People around the world broadly support the principles of international cooperation amid common challenges such as climate change and the coronavirus outbreak, according to a summer 2020 Pew Research Center survey of 14 advanced economies. But support for international cooperation – as well as for key international institutions – can vary significantly depending on the amount of trust that people tend to place in others.
Across the countries surveyed, those who say that, in general, most people can be trusted express more support for compromising with other countries and express a higher degree of favorability toward international institutions including the European Union and the United Nations.
The coronavirus outbreak inflicted multiple disruptions on 2020 census operations this year, raising questions about how accurate the decennial count’s U.S. population statistics will be. The Census Bureau’s own data quality research will provide some answers, and the agency promised this month to expand that work with advice from outside experts.
The agency traditionally sponsors a broad program of self-evaluation of the once-a-decade national population count. This includes the release on Dec. 15 of its first major data quality product, called Demographic Analysis, which is a national population estimate and is an alternative to the official one the bureau will release from the census itself. This estimate is based mainly on government records about births, deaths, immigration and Medicare enrollment, similar to those used in the agency’s annual population estimates. One indicator of census quality will be whether Demographic Analysis results closely match those from the door-to-door census count.
The November presidential election saw record-high turnout following a general election campaign in which large numbers of registered voters consistently reported high levels of interest in the election and its outcome. For many voters, participation in an election goes beyond voting to include activities such as publicly showing their support for a candidate, contributing money to a campaign or attending campaign events. Here are key findings on Americans’ engagement with the political campaigns in this year’s election based on Pew Research Center’s post-election survey, conducted Nov. 12-17.
Americans just aren’t picking up the phone much anymore. Eight-in-ten Americans say they don’t generally answer their cellphone when an unknown number calls, according to newly released findings from a Pew Research Center web survey of U.S. adults conducted July 13-19, 2020.
But not all Americans are equally likely to ignore these calls. While, at most, a quarter of Americans from any demographic group say they generally answer the phone for an unknown number – and 19% of U.S. adults overall say they do so – men are more likely than women to answer the phone. And though much has been made of younger adults’ distaste for phone conversations, the survey finds that Americans ages 18 to 29 are more likely to take calls from unknown numbers than those in older age groups. In addition, Hispanic and Black adults are more likely than White adults to say they generally pick up for a number they don’t recognize, as are those living in households with lower income levels compared with those from middle- and higher-income households.
Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by about 4.45 percentage points, according to Pew Research Center’s tabulation of final or near-final returns from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Biden received nearly 81.3 million votes, or 51.3% of all votes cast – a record, and more than 7 million more votes than Trump.
But when the 538 electors meet Dec. 14 in their respective states to cast the votes that will formally make Biden the president-elect, his margin of victory there likely will be greater than his margin in the popular vote. Barring any defections from so-called “faithless electors,” Biden is on track to receive 306 electoral votes, or 56.9% of the 538 total votes available.
Biden’s victory will be nearly identical to Trump’s Electoral College win in 2016, when Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton 304-227 despite receiving 2.8 million fewer popular votes. (Two Republican electors and five Democratic electors cast “faithless” votes for other people.)
Social media platforms have served as venues for political engagement and social activism for many years, especially for Black Americans. This was evident again in 2020, when the killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by a White Minneapolis police officer resulted in widespread protests that demonstrated the reach and power of these platforms.
Across Pew Research Center surveys, Black social media users have been particularly likely to say that these sites are personally important to them for getting involved with issues they care about or finding like-minded people. They are also likely to express positive views about the impact of these platforms for holding powerful people accountable for their actions and giving a voice to underrepresented groups. The online community known as Black Twitter has long been using these platforms to collectively organize, offer support and increase visibility online for Black people and issues that matter to them.
The global coronavirus pandemic upended life in the United States and around the world in 2020, disrupting how people work, go to school, attend religious services, socialize with friends and family, and much more. But the pandemic wasn’t the only event that shaped the year. The videotaped killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis sparked an international outcry and focused new attention on the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. And November’s presidential election appears to have shattered turnout records as around 160 million Americans cast ballots and elected Joe Biden the 46th president.
As 2020 draws to a close, here are 20 striking findings from Pew Research Center’s studies this year, covering the pandemic, race-related tensions, the presidential election and other notable trends that emerged during the year.
The Federal Trade Commission and nearly every state sued Facebook on Wednesday, alleging that the firm’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp resulted in unfair business practices and calling for these companies to be broken up. The action comes seven weeks after the FTC and a smaller group of states sued Google on antitrust grounds and months after Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg – along with the heads of Apple, Amazon and Google – appeared before Congress about their firms’ role in the marketplace. The new legal challenges could have a defining impact on major technology companies as a whole, with lawmakers on both sides advocating for stronger oversight of the industry.
Here are some key findings about Americans’ attitudes toward the tech industry – and social media in particular – based on Pew Research Center surveys.
In the weeks after the Nov. 3 election, the share of Black and Latino adults who say they feel angry about the state of the country has been sharply lower than in June, while feelings of hope have increased, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
Meanwhile, the feelings of White adults about the state of the nation have changed less. A majority remain angry, and the share who are hopeful is little changed since summer.
Fewer than half of Black (41%) and Latino (44%) adults now say they are angry about the state of the country, a substantial drop from the 72% and 67%, respectively, who said the same in June. White adults also showed a smaller drop since June, from 72% to 59%. Meanwhile, about half of Asians (51%) say as of November that they are angry about the state of the country (the share of Asian adults who said they felt angry in June is not shown due to insufficient sample size).
The digital age has given rise to new and diverse ways of accessing news, ranging from news aggregators and social media feeds that simply circulate existing content to news organization websites that publish their journalists’ original work. And a new Pew Research Center survey finds many Americans have difficulty in distinguishing sources that do their own reporting from those that don’t.
The survey, conducted June 2-11, 2020, asked whether six sources of news conduct their own news reporting – ranging from organizations that do original news reporting such as ABC News, The Wall Street Journal and HuffPost to online sources that only gather articles from elsewhere such as Facebook, Google News and Apple News.
Roughly half of Americans or more were able to correctly identify whether three of the six sources do their own reporting: ABC News (56%), The Wall Street Journal (52%) and Facebook (51%). At the same time, though, fewer than four-in-ten were able to correctly answer whether Google News (31%), Apple News (26%) or HuffPost (23%) do their own news reporting. (The survey was conducted before BuzzFeed acquired HuffPost.)
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.