The way Pew Research Center calculates the estimated number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States is the product of decades of work by Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer, along with former colleagues at the U.S. Census Bureau and the Urban Institute. Passel has written numerous studies on the demography of immigration and on immigration issues. Following are his answers to some common questions about the research techniques used to derive the unauthorized immigrant population estimate.
What were the challenges in developing the estimate of unauthorized immigrants?
I’ve been working on this problem since roughly 1979. So, it’s not a new one. When we started, there really wasn’t very good information at all. The numbers available were speculative, with a very broad range. People were talking about maybe 6 million, maybe 12 million – all of which turned out to be too high. I was working at the Census Bureau and it was important to get some sound, empirical information on this population. We needed the numbers for a lot of different purposes at the time. The challenge was finding data sources that included unauthorized immigrants. We weren’t sure they were showing up in the census and our surveys, but as we looked into the issue, it became apparent that our standard data sources did include unauthorized immigrants. That discovery led us to a variation of the methodology we’re still using.
Depression has become increasingly common among American teenagers – especially teen girls, who are now almost three times as likely as teen boys to have had recent experiences with depression.
In 2017, 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said they had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, up from 8% (or 2 million) in 2007, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
One-in-five teenage girls – or nearly 2.4 million – had experienced at least one major depressive episode (the proxy measure of depression used in this analysis) over the past year in 2017. By comparison, 7% of teenage boys (or 845,000) had at least one major depressive episode in the past 12 months.
Americans have complicated views about the role social media companies should play in removing offensive content from their platforms.
A sizable majority of U.S. adults (66%) say social media companies have a responsibility to remove offensive content from their platforms, but just 31% have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in these companies to determine what offensive content should be removed.
A further twist: Nearly half (48%) say that in thinking about the kind of language people use, it is “hard to know what others might find offensive,” according to a recent Pew Research Center survey on the tone of political debate in the United States.
Opinions about the role social media companies should play in addressing offensive content are divided by partisanship, gender and age. Republican men – particularly younger men – stand out for their view that social media companies do not have a responsibility to remove offensive content from their platforms. (A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that Republican men also were less likely than Republican women – and Democratic women or men – to say online harassment was a major problem.)
How much do people feel that what happens to members of their own racial or ethnic group affects what happens in their own lives? What about what happens to other groups? Known among researchers as “linked fate,” this sense of connectedness was originally used to explain persistent Democratic voting bloc patterns among black Americans. More recently it has been used to examine not only how closely connected black Americans feel toward one another, but also connectedness between and among other racial groups.
A recent Pew Research Center survey finds that racial or ethnic group membership, education and partisanship are the most important determinants of linked fate within and across racial groups. For blacks and Hispanics specifically, experiences of discrimination increase the likelihood of saying that what happens to the other group would affect them.
When asked how much what happens to blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians in the United States affects their own lives, U.S. adults say that what happens to their own racial or ethnic group affects them the most. This is most pronounced among black adults: 44% in this group say that what happens to other blacks impacts their own lives a lot. And it is especially true for black adults with a bachelor’s degree or more education, 58% of whom say that what happens to other black people affects them a lot compared with 49% of those with some college and 33% with a high school diploma or less education. There are no gender or age differences among black people in this regard.
Four of the 10 most populous countries in the world will no longer be among the top 10 in 2100 – and all four will be supplanted by rapidly growing nations in Africa, according to recently released population projections from the United Nations.
Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia and Mexico are among the world’s 10 most populous countries today. By 2100, they are projected to be overtaken by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Egypt – none of which are currently in the top 10.
This changing of the guard is expected to occur because of sluggish population growth over the next eight decades in Mexico (+10% by 2100) and population losses in Brazil (-15%), Bangladesh (-8%) and Russia (-14%). Each of the four African countries, by contrast, is expected to more than double in population, with increases of 304% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 156% in Ethiopia, 378% in Tanzania and 120% in Egypt.
Here’s how the list of the 10 most populous countries in the world has changed since 1950 – and how it is projected to change again by 2100:
Africa’s rapid population growth is one of the dominant stories to emerge from the UN’s projections. Of the six countries that are projected to account for more than half of all world population growth by 2100, five are in Africa, as a previous Pew Research Center analysis noted. Half the world’s babies will be born in Africa by 2100, up from three-in-ten today.
Nearly 18 years since the start of the war in Afghanistan and 16 years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, majorities of U.S. military veterans say those wars were not worth fighting, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of veterans. A parallel survey of American adults finds that the public shares those sentiments.
Among veterans, 64% say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, while 33% say it was. The general public’s views are nearly identical: 62% of Americans overall say the Iraq War wasn’t worth it and 32% say it was. Similarly, majorities of both veterans (58%) and the public (59%) say the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting. About four-in-ten or fewer say it was worth fighting.
Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those engagements than those who did not serve in these wars. And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience.
Newsroom employment across the United States continues to decline, driven primarily by job losses at newspapers. And even though digital-native news outlets have experienced some recent growth in employment, they have added too few newsroom positions to make up for recent losses in the broader industry, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics survey data.
From 2008 to 2018, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 25%. In 2008, about 114,000 newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers and videographers – worked in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and “other information services” (the best match for digital-native news publishers). By 2018, that number had declined to about 86,000, a loss of about 28,000 jobs.
The U.S. Hispanic population reached a record 59.9 million in 2018, up 1.2 million over the previous year and up from 47.8 million in 2008, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Over the past decade, however, population growth among Hispanics has slowed as the annual number of births to Hispanic women has declined and immigration has decreased, particularly from Mexico.
Even so, Latinos remain an important part of the nation’s overall demographic story. Between 2008 and 2018, the Latino share of the total U.S. population increased from 16% to 18%. Latinos accounted for about half (52%) of all U.S. population growth over this period.
Here are some key facts about how the nation’s Latino population has changed over the past decade:
Andrew Kohut, the founding director of Pew Research Center and its president from 2004 to 2012, was one of the nation’s leading pollsters. He died in 2015. His work, over three decades, won him wide respect for his expertise and ability to craft stories about what people could learn from survey research. One of his particular talents was to reach back in time to take a snapshot of the mood of Americans in another era to show how much times had changed.
Here is one of those articles, originally published on Nov. 20, 2013.
As America marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death, his life, family, strengths and weakness have been pored over in recent weeks, but little has been said about how the public viewed the country during the Kennedy years. The Gallup polls of that period illustrate how different a time this was. The mood of America then had few parallels with the modern era.
Independence Day is a national celebration of freedom, fireworks, family, friends and frankfurters. It’s also, by one measure, the most dangerous day of the year.
On average, more than 45,000 people visit U.S. hospital emergency rooms for treatment of injuries on July 4 and 5 – nearly 91,000 in total, by far the highest daily numbers in the entire year. By comparison, the average daily number of injury-related ER visits over the summer months (June, July and August) is about 40,700. The holidays that bookend summer have somewhat higher averages – about 41,900 for the last week in May, covering Memorial Day weekend, and 42,200 for the first week of September, which typically includes Labor Day weekend – but even they are well below Independence Day.
The biggest reason for the Fourth of July spike in injury-related ER visits? No surprise: fireworks. On average, more than half of all the fireworks-related injuries Americans sustain each year occur during the first eight days of July – a total of nearly 4,900 last year.
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.