For decades, the share of U.S. children living with a single parent has been rising, accompanied by a decline in marriage rates and a rise in births outside of marriage. A new Pew Research Center study of 130 countries and territories shows that the U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households.
Almost a quarter of U.S. children under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adults (23%), more than three times the share of children around the world who do so (7%). The study, which analyzed how people’s living arrangements differ by religion, also found that U.S. children from Christian and religiously unaffiliated families are about equally likely to live in this type of arrangement.
In comparison, 3% of children in China, 4% of children in Nigeria and 5% of children in India live in single-parent households. In neighboring Canada, the share is 15%.
Against this backdrop, a new Pew Research Center analysis finds that people in EU nations with higher unemployment rates tend to voice more pessimism about future job prospects in their country. The analysis also finds that youth unemployment rates, as well as changes in a country’s gross domestic product, are linked to economic attitudes in EU member states.
Across 14 EU nations surveyed by the Center this year, a median of 54% of adults say they are pessimistic about the future availability of well-paying jobs in their country, ranging from just 28% who say this in Sweden to 76% in Spain and 80% in Greece.
Adults in the U.S. South tend to be more religious than Americans in other parts of the country on a variety of traditional measures. They’re more likely to say that religion is very important to them, that they believe in God with absolute certainty and that they pray daily. And even though teacher-led religious activity in public schools has been restricted by U.S. courts, students retain the right to freely exercise their religion in school, with teens in the South expressing their religion in school more often than teens in other parts of the country, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Praying before sporting events – a practice that has been litigated extensively – is one of the more common expressions of religion at public schools. Among Southern teens, 56% say they “often” or “sometimes” see other students praying before a sporting event at their public school, compared with a quarter or more of teens in the Midwest (34%), West (28%) and Northeast (26%) who say this, according to our survey of 1,811 teens ages 13 to 17.
U.S. military veterans and their families have consistently had higher standards of living than non-veterans over the past 40 years, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Households headed by veterans have higher incomes and are less likely to be in poverty, on average, and this is especially the case for veterans in racial or ethnic minority groups and those with less education.
In 2017, the median annual income for veteran households was about $88,700, compared with roughly $76,100 for non-veteran households, a difference of more than $12,000. Both groups have experienced income growth since 1980, when the median income was roughly $77,000 for veteran households and about $61,500 for non-veteran households. Still, the gap between the two groups has persisted over about four decades.
Incomes in this analysis are adjusted for household size, scaled to reflect three-person households and expressed in 2018 dollars. The analysis is restricted to people during their prime working years between ages 25 and 54 to control for the fact that veterans tend to be much older than non-veterans: 46.9% of veterans are 65 and older compared with 19.1% of non-veterans.
Not only do veteran households fare better overall economically, households headed by racial or ethnic minority veterans and those with lower levels of education have significantly higher standards of living than their non-veteran counterparts. In 2017, the median incomes of non-Hispanic black and Hispanic veteran households were more than $20,000 greater than those of black and Hispanic non-veteran households. Among non-Hispanic whites, by comparison, the gap in median income between households headed by veterans and non-veterans was only about $5,100. Read More →
Measuring atheism is complicated. Some people who describe themselves as atheists also say they believe in some kind of higher power or spiritual force. At the same time, some of those who identify with a religion (for example, say they are Catholic or Jewish) say they do not believe in God.
One thing is for sure: Along with the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans – many of whom believe in God – there has been a corresponding increase in the number of atheists. Here are some key facts about atheists in the United States and around the world:
1 The share of Americans who identify as atheists has increased modestly but significantly in the past decade. Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019 show that 4% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 2% in 2009. An additional 5% of Americans call themselves agnostics, up from 3% a decade ago.
2The literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods,” according to Merriam-Webster. And the vast majority of U.S. atheists fit this description: 81% say they do not believe in God or a higher power or in a spiritual force of any kind. (Overall, 10% of American adults share this view.) At the same time, roughly one-in-five self-described atheists (18%) say they do believe in some kind of higher power. None of the atheists we surveyed, however, say they believe in “God as described in the Bible.” Read More →
The United States stands out to many around the world as the country their own nation can rely on most, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Pluralities or majorities in around half of the 17 countries where an open-ended question was asked named the U.S. as their most dependable ally going forward. At the same time, substantial shares of people in some countries also perceive Washington as their greatest threat.
As the People’s Republic of China celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding, it gets mixed reviews from people around the world, according to Pew Research Center’s latest Global Attitudes survey. A median of 40% across the 34 countries surveyed have a favorable opinion of China, compared with a median of 41% who have an unfavorable opinion.
And, while majorities in most countries agree China’s influence on the world stage has grown markedly, this has not necessarily translated into favorable views of the country, according to the survey of 38,426 people conducted May 13 to Oct. 2, 2019.
Opinion of China across most of Western Europe is, on balance, negative. While 51% in Greece have a positive view of China, pluralities or majorities in all other Western European countries have an unfavorable view, ranging from 53% in Spain to 70% in Sweden. The share of people who evaluate China positively have also dropped by double-digits in nearly half of the Western European countries surveyed, including Sweden (down 17 percentage points), the Netherlands (-11 points) and the UK (-11). Only in Greece and Italy has opinion improved. Read More →
YouTube is one of the most popular online platforms in the United States. The video-sharing site serves as a forum for entertainers, commentators, businesses and others, and Americans use it in a variety of ways, from getting the news to learning new skills. At the same time, YouTube has faced scrutiny – as other online platforms have – about issues including online harassment, misinformation and the impact of technology on children.
Using a combination of public opinion surveys and large-scale data analysis, Pew Research Center has studied YouTube in recent years to better understand the content that gets posted to the site and how the U.S. public engages with it. Here are 10 key takeaways from our research:
1 Around three-quarters of U.S. adults (73%) say they use YouTube, according to an early 2019 survey. And among 18- to 24-year olds, 90% say they use it. The only other social media platform that approaches YouTube in terms of its reach among Americans is Facebook, which was used by 69% of U.S. adults as of early 2019. Read More →
In recent years, considerable attention has been given to how Facebook collects and uses its users’ data. One of the ways the popular online platform collects and categorizes user data is through ad preference pages. The pages list users’ perceived interests – which are generated by the site’s algorithm – and are available for users to review their presumed hobbies, characteristics and traits. These categories, for example, might include the users’ political leanings or their cultural interests.
In a Pew Research Center survey conducted Sept. 4-Oct. 1, 2018, Facebook users were directed to open and review their own ad preference page in order to complete the survey. That survey found that roughly nine-in-ten U.S. adults who use Facebook reported that they had information compiled about them on their Facebook ad preferences page. But a new analysis of this data finds that how Facebook categorizes these users, when it comes to the number of categories and their accuracy, varies by how often someone uses the platform.
Here are key findings from that analysis:
1Frequent Facebook use – as well as having an account for a longer period of time – generally results in more ad categories. Nearly four-in-ten Facebook users (37%) who saw categories listed on their ad preferences page found 21 or more categories, whereas 30% found one to nine categories. When accounting for how often they use the site, some 44% of Facebook users who said they use the site several times a day reported finding 21 or more categories listed on the ad preferences page, compared with 34% of those who use the site once a day and 20% of those who said they use the site less often.
Most U.S. adults who attend religious services express confidence in their clergy’s advice on a range of questions, at least to some degree. But a recent Pew Research Center survey finds that Catholics have considerably less confidence than Protestants – and are less likely to claim a close relationship with their clergy.
Among U.S. adults who attend religious services at least a few times a year, Catholics are less likely than Protestants to say they have a “very” or “somewhat” close relationship with their clergy. Six-in-ten Catholics (61%) say this, compared with about eight-in-ten Protestants (78%). Just 8% of Catholics say they are very close with their clergy, compared with a quarter of Protestants. And while only 22% of Protestants say they are not close with the clergy at their church, the share among Catholics is nearly twice as high (39%).
Among specific Protestant groups, those in the evangelical (80%) and historically black traditions (81%) are more likely than mainline Protestants (71%) to say their relationship with their clergy is at least somewhat close. All three Protestant groups, however, say they have a closer relationship with their clergy than Catholics do. 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.
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