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.
Two-thirds of Americans say the use of marijuana should be legal, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The share of U.S. adults who oppose legalization has fallen from 52% in 2010 to 32% today.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (91%) say marijuana should be legal either for medical and recreational use (59%) or that it should be legal just for medical use (32%). Fewer than one-in-ten (8%) prefer to keep marijuana illegal in all circumstances, according to the survey, conducted Sept. 3 to 15 on Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel. Read More →
The number of unauthorized immigrants living in Europe increased between 2014 and 2016, then leveled off to an estimated 3.9 million to 4.8 million in 2017, according to new estimates from Pew Research Center.
These immigrants lived in the 32 countries of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA), but about half lived in just two countries – Germany and the United Kingdom. Europe’s unauthorized immigrants are diverse in their origins, coming from many nations outside of the region. They are also largely recent arrivals to Europe, with about half having arrived in the past five years.
Europe is one of the world’s top destinations for international migrants. In recent years, their population has grown as high numbers of immigrants have entered Europe, including some seeking asylum.
Here are five facts about the unauthorized immigrant population in Europe.
Europe and the United States are major destinations for the world’s immigrants. In both places, debates about immigration policy have focused on what to do with unauthorized immigrants. These debates can center on national policies, as well as policies for Europe as a whole.
The size of Europe’s unauthorized immigrant population in 2017 was less than half the number in the U.S., according to an analysis of newly released Pew Research Center estimates for Europe and the Center’s existing U.S. estimates.
The different unauthorized immigrant population sizes reflect the broader migration trends of each place. Europe’s unauthorized immigrant population has grown, largely due to a surge of asylum seekers in 2015. While the U.S. has a larger number of unauthorized immigrants, it is shrinking and consists mostly of people from Latin America, in particular Mexico, who entered the country illegally more than a decade ago.
Unauthorized immigrants represent a relatively small part of the population in both places, though the share is smaller in Europe. Less than 1% of Europe’s 500 million people were unauthorized immigrants in 2017, compared with 3% of 325 million in the United States. (Europe consists of European Union countries including the UK, and the European Free Trade Association countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.) Read More →
Democrats and Republicans have starkly different priorities when it comes to the nation’s immigration policies. Yet there also are ideological differences within both parties on the importance of some priorities, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
And while 82% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say this is a very or somewhat important goal, only about half of Republicans and Republican leaners (48%) say the same.
Sizable majorities of Americans also rate other policy goals as important: 68% say it is very or somewhat important to increase security along the U.S.-Mexico border, and 73% say it is important to take in refugees escaping war and violence. The public is more closely divided on the importance of increasing deportations of unauthorized immigrants, with 54% saying this is a very or somewhat important goal and 45% saying it is not too or not at all important.
The survey, conducted Sept. 3 to 15, comes amid some recent shifts in immigration patterns. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the number of migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border reached its highest level since 2007. At the same time, the number of refugees being resettled into the U.S. is at its lowest point in nearly four decades, with further cuts expected in the current fiscal year. Read More →
Debates over who is Hispanic and who is not have fueled conversations about identity among Americans who trace their heritage to Latin America or Spain. The question surfaced during U.S. presidential debates and the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. More recently, it bubbled up after a singer from Spain won the “Best Latin” award at the 2019 Video Music Awards.
So, who is considered Hispanic in the United States? And how are they counted in public opinion surveys, voter exit polls and government surveys like the upcoming 2020 census?
The most common approach to answering these questions is straightforward: Who is Hispanic? Anyone who says they are. And nobody who says they aren’t.
The U.S. Census Bureau uses this approach, as does Pew Research Center and most other research organizations that conduct public opinion surveys. By this way of counting, the Census Bureau estimates there were roughly 59.9 million Hispanics in the United States as of July 1, 2018, making up 18% of the total national population. Read More →
This Veterans Day, Americans across the country will honor the service and sacrifice of U.S. military veterans. A recent Pew Research Center survey of veterans found that, for many who served in combat, their experiences strengthened them personally but also made the transition to civilian life difficult.
Here are key facts about veterans, drawn from that survey:
1 The experiences of post-9/11 veterans differ from those who served in previous eras. About one-in-five veterans today served on active duty after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. These post-9/11 veterans are more likely to have been deployed and to have served in combat, giving them a distinct set of experiences compared with those who served in previous eras.
Post-9/11 veterans are also more likely than their predecessors to bear some of the physical and psychological scars of combat. Roughly half (47%) of post-9/11 veterans say they had emotionally traumatic or distressing experiences related to their military service, compared with one-quarter of pre-9/11 veterans. About a third (35%) of post-9/11 veterans say they sought professional help to deal with those experiences, and a similar share say that – regardless of whether they have sought help – they think they have suffered from post-traumatic stress (PTS). Read More →
The fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago this week brought far-reaching social and economic changes to communist East Germany, and people on both sides of the former barrier say the changes that have occurred since 1989 have had a positive influence on living standards in their country, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. But that does not mean the former East and West Germany are on equal economic footing today.
Despite substantial improvements in recent decades, the former East Germany continues to trail the former West Germany on important economic measures ranging from unemployment to productivity, according to an annual German government report on the “status of German unity.” (The most recent version of the report, from September, is available here in German. The 2018 version of the report is available here in English.)
Here is a look at how economic conditions in the former East and West Germany have changed over time, how they compare today and how people in the two areas perceive these differences. All findings are based on data from the German government’s 2019 report, as well as the Center’s recent survey.
Unemployment is persistently higher in the former East Germany than in the former West. In 2018, the average unemployment rate was 6.9% in the six states of the former East Germany, compared with 4.8% in the 10 states of the former West Germany. (In all economic statistics in this analysis, Berlin is counted in East Germany, even though the city was divided during communism and is not directly comparable to other parts of East Germany.)
East-West differences in unemployment rates cut across demographic lines including age and gender. Among people ages 15 to 24, for example, the average unemployment rate in the former East Germany was 7.7% in 2018, compared with 4.1% in the former West. And while 7.5% of East Germans ages 55 to 64 were unemployed in 2018, the share was 5.3% among West Germans in the same age range.
Despite these differences, the former East has narrowed the gap with the former West substantially in recent decades. In the early 2000s, the unemployment rate was about 10 percentage points higher in the former East than in the former West – nearly five times the gap in 2018. Read More →
As marriage rates have declined, the share of U.S. adults who have ever lived with an unmarried partner has risen. Amid these changes, most Americans find it acceptable for unmarried couples to live together, even for those who don’t plan to get married, according to a new Pew Research Center study. Still, a narrow majority sees societal benefits in marriage. The study also explores the experiences of adults who are married and those who are living with a partner, finding that married adults express higher levels of relationship satisfaction and trust in their partner than do those who are cohabiting.
Here are seven key findings from the report:
1 A larger share of adults have cohabited than have been married. Among adults ages 18 to 44, 59% have lived with an unmarried partner at some point in their lives, while 50% have ever been married, according to Pew Research Center analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth. By contrast, in 2002, 54% of adults in this age group had ever cohabited and 60% had ever married. Most adults ages 18 to 44 who have cohabited (62%) have only ever lived with one partner, but 38% have had two or more partners over the course of their life.
Looking at present relationships, 53% of adults ages 18 and older are currently married, down from 58% in 1995, according to data from the Current Population Survey. Over the same period, the share of Americans who are living with an unmarried partner has risen from 3% to 7%. Read More →
Spaniards head to the polls on Sunday for Spain’s fourth election in as many years. The election comes as the Spanish public is especially pessimistic, harbors strong doubts about democracy, and is concerned about inequality, their children’s financial future and the availability of well-paying jobs. That said, overall sentiment about the economy has rebounded in recent years and is the most positive it has been in over a decade.
Below are five facts about public opinion in Spain based on a survey conducted from June 4 to July 22, 2019, among 1,069 adults.
1Most Spaniards are discontent with the state of their country’s economy, but less so than in the past. Roughly four-in-ten (42%) say they think the economic situation in Spain is at least somewhat good, while a majority (57%) says it is bad. This is an improvement from last year, and it also represents substantial improvement since 2013, when the share who thought the Spanish economy was good was only 4%. It also shows Spaniards’ optimism about the economy rebounding toward pre-recession levels.
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.