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13 highs and lows of American opinion in 2013

Posted at 2:36 PM, Dec 27, 2013

The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank, extracted some really interesting data analysis from the thousands of public opinion surveys they’ve conducted. They posted some of the milestones, breakthroughs and highs and lows of 2013.

***Data posted from Pew Research Center website. The full story is here, and features charts and analyses. Each hyperlink takes you to their detailed demographic analysis of a particular survey.***

  1. Just over half (51%) of the public now favors same-sex marriage, while 42% are opposed.
  2. A majority of Americans (52%) now favor legalizing the use of marijuana.
  3. A majority agrees the U.S. should mind its own business internationally, the highest measure in nearly a half century of polling.
  4. The share of Americans saying they do not want their own representative in Congress reelected – 38% – is at its highest point in two decades.
  5. For the first time, a majority of the public (53%) says that the federal governmentthreatens their personal rights and freedoms.
  6. 36% of the nation’s young adults ages 18 to 31—the so-called Millennial generation—now live in their parents’ home, the highest share in at least four decades.
  7. A record 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.
  8. The U.S., which has a total population of 317 million, is now home to a record 40.4 million immigrants.
  9. A record seven-in-ten (69%) Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67%) among their white counterparts.
  10. The percentage of Americans who say the U.S. plays a more important and powerful role as a world leader than it did 10 years ago has fallen to a 40-year low of just 17%.
  11. The percentage of American Catholics calling themselves “strong” Catholics is at a four-decade low.
  12. For the first time since Pew Research Center began tracking smartphone adoption, a majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind.
  13. 50% of the public now cites the internet as a main source for national and international news.

Browse all Pew Research Center 2013 reports by topic area and read their timeline of the year in public opinion.