The share of U.S. adults who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically unchanged from where it stood in early 2018 despite a long stretch of controversies over privacy, fake news and censorship on social media, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 8 to Feb. 7, 2019.
More broadly, the steady growth in adoption that social platforms have experienced in the United States over the past decade also appears to be slowing. The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter are each largely the same as in 2016, with only Instagram showing an uptick in use during this time period. (There are no comparable 2016 phone survey data for YouTube, Snapchat, WhatsApp or Reddit.)
Facebook – which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary – remains one of the most widely used social media sites among adults in the U.S. Roughly seven-in-ten adults (69%) say they ever use the platform. (A separate 2018 Center survey showed Facebook use among U.S. teens had dropped in recent years.) YouTube is the only other online platform measured that matches Facebook’s reach: 73% of adults report using the video sharing site. But certain online platforms, most notably Instagram and Snapchat, have an especially strong following among young adults.
A majority of Americans say race relations are generally bad, and many think the country hasn’t made enough progress toward racial equality. A new Pew Research Center report finds deep divides between white and black adults – and between Republicans and Democrats – in views about race relations and racial inequality in the United States. Blacks are particularly gloomy: About seven-in-ten say race relations are bad, and half say it is unlikely that black people will eventually have equal rights with whites.
Here are other key findings from the survey, which was conducted in English and Spanish among 6,637 adults, Jan. 22-Feb. 5, 2019.
1A plurality of Americans (45%) say the country hasn’t gone far enough in giving black people equal rights with whites, while 39% say it’s been about right and 15% say we’ve gone too far. Black adults are by far the most likely to say the country hasn’t gone far enough – 78% say this, compared with 37% of whites and 48% of Hispanics. Among whites, there is a vast party divide on this issue. While 64% of white Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say the country hasn’t gone far enough in giving blacks equal rights with whites, only 15% of Republicans and Republican leaners say the same. About a third of white Republicans (31%) say the country has gone too far, compared with 5% of white Democrats.
Around this time each year, hundreds of thousands of hopeful would-be college students find out which of the (sometimes many) schools they’ve applied to have accepted them. The ultralow admission rates at many “elite” colleges are getting more attention than usual this year in the wake of a college admissions scandal that has ensnared dozens of well-to-do parents, accused of using bribes to get their children into desirable schools.
But for all the attention paid to those brand-name institutions, the full picture of college admissions is quite different: The great majority of schools, where most Americans get their postsecondary education, admit most of the people who apply to them, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Education Department data.
Of the 1,364 four-year colleges and universities we looked at, 17 admitted fewer than 10% of applicants in 2017, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available. That group includes such prestigious names as Stanford (4.7%), Harvard (5.2%), Yale (6.9%) and Northwestern (9.2%). Another 29 schools admitted between 10% and 20% of applicants, including Georgetown (15.7%), the University of Southern California (16%), UCLA (16.1%) and the University of California, Berkeley (17.1%). All those schools, along with three others with higher admission rates, have been caught up in the admissions scandal – either because coaches and other athletic personnel were indicted on charges of taking bribes to designate unqualified students as “recruited athletes,” or because parents of current students are accused of paying for other kinds of cheating (including on admissions tests) to get their children admitted.
Automation already plays a significant role in the U.S. workplace, and most Americans expect technological advances to continue to alter the job landscape in the decades ahead. These seven charts, based on recent Pew Research Center surveys, highlight Americans’ views toward job automation:
1Most Americans anticipate widespread job automation in the coming decades. About eight-in-ten U.S. adults (82%) say that by 2050, robots and computers will definitely or probably do much of the work currently done by humans, according to a December 2018 Pew Research Center survey. A smaller share of employed adults (37%) say robots or computers will do the type of work they do by 2050.
2The U.S. public generally anticipates more negative than positive effects from widespread job automation. Around three-quarters of Americans (76%) say inequality between the rich and the poor would increase if robots and computers perform most of the jobs currently being done by humans by 2050. Only a third (33%) believe it’s likely that this kind of widespread automation would create many new, better-paying jobs for humans.
In a May 2017 Pew Research Center survey, around four-in-ten U.S. adults said an automated future would make the economy more efficient, let people focus on the most fulfilling aspects of their jobs or allow them to focus less on work and more on what really matters to them in life. In each instance, a majority of the public said these positive outcomes are unlikely.
Buddhists across Asia are preparing to celebrate the birthday of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as Gautama Buddha and was the founder of Buddhism. The Buddha is believed to have been born roughly 2,500 years ago in what is today Nepal. In Asia, where most Buddhists live, different countries celebrate the occasion on different days, including April 8 in Japan, May 12 in South Korea and May 18 in India and Nepal. The holiday goes by several names, including Buddha Purnima, Vesak, Buddha Jayanti and Ikh Duichen, and is often marked by national holidays, festivals and events at Buddhist temples.
Here are five facts about Buddhists:
1Buddhists made up roughly 7% of the world’s population in 2015, but they are expected to decrease to roughly 5% by 2060. This is because Buddhists have relatively low fertility rates compared with other religious groups, and they are not expected to grow significantly due to conversions or religious switching.
2Half the world’s Buddhists live in China, according to 2010 Pew Research Center estimates. Still, they make up only 18% of the country’s population. Most of the rest of the world’s Buddhists live in East and South Asia, including 13% in Thailand (where 93% of the population is Buddhist) and 9% in Japan (35% Buddhist). Only about 1.4% of the world’s Buddhists live in countries outside of Asia.
Buddhism in Asia is a matter of both identity and practice. Scholars and journalists have documented that many people in Asian countries may engage in Buddhist (and other religious) practices without considering themselves part of any organized religion.
Indonesia’s presidential and parliamentary elections this month come at a time when a majority of Indonesians are optimistic about the state of their country’s democracy and economy, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in summer 2018.
Indonesia is the world’s largest predominantly Muslim country and the third largest democracy. And while the survey found positive feelings about its political system among Indonesians, the 2019 election is being held against a backdrop of political and economic tension. In 2017, the capital city’s former governor was jailed for blasphemy, and the religiosity of President Joko Widodo (also known as Jokowi) has been questioned by his more conservative critics. The country’s relationship with China has also taken center stage this election cycle, as accusations of foreign hacking and disapproval of bilateral trade policies have surfaced. The survey found that views of China and the United States had worsened among Indonesians since the country’s last general election in 2014.
Most Indonesian adults report voting in elections: 20% of Indonesians have voted in the past year and 71% say they have voted in the more distant past.
Here are five facts on public opinion leading up to the April 17 presidential election.
1Many Indonesians are satisfied with the state of their democracy. About two-thirds (65%) of Indonesian adults said in the 2018 survey they were satisfied with the way democracy is working in their country. This positive sentiment is similar to attitudes in 2017, when 69% of Indonesians rated the way their democracy worked positively.
However, there is a partisan split in satisfaction with democracy. Among those who hold a favorable view of the incumbent’s party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), 72% said they were satisfied with the way democracy is working in Indonesia, which is 16 percentage points higher than those who hold an unfavorable view of the PDI-P.
At least half of Indonesians hold favorable views toward all political parties surveyed. Nearly six-in-ten hold favorable views toward PDI-P, but a similar share says the same about opposing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s political party, the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).
Money sent by immigrants to their home countries in sub-Saharan Africa reached a record $41 billion in 2017. This represents a 10% jump in remittances from the previous year, the largest annual growth for any world region, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of World Bank data.
The increase follows a decline in remittances to sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, when the region saw a 9% decrease over the previous year, by far the largest regional drop in the world.
Worldwide, immigrants sent a record $625 billion (in 2018 U.S. dollars) back to their home countries in 2017, a 7% increase from the previous year. Strong economic growth in many major destination regions, stabilizing oil prices and the appreciation of currencies against the U.S. dollar helped fuel the first worldwide increase in remittances since 2014, according to the World Bank. Remittances had declined in 2015 and 2016, the first back-to-back decline in remittances in over three decades.
Remittances are funds transferred by immigrants to people in their home country. The total amount of money sent is likely much larger than current estimates because only funds sent through formal channels such as banks are included. This is especially true for regions like sub-Saharan Africa, where just 40% use formal financial services and two-thirds of non-agriculture workers are part of the informal economy.
“Top 10” lists can often be helpful in displaying and illuminating data. For example, the two tables of countries with the largest Christian and Muslim populations featured here reveal differences in the concentration, diversity and projected changes in the world’s two largest religions.
The two lists show that the global Muslim population is more heavily concentrated in Islam’s main population centers than the global Christian population is for Christianity, which is more widely dispersed around the world. Indeed, about two-thirds (65%) of the world’s Muslims live in the countries with the 10 largest Muslim populations, while only 48% of the world’s Christians live in the countries with the 10 largest Christian populations.
To put it another way, more than half (52%) of the world’s Christians live in countries other than those with the 10 largest Christian populations, while this is true for just over a third (35%) of the world’s Muslims. In absolute terms, there are twice as many Christians (1.2 billion) as there are Muslims (609 million) living in countries that are not on their religion’s top 10 list. Read More →
U.S. racial and ethnic groups vary significantly in their knowledge of science-related issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that quizzed Americans about subjects ranging from life and physical sciences to numeracy and chart reading.
About half of whites (48%) got at least nine of 11 questions correct. In comparison, much smaller shares of Hispanics (23%) and blacks (9%) correctly answered at least nine of the questions.
On average, whites got 7.6 questions correct while Hispanics got 5.1 and blacks 3.7. English-speaking Asians got an average of 7.0 correct answers, but it’s important to note the survey was only conducted in English and Spanish. (Asians are less likely than whites and blacks, but not Hispanics, to be proficient in English.)
There were large differences by race and ethnicity across all the individual science knowledge questions in the survey. For example, 46% of whites correctly identified the main components of antacids as bases. In comparison, one-quarter of Hispanics and 16% of blacks got the correct answer on this question. And 88% of whites correctly answered that antibiotic resistance is a major concern of antibiotic overuse, while 62% of Hispanics and 53% of blacks answered this question correctly.
Substantial shares of people in three African nations – Nigeria, Tunisia and Kenya – say they plan to move to another country within five years, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2018.
Some who plan to migrate say they have taken steps to do so, such as gathering information about a destination country and saving money.
In the three African nations, two-thirds or more of all who were surveyed cite jobs, education and reuniting with family as reasons why people leave their countries. Conflict also plays a role: In Nigeria and Kenya, majorities say escaping violence is a very or somewhat important reason for why people leave the country. (See the survey’s topline for detailed results.)
In Nigeria, Africa’s most populated nation, nearly half (45%) of adults say they plan to move to another country within five years, by far the highest share among 12 countries surveyed across four continents. Meanwhile, a quarter (24%) of adults in Tunisia say they plan to leave within five years, as do 19% in Kenya. In 2017, substantial shares in Senegal, Ghana and South Africa said the same.
These findings highlight the potential for more migration from an area of the world with a fast-growing population. In recent years, many African countries have seen a sharp increase in outmigration.
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.