Americans (52%) say it’s either somewhat (32%) or very (20%) important for a president to have strong religious beliefs, even if those beliefs are different from their own. But Republicans place more of a premium on having a president who is religious: About two-thirds of Republicans (65%) say this trait is at least somewhat important, compared with four-in-ten Democrats who say this (41%).
With K-12 schools now closed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia because of the coronavirus outbreak, most parents with children in elementary, middle or high school who say their children’s school is currently closed (83%) say they are at least somewhat satisfied with the way their children’s school has been handling instruction during the closures. Still, roughly two-thirds (64%) express at least some concern about their children falling behind in school, with 28% saying they are very concerned, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Lower-income parents express more concern than those in higher-income groups about their children potentially falling behind.
The findings in this analysis are based on the 94% of parents of K-12 students who say their children’s school is currently closed. The analysis comes as education leaders warn that students’ learning may be harmed due to the widespread school closures. Read More →
At a time when many Americans believe their personal information is less secure and are concerned with how companies and the government use their personal data, a substantial share of the public has opted out of using a product or service because of privacy concerns, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted June 3-17, 2019.
About half (52%) of U.S. adults said they decided recently not to use a product or service because they were worried about how much personal information would be collected about them. Read More →
It’s unclear how the country’s handling of the coronavirus may influence the election results. But a Pew Research Center survey conducted in spring 2019 examined South Koreans’ attitudes toward their democracy more broadly. Read More →
The U.S. Constitution does not mention the Bible, God, Jesus or Christianity, and the First Amendment clarifies that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Still, some scholars have argued that the Bible heavily influenced America’s founders.
Today, about half of Americans (49%) say the Bible should have at least “some” influence on U.S. laws, including nearly a quarter (23%) who say it should have “a great deal” of influence, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Among U.S. Christians, two-thirds (68%) want the Bible to influence U.S. laws at least some, and among white evangelical Protestants, this figure rises to about nine-in-ten (89%).
At the other end of the spectrum, there’s broad opposition to biblical influence on U.S. laws among religiously unaffiliated Americans, also known as religious “nones,” who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” Roughly three-quarters in this group (78%) say the Bible should hold little to no sway, including 86% of self-described atheists who say the Bible should not influence U.S. legislation at all. Two-thirds of U.S. Jews, as well, think the Bible should have not much or should have no influence on laws. Read More →
Amid these changes, three-in-ten U.S. adults think it’s a good thing that there is growing variety in the types of family arrangements people live in, while about half as many (16%) say this is a bad thing. The largest share (45%) don’t think it makes a difference, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in June 2019.
Opinions about the growing variety in family living arrangements have changed over the course of a decade. In 2010, somewhat similar shares of adults saw this as a good thing (34%), a bad thing (29%) or something that makes no difference (32%). Since then, the share saying it makes no difference has increased considerably, while the shares seeing it as a good thing or bad thing have declined by 4 and 13 percentage points, respectively. Read More →
Students in Europe learn foreign languages in school at a much higher rate than their American counterparts. They also tend to learn more languages throughout their education due to national mandates. Part of this linguistic imbalance may be because most European students are learning English in school, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.
Across Europe, 91% of students in primary and secondary school were studying English in 2017 – more than all other foreign languages learned combined by a large margin, according to data from Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Commission. The next-most studied languages in European schools are French, German and Spanish, each garnering no more than 15% of students participating in 2017. Russian, studied in a formal classroom by 2% of Europeans, is the only other foreign language that more than 1% of European students learn. Read More →
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.