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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  • 4. Police, fatal encounters and ensuing protests

    • January 11, 2017

    Shortly after noon on Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Since 2015, almost 500 blacks have been fatally shot by police.11 Their deaths and the disputed circumstances surrounding many of these incidents have sparked widespread protests over police tactics and raised […] Read More

  • 3. Police and the community

    • January 11, 2017

    Police officers routinely deal with people behaving at their worst. Frequent encounters with verbally abusive and sometimes physically combative citizens also come with the badge. Despite these experiences, the Pew Research Center survey finds that a majority of officers retain a generally positive view of the public. About seven-in-ten reject the assertion that most people […] Read More

  • 2. Inside America’s police departments

    • January 11, 2017

    Most police officers are satisfied with their department as a place to work and are strongly committed to ensuring their agency is successful. But police offer less positive views about some key aspects of their department’s processes and policies. For example, officers are divided on whether the disciplinary process in their department is fair. And […] Read More

  • What do police think?

    • January 11, 2017

    First, tell us how you think police would answer each of the five questions below. Then we’ll tell you how officers actually answered each question in a Pew Research Center nationwide survey. Read More

  • 1. Police culture

    • January 11, 2017

    In police departments around the country, officers are often sent out to start their shift with an admonition from their supervisor – something to the effect of, “Come back safe.” There’s no disputing that law enforcement is a dangerous occupation.6 Police officers feel this acutely, but they question whether the public truly understands the risks they […] Read More

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Analysis of the Facts, Numbers, and Trends Shaping the World

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