Societal changes drive public policy.  These shifts include an aging population; the growth of high tech and service sector jobs; evolving views on race, ethnicity, and immigration; and changes in family structure.  Pew studies these attitudes and trends and their impact through the use of original public opinion survey research, along with social, economic, and demographic data analysis.  Pew’s work includes a major study of the millennial generation and the distinct path it is forging toward adulthood, with fewer ties to traditional religious and political institutions and more use of social media to build personal networks.

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Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project

  • The Growing Population of Older People in the U.S., Germany and Italy

    • May 21, 2015

    The United States is turning gray, with the number of people ages 65 and older expected to nearly double by 2050. This major demographic transition has implications for the economy, government programs such as Social Security and families across the U.S. Read More

  • About the Surveys

    • May 21, 2015

    The analysis in this report is based on nationally representative telephone surveys in the United States, Germany and Italy. Descriptions of the methodology used in each country are below. United States Nationally representative telephone interviews were conducted October 27-November 24, 2014, among a national sample of 1,692 adults, 18 years of age or older, living […] Read More

  • 6. Keeping in Touch Across Generations

    • May 21, 2015

    Families today have a variety of options for keeping in touch. New technologies, such as cellphones and the internet, make it possible for family members to be in almost constant communication with one another, regardless of their physical location. The telephone is used most often for communicating with family, but many family members today are […] Read More

  • 5. Helping Adult Children

    • May 21, 2015

    Family support goes in different directions and ebbs and flows at different stages of life. This section explores the support and assistance parents give to their adult children. The survey finds that, in all three countries, parents are providing a fair amount of help to their adult children. Many in the U.S., Italy and Germany […] Read More

  • 4. Caring for Aging Parents

    • May 21, 2015

    Most older adults in the U.S., Germany and Italy report that they are living independently and are satisfied with their lives. Still, many need support to deal with the challenges of getting older. The survey finds that in all three countries, families are taking the lead role as caregivers for aging adults who need help […] Read More