Over the past several months, the coronavirus outbreak has become a global pandemic that has disrupted the lives of billions of people and left governments, businesses and even “fact tanks” like Pew Research Center struggling to adapt to a new reality.
The Center’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has included the difficult decision to suspend much of our international survey work until further notice. The reason? A majority of our surveys around the globe are still conducted face-to-face. We could not in good conscience proceed with data collection that placed interviewers, and the persons with whom they interacted, at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. (Our polling in countries where surveys are conducted by phone is continuing, as is our U.S. polling, which is conducted primarily online.)
In this age of widespread mobile phone ownership, internet access and globe-spanning communications, it may surprise some readers to learn that the Center still relies so heavily on face-to-face interviewing. The objective of our surveys is to represent an accurate cross-section of a country’s population. So, if a sizable share of people in a country do not have access to a phone, a phone survey may not be the best choice. In many countries where this is the case or access to new technologies isn’t widely available, a face-to-face approach can be a better method to collect representative data. Read More →
The internet and smartphones have long been embedded in Americans’ lives. But as the COVID-19 outbreak has led government officials to close nonessential businesses and schools and issue stay-at-home orders, many aspects of everyday life have migrated online.
Some Americans – particularly those who are younger or college educated – are finding virtual ways to connect, shop and be active during this time, according to a Pew Research Center survey that asked U.S. adults in early April about six types of online and mobile activities they may be engaging in due to the outbreak.
Roughly a third of Americans (32%) say they have had a virtual party or social gathering with friends or family, according to the April 7-12 survey. (Survey questions were posed to internet users on the Center’s American Trends Panel. Throughout this analysis, findings are reported as shares of the adult population.)
Besides turning to digital means to socialize, one-in-five Americans say they have watched a concert or a play that was livestreamed through the internet or an app. And with fitness centers, gyms and even some public parks closed, 18% of Americans say they have participated in an online fitness class or done an online workout video at home.
In addition, 17% of adults say they have attended a class online for school as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Most postsecondary schools throughout the United States have shut down their campuses and shifted to online classes.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has transformed virtually every aspect of public life in America, also has touched a very intimate part of Americans’ lives: their religious faith and worship habits.
Some Americans say their religious faith has strengthened as a result of the outbreak, even as the vast majority of U.S. churchgoers report that their congregations have closed regular worship services to the public, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Americans in historically black Protestant churches and those who describe themselves as very religious are particularly likely to say their faith has strengthened.
One-quarter of U.S. adults overall (24%) say their faith has become stronger because of the coronavirus pandemic, while just 2% say their faith has become weaker. The majority say their faith hasn’t changed much (47%) or that the question isn’t applicable because they were not religious to begin with (26%).
For some governments, the debt incurred on COVID-19 relief will add to the considerable red ink already on their ledgers before the pandemic arrived. Leading up to the crisis, government debt accounted for a large chunk of gross domestic product – or exceeded it – in dozens of countries, including some of the world’s biggest economies, according to data published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in October 2019. (This analysis focuses on “gross government debt,” including intragovernmental debt. It excludes private debt held by businesses and individuals.)
Abortion remains a contentious issue among U.S. Christians. But when millions of churchgoers file into the pews each week, what do they really hear? A new Pew Research Center analysis finds that just 4% of sermons shared on U.S. church websites in the spring of 2019 discussed abortion even once – and when they did, it was rarely mentioned repeatedly. Still, pastors who broached the topic were nearly unanimous in their opposition.
Although they are relatively rare, these mentions of abortion add up over time: Christian churches that shared their sermons online posted an average of nine sermons each during the eight-week study period – and roughly one-in-five of those congregations (19%) heard at least one sermon that mentioned abortion. To arrive at these conclusions, the Center analyzed nearly 50,000 sermons shared online or livestreamed by more than 6,000 U.S. churches and delivered between April 7 and June 1, 2019 – a period that included Easter.
While the database is not representative of all U.S. Christian sermons, it offers a window into what many Americans hear each week from the pulpit. (See this report for details about how the analysis was conducted.)
Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation, according to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. As of July 1, 2019 (the latest date for which population estimates are available), Millennials, whom we define as ages 23 to 38 in 2019, numbered 72.1 million, and Boomers (ages 55 to 73) numbered 71.6 million. Generation X (ages 39 to 54) numbered 65.2 million and is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.
The Millennial generation continues to grow as young immigrants expand its ranks. Boomers – whose generation was defined by the boom in U.S. births following World War II – are aging and their numbers shrinking in size as the number of deaths among them exceeds the number of older immigrants arriving in the country.
Because generations are analytical constructs, it takes time for popular and expert consensus to develop as to the precise boundaries that demarcate one generation from another. In early 2018, Pew Research Center assessed demographic, labor market, attitudinal and behavioral measures to establish an endpoint – albeit inexact – for the Millennial generation. Under this updated definition, the youngest “Millennial” was born in 1996.
America’s newsrooms are changing in important ways. Mergers, closures and layoffs have affected a variety of media organizations – especially newspapers – and these trends are changing the nation’s media landscape.
Here are 10 charts on the state of newsroom employment in the United States today, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau and other sources. Read More →
In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, every state in the United States has issued guidelines or orders limiting social interaction. But these rules don’t always apply evenly when it comes to in-person worship services and other religious gatherings.
In fact, only 10 states are preventing in-person religious gatherings in any form, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of recent state-level regulations. The list includes California, where a group of churches are suing Gov. Gavin Newsom in federal court over what they claim is a violation of their First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. A federal judge last week rejected their request to hold services.
At a time when political polarization and antipathy in the United States remains at modern historic highs, many single people looking for a relationship wouldn’t want to date someone who voted for the candidate of the opposing party in the 2016 presidential election, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Democrats are especially wary of dating a Trump voter.
Among Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party who are single but looking for a relationship, about seven-in-ten (71%) say they probably or definitely would not consider being in a committed relationship with someone who voted for Donald Trump. In fact, 45% say they definitely would not consider seriously dating a Trump voter.
Meanwhile, roughly half of single-and-looking Republicans and Republican leaners (47%) say they probably or definitely wouldn’t be in a relationship with someone who voted for Hillary Clinton, including 19% who say they definitely would not consider it. There is also some resistance toward dating someone who is a member of the opposite party – but less so than there is about dating a person who voted for the other party’s 2016 presidential candidate. Roughly four-in-ten single-and-looking Democrats (43%) say they would not consider being in a relationship with a Republican. About a quarter of Republicans who are looking for a relationship (24%) say they probably or definitely would not seriously date a Democrat. Read More →
Despite some broad federal guidelines, claimants still face a hodgepodge of different state rules governing how they can qualify for benefits, how much they’ll get and how long they can collect them – because the United States does not have a single nationwide system for getting cash to jobless workers. Instead, it effectively has 53 separate systems run by the states (plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), which are overseen but not controlled by the federal government. 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.