Two surveys conducted by Pew Research Center in 2018 shed light on how adults in India see their elected officials and their democracy – as well as how they feel about the spread of misinformation via mobile technology. Here are five key findings from the surveys as Indians prepare to cast ballots:
1Most Indian adults see politicians as corrupt and question whether elections are effective. About two-thirds (64%) say most politicians are corrupt, including 43% who very intensely hold this view, according to a spring 2018 survey by the Center. Notably, nearly seven-in-ten supporters of the two major parties contesting the election – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Indian National Congress party – share the view that most elected leaders are corrupt (69% in each party say this). On a related question, only a third of Indians think elected officials care about the opinions of ordinary people in their country.
Meanwhile, 58% of adults in India say that no matter who wins an election, things do not change very much. This again includes a majority of both BJP and Congress supporters.
Despite these negative views, Indians think their country allows other democratic values to flourish. By more than two-to-one, for example, Indians say the rights of people to express their own views are protected and that most people have a good chance to improve their standard of living. A sizable share (47%) also believes the courts treat everyone fairly.
Recent surveys by Pew Research Center and other organizations have shown wide public divides over science-related issues such as climate change and food science. But public confidence in the scientific community as a whole has remained stable for decades, according to data collected by NORC, an independent research organization at the University of Chicago.
Overall, 44% of Americans have a great deal of confidence in the scientific community, while 47% have only some confidence and 7% have hardly any, according to the group’s 2018 General Social Survey, released March 19. This is roughly the same share as in 2016, when 40% said they had a great deal of confidence in scientific leaders. (The 4-percentage-point uptick does not reach statistical significance.)
Public confidence in the scientific community stands out as among the most stable of about 13 institutions rated in the GSS since the mid-1970s. Confidence in medicine has been somewhat less stable, however. It declined in the early 1990s and has ticked downward again in more recent years, from 41% in 2010 to 36% in 2016 and 37% in NORC’s most recent survey.
The gender gap in pay has narrowed since 1980, but it has remained relatively stable over the past 15 years or so. In 2018, women earned 85% of what men earned, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of median hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers in the United States. Based on this estimate, it would take an extra 39 days of work for women to earn what men did in 2018.
By comparison, the Census Bureau found that, in 2017, full-time, year-round working women earned 80% of what their male counterparts earned.
The 2018 wage gap was somewhat smaller for adults ages 25 to 34 than for all workers 16 and older, our analysis found. Women ages 25 to 34 earned 89 cents for every dollar a man in the same age group earned.
The estimated 15-cent gender pay gap among all workers in 2018 has narrowed from 36 cents in 1980. For young women, the gap has narrowed by a similar margin over time. In 1980, women ages 25 to 34 earned 33 cents less than their male counterparts, compared with 11 cents in 2018.
Smartphones and social media are now an almost universal feature of teenage life in the United States. More than nine-in-ten U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 say they have access to a smartphone or use social media, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey. But this increased connectivity can come with challenges for teens – as well as their parents. As part of our research into Americans’ digital lives, the Center also surveyed over 1,000 parents of teens to better understand their experiences with raising teens in the digital age.
Here are seven key findings about parents, teens and digital technology:
1A majority of parents are concerned about the types of experiences their teen might encounter online. Roughly two-thirds of parents of teens (65%) say they worry at least some about their teen spending too much time in front of screens, including a third who worry a lot about this. Parents express comparable levels of concern about other potentially negative online experiences for their kids: About six-in-ten say they worry a lot or some about their teen losing the ability to have in-person conversations, sharing too much about themselves online, being bullied online or exchanging explicit messages.
Xi has been promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s global infrastructure program that would stretch from East Asia to Europe. The United States and European Union have voiced concern that the initiative is an effort by Beijing to project its influence abroad via projects in sectors ranging from banking to telecommunications to a far-reaching network of railways, energy pipelines, ports and highways. The U.S. has also referred to it as “China’s infrastructure vanity project.” However, the Italian government recently signaled support for participating in the initiative.
In all but one of the 10 European countries surveyed, majorities said in a spring 2018 survey that they had no confidence in Xi to do the right thing regarding world affairs. The Spanish were the most skeptical of him, with more than three-quarters (79%) lacking confidence, followed by the French (69%), Greeks (64%) and Italians (64%). A substantial portion of Europeans – roughly two-in-ten or more in Poland, Greece, Hungary and Italy – did not express an opinion on Xi.
Opinions of China as a nation were similarly low in Europe. Only in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands did roughly half have a positive opinion of China. In the other European countries surveyed, about four-in-ten or fewer had positive opinions of China. Italians had the most negative evaluations, with only around three-in-ten saying they had a favorable view of China.
A narrow majority of U.S. adults (56%) say they are somewhat or very optimistic about what the country will be like in 2050, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. But optimism gives way to pessimism when Americans are asked about some of the specific ways in which the United States might change.
Most Americans expect income inequality to worsen over the next three decades. Majorities say the economy will be weaker, the nation’s debt burden will be heavier, the environment will be in worse condition and health care will be less affordable than today. Most believe the U.S. will play a less important role in the world. About two-thirds predict that domestic political divisions will become more pronounced. Indeed, Democrats and Republicans have strikingly different priorities when it comes to the policies they believe would help improve the quality of life for future generations.
Below are nine key findings from the survey, which was conducted among 2,524 U.S. adults in December 2018.
1Most Americans expect income gaps to widen, and many see living standards declining. Roughly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say the gap between the rich and the poor will grow wider by 2050. This includes 75% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and 71% of Republicans and GOP leaners – a notable area of agreement between partisans.
While Democrats and Republicans agree that income inequality will grow by 2050, they disagree over the extent to which the federal government should prioritize reducing the gap between the rich and the poor. Roughly six-in-ten Democrats (58%) say this should be a top priority, but only about a quarter of Republicans agree (23%).
More generally, the public is skeptical that the standard of living for average American families will improve in the future: 44% expect the living standard to get worse by 2050, about double the share who believe it will get better (20%). About a third (35%) believe there will be no real change.
New Zealand’s small but growing Muslim population is in the news of late after a terrorist attack left 50 dead and dozens injured at two mosques in Christchurch last week. Many have expressed shock that these attacks could occur in New Zealand, where crime rates are low, mass shootings are rare and people are largely accepting of religious minorities and immigrants. At the same time, world leaders cite the massacres as the latest example of rising nationalism and Islamophobia around the world.
Here are four facts about religion and religious tolerance in New Zealand.
1Almost all New Zealanders said in a 2011-2012 survey that they would accept a neighbor of a different religion. The World Values Survey asked New Zealanders to mention groups of people they would not like to have as a neighbor. The list of choices included “people of a different religion” as well as other possibilities such as drug addicts, heavy drinkers and people of a different race. Among the 841 New Zealanders interviewed, only 12 said they would not like to have a neighbor of a different religion (less than 2% of the sample). Additionally, just 6% reported that they would prefer not to live near an immigrant or foreign worker and only about 3% would not live next to a person of a different race. By comparison, when results from all 58 countries in the 2010-2014 World Values Surveys are combined, about 20% of respondents reported that they would not like to have a neighbor of a different faith.
Under a peer-to-peer evaluation process established in the late 2000s, every member state in the United Nations faces a periodic review of its human rights record by countries on the UN Human Rights Council. But the issues raised in these reviews can vary substantially depending on which countries are doing the reviewing, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.
When the United States was last reviewed by its UN member peers, for example, countries in the Asian and African regional groups raised concerns about racial discrimination, while Latin American and Caribbean nations emphasized migrants’ rights. States in the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) often criticized the U.S. for its use of the death penalty.
Human-rights reviews of China and Russia also showed differences depending on the region of the reviewing nations. As they did with the U.S., WEOG countries criticized China over the death penalty, but Asian Group nations (including much of the Middle East) didn’t raise concerns about China’s use of capital punishment at all, focusing more often on economic rights and development.
Numerous measles outbreaks across the United States have renewed a debate over whether parents should be required to vaccinate their children. Some parents express concern that vaccinations could be harmful to their children, but scientific consensus on the safety of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) remains strong and surveys have found that most Americans see childhood vaccinations as beneficial.
In recent weeks, lawmakers in several states that experienced outbreaks have proposed legislation to remove or restrict the types of exemptions parents can claim for their children based on religious or personal beliefs.
Here are some of the key findings from our research on attitudes about childhood vaccination:
1Most Americans believe the health benefits of the MMR vaccine are high and the risks are low. In a 2016 survey, 73% of U.S. adults said the health benefits of the MMR vaccine are high, while 66% saw the risk of side effects as low. Overall, 88% said the benefits of the MMR vaccine outweigh the risks, while 10% said the risks outweigh the benefits.
2About eight-in-ten Americans favor school-based vaccine requirements. Some 82% of U.S. adults said MMR vaccination should be a requirement “in order to attend public schools because of the potential risk for others when children are not vaccinated.” Meanwhile, 17% of Americans believed that “parents should be able to decide not to vaccinate their children, even if that may create health risks for other children and adults.” Majorities of Americans across demographic and educational groups supported school requirements for the MMR vaccine, although older adults were more likely than their younger counterparts to say vaccinations should be required to attend school (90% of adults ages 65 and older vs. 77% of those 18 to 49).
Women make up 24% of members of national legislative bodies around the world, a share that has ticked up over the past decade but remains far smaller than their share of the overall world population, according to an analysis of data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
At the end of 2008, by comparison, just 18% of the members of upper and lower parliamentary bodies around the world were women. The largest increases in female representation between 2008 and this year occurred in Central America (13 percentage points), the Middle East and North Africa (9 points) and Western Europe (8 points).
Despite this growth, there are fewer women than men holding legislative seats collectively in every world region. As such, no region has reached gender parity in the share of women in its countries’ legislatures.
When accounting for the total number of legislative seats in each country, only three nations – Rwanda, Cuba and Bolivia – have reached or surpassed gender parity. (However, women hold fewer than half of seats in the upper chambers in Bolivia and Rwanda.)
As a region, the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – come closest to gender parity, with women accounting for 43% of parliamentary members. The highest share is in Sweden, where women hold 47% of legislative seats. By comparison, in Denmark, 37% of seats are held by women. Shares in the remaining Nordic countries hover around 40%.
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.