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What's New From Pew Research Center in 2022
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Posted On July 12, 2022
NewsBreaks often covers recent surveys and reports from Pew Research Center, “a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.” Its website has 12 main topic sections, each showcasing the latest research, which is collected in reports, fact sheets, or other formats that extrapolate respondents’ answers to cover the entire U.S. (or other) population. There is a summary page that includes the methodology for how the information was collected and a link to download and read the full report.

The following are some of the latest reports from 2022. Not every topic section is represented; some reports overlap topics.

Here are NewsBreaks’ previous roundups of Pew Research Center’s research: October 2017 | March 2018 October 2018 March 2019 October 2019 March 2020 | December 2020 | June 2021 | December 2021

Politics & Policy

What the Data Says About Abortion in the U.S.,” from June 24, brings together the most recent available data about abortion. In Pew’s May 2022 survey, 61% of U.S. adults said it should be legal all or most of the time. The CDC reported that in 2019, there were 629,898 abortions performed in clinical settings nationwide. The Guttmacher Institute puts that number higher, at 916,460 clinical abortions in 2019. The CDC divides the procedure into two categories: surgical abortions and medical abortions. In 2019, it found that 56% of abortions were surgical, and 44% were medical (i.e., involved abortion pills—this medication is approved for use until 10 weeks into pregnancy).

A report from June 6, “Americans’ Views of Government: Decades of Distrust, Enduring Support for Its Role,” finds that 20% of U.S. adults “trust the government in Washington to do the right thing just about always or most of the time,” and 8% say the government is “responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans.” A majority of the survey respondents say the government is good at responding to natural disasters (70%) and keeping the country safe from terrorism (68%). A minority of the survey respondents say the government is doing a good job of managing the immigration system (24%), helping people escape poverty (also 24%), and strengthening the economy (37%). Republicans and Democrats agree that government doesn’t do enough to help retirees, rural residents, suburban residents, and middle-income people, but Democrats are more likely to say the government doesn’t do enough to help children, parents, urban residents, and low-income people.

International Affairs

One report from June 22, “Most Americans Continue to Think the U.S. Is Less Respected Today Than in the Past,” shows that 68% of U.S. adults feel the U.S. is less respected by other countries today than it was in the past. Meanwhile, 13% think the U.S. is more respected internationally than in the past, and 19% think it’s as respected as ever. Opinions of Republicans and Democrats differ, with 81% of Republicans and Republican-leaners believing the U.S. is less respected than in the past. (When Donald Trump was president, Republicans were more likely to say that the U.S. was more respected.) But 60% of Democrats and Democrat-leaners say the U.S. is less respected now. Pew notes, “While this is far lower than the record share of Democrats who said the same during Donald Trump’s presidency, Democrats’ views on this question are slightly less positive than they were at the beginning of the Obama administration. In 2009 and 2012, half of Democrats or fewer felt the U.S. was less respected than in the past.”

Another report from June 22, “International Attitudes Toward the U.S., NATO and Russia in a Time of Crisis,” features input from 18 nations and shows that ratings for Russia have declined following its invasion of Ukraine. “In 10 countries, 10% or less of those polled express a favorable opinion of Russia. Positive views of Russian President Vladimir Putin are in single digits in more than half of the nations polled,” Pew notes. Opinions of NATO are “largely positive,” and a median of 61% across 17 nations have favorable ratings of the U.S. Since last year, these favorable ratings have increased significantly in South Korea, Sweden, and Australia, but they have declined significantly in Greece, Italy, and France.

Immigration & Migration

After a Month of War, Ukrainian Refugee Crisis Ranks Among the World’s Worst in Recent History,” from March 25, shows that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created one of the biggest refugee crises of modern times. A month into the war, more than 3.7 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries—the sixth-largest refugee outflow over the past 60-plus years. … There are now almost as many Ukrainian refugees as there were Afghan refugees fleeing the (first) Taliban regime in 2001. … They represent about 9.1% of Ukraine’s pre-invasion population of about 41.1 million—ranking the current crisis 16th among 28 major refugee crises by share of population.”

A report from Feb. 14, “Around Four-in-Ten Latinos in U.S. Worry That They or Someone Close to Them Could Be Deported,” shares that deportation is an important concern for 39% of Latinos, with 51% of immigrant Latinos saying “they worry a lot” about themselves or someone close to them getting deported; 28% of U.S.-born Latinos have the same worry. One-third of Latinos who are naturalized U.S. citizens worry about deportation. Among Latinos who are not U.S. citizens and do not have a green card, 79% say they worry; 53% of those who are not citizens but have a green card worry.

Race & Ethnicity

A May 9 report, “About a Third of Asian Americans Say They Have Changed Their Daily Routine Due to Concerns Over Threats, Attacks,” looks at the “racially motivated threats and attacks against Asians” in the U.S., which a majority (63%) of Asian American adults say are increasing. In response, most Asian Americans worry about attacks—7% worry daily, 14% worry almost daily, 51% worry sometimes, 18% worry rarely, and 10% never worry. About a third (36%) say they have changed their daily routine to avoid threats. In a 2021 survey, the most common causes for the increase in violence were given as President Donald Trump, racism, COVID-19, and blaming Asian people for the pandemic.

On April 14, Pew posted “Race Is Central to Identity for Black Americans and Affects How They Connect With Each Other,” which states, “No matter where they are from, who they are, their economic circumstances or educational backgrounds, significant majorities of Black Americans say being Black is extremely or very important to how they think about themselves, with about three-quarters (76%) overall saying so” (78% of non-Hispanic Black Americans, 57% of multiracial Black Americans, and 58% of Hispanic Black adults say the same thing). Non-Hispanic Black Americans account for 87% of the Black adult population. Younger Black Americans are less likely to say that being Black shapes how they think about themselves: “76% of Black adults ages 30 to 49, 80% of those 50 to 64 and 83% of those 65 and older hold this view, while only 63% of those under 30 do.”

Gender & LGBTQ

About 5% of Young Adults in the U.S. Say Their Gender Is Different From Their Sex Assigned at Birth,” from June 7, shares that about 5% of adults younger than 30 are transgender or nonbinary (2% are trans; 3% are nonbinary), versus 1.6% of 30- to 49-year-olds and 0.3% of those ages 50 and older. In the age group of adults younger than 25, about 3% are trans, while 0.5% of 25- to 29-year-olds are (“There is no statistically significant difference between these two age groups in the share who are nonbinary or the total share who are trans or nonbinary,” Pew notes.) Among people who are not trans or nonbinary, 44% know someone who is trans, and 20% know someone who is nonbinary.

In the Jan. 28 report, “In U.S., Women More Likely Than Men to Report Feeling Empathy for Those Suffering,” Pew asked Americans “their thoughts and feelings regarding human suffering in light of the pandemic and other recent tragedies, finding that women and men answered a few questions somewhat differently.” On questions such as the meaning of life, whether suffering has a purpose, and why terrible things happen to people, 66% of women have thought “a lot” or “some” about them in the past year, compared to 55% of men. Women (71%) are more likely than men (53%) to feel sad for sufferers when they see or hear about a terrible thing happening to people. Women (46%) are also more likely than men (34%) to want to help people who are suffering. When they hear bad news, women more often say they are thankful for the good things in their own lives (76%, versus 67% of men). However, Pew adds, “While women are more inclined than men to report having these feelings often, overwhelming majorities of men do say they experience these things at least ‘sometimes.’”

Family & Relationships

A May 18 report, “More Than Half of Americans Live Within an Hour of Extended Family,” shows that 55% of U.S. adults live within an hour’s drive of at least some extended family members (children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, etc.): 28% live near all or most of these family members; 27% live near some of them. And 24% live near “only a few” of them, while 20% don’t live near any. Adults with the highest education levels are the least likely to live near family, and the same is true for upper-income adults. White, Black, and Hispanic Americans are more likely than Asian Americans to live near “all or most” of their extended family. Regionally, adults in the Northeast and Midwest are most likely to live near family.

Financial Issues Top the List of Reasons U.S. Adults Live in Multigenerational Homes,” from March 24, states, “Multigenerational living has grown sharply in the U.S. over the past five decades and shows no sign of peaking. When asked why they share their home with relatives, Americans often give practical reasons related to finances or family caregiving. But the experience also has an emotional component. About a quarter of adults in multigenerational homes say it is stressful all or most of the time, and more than twice that share say it is mostly or always rewarding.” Now, 18% of the U.S. population is living in a multigenerational household. People of color are more likely than white people to live with extended family, especially if they’re immigrants. Young adults ages 25–29 are the most likely to have these living arrangements: 31% overall, 37% of men in this age group, and 26% of women in this age group. “Americans living in multigenerational households are less likely to be poor than those living in other types of households,” Pew notes.

Economy & Work

A June 21 report, “After Dropping in 2020, Teen Summer Employment May Be Poised to Continue Its Slow Comeback,” states, “The summer of 2021 was the strongest in years for U.S. teenagers seeking work. Beset by labor shortages, businesses trying to come back from the COVID-19 pandemic hired nearly a million more teens than in the summer of 2020.” In 2019, 35.8% of U.S. teens had a paying job for at least part of the season, while last summer (2021), the teen summer employment rate was 36.6%. From 1948 (when the current data series began) to 2000, consistently about half of all U.S. teens had summer jobs. Pew says the percentage decreased “during the dot-com implosion of the early 2000s and dropped even more sharply during and after the 2007-09 Great Recession. By 2010 and 2011, the teen summer employment rate had bottomed out at 29.6%. … Teen summer employment recovered, slowly, in subsequent years, with the employment rate inching up to 35.8% by the summer of 2019. The pandemic appears to have dented, but not fundamentally altered, that gradual upward trend.”

Another recent report, from June 15, is “In the U.S. and Around the World, Inflation is High and Getting Higher.” It shows that the inflation rate in the U.S. is higher than it has been since the 1980s, sitting at 8.6% as of May 2022. Between 1991 and 2019, year-over-year inflation averaged about 2.3% per month. Pew also surveyed 44 advanced economies to find that in 37 of them, the average annual inflation rate has been rising since the pandemic began. Turkey has the highest inflation rate, at 54.8% as of Q1 2022, while Israel’s rate has increased the fastest: from 0.13% in Q1 2020 to 3.36% in Q1 2022. Other countries also saw major increases: Italy has gone from 0.29% in Q1 2020 to 5.67% in Q1 2022, and Switzerland has gone from -0.13% in Q1 2020 to 2.06% in Q1 2022.

Science

Concern About Drug Addiction Has Declined in U.S., Even in Areas Where Fatal Overdoses Have Risen the Most,” from May 31, shares that the percentage of Americans who call drug addiction a “major problem” in their community has decreased (from 42% in 2018 to 35% in 2021), although the number of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. have increased. In 2020, about 92,000 Americans died of overdoses, up from about 70,000 in 2017. In a 2022 survey, “dealing with drug addiction ranked lowest out of 18 priorities for the president and Congress to address this year.”

A report from May 12, “A Majority of Americans Favor Expanding Natural Gas Production to Export to Europe,” finds that 61% of Americans “would favor the United States expanding production to export large amounts of natural gas to European countries,” while 37% “would oppose expanding natural gas production to export to countries in Europe.” Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats favor exporting natural gas to Europe: 70% of Republicans and Republican-leaners and 55% of Democrats and Democrat-leaners. Pew adds, “Two-thirds (67%) say the impact on natural gas prices in the U.S. should be a major consideration when it comes to whether the U.S. should export large amounts of natural gas to European countries. Both those in favor of and opposed to exporting U.S. natural gas to Europe agree that the impact on domestic prices should be a major consideration.” Alternative energy sources are still top of mind for many U.S. adults, with 67% advocating for wind and solar power development as a more important priority.

Internet & Technology

Politics on Twitter: One-Third of Tweets From U.S. Adults Are Political,” from June 16, shares the results of an analysis of English-language tweets posted May 1, 2020–May 31, 2021. About a quarter of U.S. adults use Twitter, and 33% of them tweet about political topics. Pew notes, “Americans ages 50 and older make up 24% of the U.S. adult Twitter population but produce nearly 80% of all political tweets. And 36% of the tweets produced by the typical (median) U.S. adult Twitter user age 50 or older contain political content, roughly five times the share (7%) for the tweets from the typical 18- to 49-year-old.”

AI and Human Enhancement: Americans’ Openness Is Tempered by a Range of Concerns,” from March 17, shows that Americans see potential in the use of AI technologies, but they have concerns about autonomy, unintended consequences, and the amount of change they might cause. Some see positives in police using facial recognition technology to help solve crimes (46% of U.S. adults think this is a good idea) and in social media sites using algorithms to find false information being posted (38% think this is a good idea). However, only 13% think putting computer chip implants in people’s brains for quicker and more accurate information processing would be a good idea, and 26% think having autonomous passenger vehicles in widespread use is a good idea. Pew adds that “39% say they are not sure about the potential implications for society if gene editing is widely used to change the DNA of embryos to greatly reduce a baby’s risk of developing serious diseases or health conditions over their lifetime.”

News Habits & Media

A June 14 report, “Journalists Sense Turmoil in Their Industry Amid Continued Passion for Their Work,” shares the results of a survey of nearly 12,000 active, U.S.-based journalists. It finds that 70% of journalists are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with their career and are excited about their work. About 50% say being a journalist “has a positive impact on their emotional well-being, higher than the 34% who say it is bad for their emotional well-being.” Journalists see problems in their industry, with 72% using a word with a negative connotation to describe it, including “struggling,” “chaos,” “biased,” “partisan,” “difficult,” and “stressful.” The problems cited include the prospect of press restrictions, with 57% of journalists calling them “extremely” or “very” concerning, while misinformation and disinformation was called “a very big problem for the country” by 71%.

An April 5 report, “Total Number of U.S. Statehouse Reporters Rises, but Fewer Are on the Beat Full Time,” shows that the total number of reporters assigned to the 50 state capitol buildings (i.e., covering legislative and administrative activity at the capitols) has gone up by 11% since 2014 (when the data was last collected). Pew attributes the increase to “new nonprofit news outlets that are employing statehouse reporters, and a shift to more part-time statehouse reporting.” Only 48% of reporters assigned to the capitol beat cover the news there full time.


Brandi Scardilli is the editor of NewsBreaks and Information Today.

Email Brandi Scardilli

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