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Decline of Marriage, Views of Congress, Iraq, Presidential Campaign, Local News


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December 15, 2011

Decline of Marriage

Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married - A Record Low
Just 51% of all adults in the United States -- a record low -- are currently married, and the median age at first marriage for brides and grooms has never been higher. The number of new marriages in the U.S. declined by 5% between 2009 and 2010, a sharp one-year drop that may or may not be related to the sour economy. In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married. Read more


Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents
Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year's elections could be stark. The number who say their own member should be replaced matches the all-time high recorded in 2010, when 58 members of Congress lost re-election bids - the most in any election since 1948. Republicans are taking more blame than the Democrats for the public's dissatisfaction with Congress. Read more


The Troops Come Home from Iraq: Public Opinion on the War and Its End
As the remaining U.S. troops prepare to leave Iraq by year end, the public overwhelmingly supports the pullout. A roundup of Pew Research findings related to the war also examines public opinion on the U.S. intervention, the war's impact on the veterans who served there, and the downward trend in public awareness of the conflict over the years. Read more and see a slideshow summarizing the report. Also, view a video of an Oct. 5 panel discussion hosted by the Pew Research Center.

Presidential Campaign

Gingrich Leads, But Likely GOP Primary Voters Have Not Ruled Out Romney
Newt Gingrich has a substantial lead over Mitt Romney among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who say they are likely to vote in GOP primaries or caucuses. But clear majorities say there is at least a chance they would vote for either Gingrich or Romney in Republican primaries in their state. Read more

Top One-Word Reactions to GOP Frontrunners
When Americans are asked what comes to mind when they hear Newt Gingrich’s name, no single word stands out. When it comes to Mitt Romney, the most common word offered is "Mormon." Read more

Local News and Information

Where People Get Information About Restaurants and Other Local Businesses
People looking for information about local restaurants and other businesses say they rely on the internet, especially search engines, ahead of any other source. Newspapers, both printed copies and the websites of newspaper companies, run second. Read more

News Indexes

Gingrich Rise Fuels Campaign Coverage
The latest GOP presidential frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, has now been become the top campaign newsmaker after weeks of attention to Herman Cain and allegations about his personal behavior. Gingrich's rise to the top of the polls helped put the 2012 presidential campaign at the top of the news agenda again, accounting for 24% of last week's newshole. Read more

Public Focuses on Elections, Economy and Penn State
The latest allegations in the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University rivaled news about the 2012 elections and the economy in capturing the public’s attention last week. About two-in-ten (19%) said news about the 2012 presidential elections was their top story, while 18% each said they followed news about the economy or the Penn State scandal most closely. Read more

This Week's Featured Resource

The Alternative Poverty Measure: How and Why Census Developed It
The Census Bureau recently issued a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) that uses a wider range of factors than the official measure to account for people's living expenses and their financial resources. The bureau's official measure set the 2010 poverty line for a two-adult, two-child family at $22,113 while the supplemental measure sets it at $24,343. Our backgrounder on the supplemental measure explores the history of the federal government's effort to measure poverty, why there was a need for an alternative measure, and how its methodology impacts different demographic groups. Read more

Daily Number

27% and 61% - Texting, Talking on the Phone and Driving
The federal government has proposed banning the use of personal electronic devices while driving. How widespread is that use? A Pew Research Center study found that 27% of American adults say they have texted while driving, and 61% say they have talked on their cell phones while behind the wheel. Read more

Ask the Expert

Searching Online for Information on Health Care
Surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project have found that 80% of internet users, or 59% of U.S. adults, look online for health information. Susannah Fox, associate director, digital strategy, for the project, answers a reader's question about those who don't use the internet for this purpose, and how they differ from those who do. Read more

 Tweeting Research
Today, 13% of online Americans are on Twitter. So is Pew Research. Get all our latest research and numbers by following twitter.com/pewresearch.

 Become a Fan on Facebook
Are you one of the 59% of online Americans on a social network? Become a fan of the Pew Research Center on Facebook.

Projects of the Pew Research Center

people-press.org Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
journalism.org Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism
pewinternet.org Pew Internet & American Life Project
pewforum.org Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
pewhispanic.org Pew Hispanic Center
pewglobal.org Pew Global Attitudes Project
pewsocialtrends.org Pew Social & Demographic Trends


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