Tech is Now the Norm.. and Other Findings of 2019
- Filed under "education"
- Published Thursday, January 23, 2020
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At the end of every year, the Pew Research Center publishes fascinating lists of is most noteworthy findings, and 2019 was no different. Ranging from demographics to trends to public opinion, the Center recorded the following important ways our country has changed over the last decade:
- Tech is now the norm: in 2019, 90% of adults were online, over 80% owned smartphones, and over 70% used social media. In all, 100% of Millennials (23 to 38 years old) used the internet.
- In 2018, social media surpassed printed news as the primary source of news for Americans. Over half (52%) of adults get their news from Facebook, nearly doubling YouTube (28%), Twitter (17%) or Instagram (14%) as the primary site for news.
- Millennials are now the largest population in the U.S. labor force – over 57 million Millennials were working or looking for work (2018), double the number of Baby Boomers (38 million – born between 1946 and 1964) and more than Gen Xers (born 1965 to 1980).
- The unemployment rate in the U.S. declined from a near-record high (9.5%) in 2010 to a near-record low (3.5%) in 2019. This isn’t the complete story, however, as the U.S. employment rate in 2019 was several percentage points below the rate in 2007 prior to the Great Recession, primarily because of the aging population.
- The recent decade was the first in 160 years during which the average number of people living in a household increased. Fully 20% of the U.S. population live with several generations under one roof, and more people are sharing living quarters (with “extra” adults with whom they are not romantically involved).
- Racial or ethnic minorities account for the majority of newborns and the majority of students in K-12 public schools. Beginning in 2013, more than half of babies born in the U.S. were minorities, and by 2018, nearly 53% of school students were minorities.
- Church attendance is declining – over half report attending church “a few times a year or less” and 45% report attending monthly or more. Over the past decade, the number of adults describing themselves as Christian dropped by 12% - from 77% to 65%.
- Adults increasingly support legalization of marijuana. Although Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, 2/3 of adults back its legalization. To-date, all but 4 states have some form of medical marijuana law, Illinois recently joined 10 other states in legalizing recreational marijuana.
- Same- sex marriage now has the support of 61% of Americans.
- In 2019, 7 states started to offer a third gender option (nonbinary or Gender X) on driver’s licenses for people not identifying as male or female, and at least 4 more plan to do so in 2020. A number of states also added a third gender option on birth certificates.
Regardless of what the future holds, we know there will be continuing concerns for girls and women – locally and globally.