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Family Support in Graying Societies

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Family Support in Graying Societies
Source: Pew Research Center

The United States is turning gray, with the number of people ages 65 and older expected to nearly double by 2050. This major demographic transition has implications for the economy, government programs such as Social Security and families across the U.S. Among adults with at least one parent 65 or older, nearly three-in-ten already say that in the preceding 12 months they have helped their parents financially. Twice that share report assisting a parent with personal care or day-to-day tasks. Based on demographic change alone, the burden on families seems likely to grow in the coming decades.

Germany and Italy, two of the “oldest” nations in the world, after only Japan, are already where the U.S. will be in 2050: a fifth of the population in each country is age 65 or older. Compared with the U.S. today, a higher share of adults in Germany and Italy report helping their aging parents with basic tasks, and more in Italy have also provided personal care. However, in both countries, fewer adults than in the U.S. say they have provided financial assistance to their aging parents.

America’s Changing Religious Landscape

May 12, 2015 Comments off

America’s Changing Religious Landscape
Source: Pew Research Center

The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men.

State of the News Media 2015

May 1, 2015 Comments off

State of the News Media 2015
Source: Pew Research Center

Call it a mobile majority. At the start of 2015, 39 of the top 50 digital news websites have more traffic to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices than from desktop computers, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis of comScore data.

At the same time, though, desktop visitors to these sites tend to spend more time per visit than do mobile visitors. For half of these top 50 news sites – which include legacy print, cable, network, international and public broadcasting outlets as well as digital-only entities – visitors from desktops stay longer than those coming through mobile. The reverse is true for only 10 of the sites, while for 15 sites the time spent is roughly equal.

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015

April 10, 2015 Comments off

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015
Source: Pew Research Center

24% of teens go online “almost constantly,” facilitated by the widespread availability of smartphones.

Aided by the convenience and constant access provided by mobile devices, especially smartphones, 92% of teens report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly,” according to a new study from Pew Research Center. More than half (56%) of teens — defined in this report as those ages 13 to 17 — go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use. Just 6% of teens report going online weekly, and 2% go online less often.

Much of this frenzy of access is facilitated by mobile devices. Nearly three-quarters of teens have or have access to a smartphone and 30% have a basic phone, while just 12% of teens 13 to 17 say they have no cell phone of any type. African-American teens are the most likely of any group of teens to have a smartphone, with 85% having access to one, compared with 71% of both white and Hispanic teens. These phones and other mobile devices have become a primary driver of teen internet use: Fully 91% of teens go online from mobile devices at least occasionally. Among these “mobile teens,” 94% go online daily or more often. By comparison, teens who don’t access the internet via mobile devices tend to go online less frequently. Some 68% go online at least daily.

A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation; Sharp Differences by Race, Gender, Generation, Education

April 7, 2015 Comments off

A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation; Sharp Differences by Race, Gender, Generation, Education
Source: Pew Research Center

Democrats hold advantages in party identification among blacks, Asians, Hispanics, well-educated adults and Millennials. Republicans have leads among whites – particularly white men, those with less education and evangelical Protestants – as well as members of the Silent Generation.

A new analysis of long-term trends in party affiliation among the public provides a detailed portrait of where the parties stand among various groups in the population.

The share of independents in the public, which long ago surpassed the percentages of either Democrats or Republicans, continues to increase. Based on 2014 data, 39% identify as independents, 32% as Democrats and 23% as Republicans. This is the highest percentage of independents in more than 75 years of public opinion polling.

When the partisan leanings of independents are taken into account, 48% either identify as Democrats or lean Democratic; 39% identify as Republicans or lean Republican. The gap in leaned party affiliation has held fairly steady since 2009, when Democrats held a 13-point advantage (50% to 37%).

Faith-Based Funding Backed, But Church-State Doubts Abound

April 7, 2015 Comments off

Faith-Based Funding Backed, But Church-State Doubts Abound
Source: Pew Research Center

As religion plays a more prominent role in public life, sharp divisions of opinion about the mixing of church and state are apparent. Most notably, while the public expresses strong support for the idea of faith-based groups receiving government funding to provide social services, in practice, it has many reservations. Most Americans would not extend that right to non-Judeo-Christian religious groups including: Muslim Americans, Buddhist Americans, Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology. Many also have reservations about allowing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the Mormons — to apply for federal funding to offer social services.

Beyond which religions are acceptable, strong concerns are expressed about what government might do to religion and what religious groups might do to the people they are trying to help. On the one hand, fully 68% worry that faith- based initiatives might lead to too much government involvement with religious organizations. On the other, six-in-ten express concerns that religious groups would proselytize among recipients of social services, and about the same percentage would prohibit groups that encourage religious conversion from receiving government funds. Americans have an even bigger problem with government-funded religious organizations hiring only those people who share their beliefs — 78% oppose that concept.

U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015

April 6, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015
Source: Pew Research Center

Key Themes of This Report

10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband at home, and 15% own a smartphone but say that they have a limited number of options for going online other than their cell phone. Those with relatively low income and educational attainment levels, younger adults, and non-whites are especially likely to be “smartphone-dependent.”

Smartphones are widely used for navigating numerous important life activities, from researching a health condition to accessing educational resources. Lower-income and “smartphone-dependent” users are especially likely to turn to their phones for navigating job and employment resources.

A majority of smartphone owners use their phone to follow along with breaking news, and to share and be informed about happenings in their local community.

Smartphones help users navigate the world around them, from turn-by-turn driving directions to assistance with public transit. This is especially true for younger users.

An “experience sampling” of smartphone owners over the course of a week illustrates how young adults have deeply embedded mobile devices into the daily contours of their lives.

The experience sampling survey illustrates that smartphone usage often produces feelings of productivity and happiness, but that many users also feel distracted or frustrated after mobile screen encounters.

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