Archive for the 'Culture, Values and Attitudes' Category

The Influence of Economic Segregation

Emily Badger of Wonkblog examines the policy effects of economic segregation, particularly the skewed view the wealthy have of poverty:

The wealthy, surrounded by other wealthy people, generally believed the U.S. population was wealthier than it actually is. It’s easy to imagine why they might make this mistake: If you look around you and see few poor people — on the street, in your child’s classroom, at the grocery store — you may think poverty is pretty rare.

See also: Dawtry, Sutton & Sibley, Why Wealthier People Think People Are Wealthier, and Why It Matters

Age at Marriage and Risk of Divorce

Christopher Ingraham of Wonkblog writes about a new analysis of family data data by Nicholas Wolfinger:

Conventional wisdom has it that the older you are when you get married, the lower your chances for divorce. But a fascinating new analysis of family data by Nicholas H. Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah, suggests that after a certain point, the risk of divorce starts to rise again as you get older.

See Wolfinger’s report at Family Studies: Want to Avoid Divorce? Wait to Get Married, But Not Too Long.

See also his follow up, Replicating the Goldilocks Theory of Marriage and Divorce.

Marriage Chances by County

The NY Times’ Upshot analyzed data from the Equality of Opportunity group and found that where you grow up affects your chances marrying by age 26.

The most striking geographical pattern on marriage, as with so many other issues today, is the partisan divide. Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America — especially liberal bastions like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington — makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country. And no place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado.

America’s Changing Religious Landscape

The Pew Research Center released a report earlier this month examining religion in the United States. Overall, they find that Christianity is in decline among Americans of all ages, races and ethnicities, and education levels.

Download the complete report (PDF)
Interactive database tool

See also: Q&A: A look at what’s driving the changes seen in our Religious Landscape Study and a study from last year, How Americans Feel About Religious Groups.

Hispanics and Education

Jens Manuel Krogstad of Pew Research Center lists 5 Facts About Latinos and Education:

Educational attainment among U.S. Latinos has been changing rapidly in recent years, reflecting the group’s growth in the nation’s public K-12 schools and colleges. Over the past decade, the Hispanic high school dropout rate has declined and college enrollment has increased, even as Hispanics trail other groups in earning a bachelor’s degree.

The In-State Tuition Break Is in Decline

The New York Times Upshot examines the rise of college tuition and fees and the restriction of in-state tuition breaks and what it means for the affordability of higher education.

Part of this story is familiar to anyone who has watched public universities raise tuition and fees, in some cases by 50 percent or more. But there’s another, less obvious, part of the story. Many of the most elite public universities are steadily restricting the number of students who are allowed to pay in-state tuition in the first place.

A result is the creeping privatization of elite public universities that have historically provided an accessible route to jobs in academia, business and government. One of the most important paths to upward mobility, open on a meritocratic basis to people from all economic classes, is narrowing.

See also: Readers’ Turn: The ‘Rat Race’ of College Competition.

Voter Turnout in OECD Countries

Drew DeSilver of Pew Research Center analyzed voter data for OECD countries and found that the U.S. voter turnout ranks near the bottom among the voting-age population (53.5% in 2012), but much higher among registered voters (84.3%).

Mentally Ill and in Prison

Ana Swanson of Wonkblog examines the “shocking number of mentally ill Americans…in prison instead of treatment“:

According to a report by the Treatment Advocacy Center…American prisons and jails housed an estimated 356,268 inmates with several mental illness in 2012—on par with the population of Anchorage, Alaska, or Trenton, New Jersey. That figure is more than 10 times the number of mentally ill patients in state psychiatric hospitals in the same year—about 35,000 people.

Generations and Partisanship

The Pew Research Center released a report examining the political leanings of different generations: A Different Look at Generations and Partisanship (PDF is here).

See also: A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation (PDF here).

Racial Attitudes of White Millennials Are Not Much Different than their Parents’

Scott Clement of the Wonkblog examines five measures of racial prejudice from 3 waves of the General Social Survey conducted by NORC and finds that generally White attitudes towards Black people have not changed much since the Baby Boomers.