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

  • Acknowledgments

    • June 22, 2017

    Pew Research Center received invaluable advice on the development of the questionnaire from Mary Zeiss Stange, professor emeritus of women’s studies and religion at Skidmore College, and David Yamane, professor of sociology at Wake Forest University. A series of focus groups with gun owners in Roanoke and Alexandria, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland, also helped inform […] Read More

  • Methodology

    • June 22, 2017

    Surveys conducted March 13-27, 2017, and April 4-18, 2017 The American Trends Panel (ATP), created by the Pew Research Center, is a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults recruited from landline and cellphone random-digit dial (RDD) surveys. Panelists participate via monthly self-administered web surveys. Panelists who do not have internet access are provided […] Read More

  • 5. Views on gun policy

    • June 22, 2017

    The public is divided in overall views of gun policy in the United States. Yet large majorities of Americans continue to support a number of specific gun policy proposals, including restrictions on gun sales to the mentally ill and expanded gun background checks. Attitudes about guns and gun policies divide gun owners and non-owners, Republicans […] Read More

  • 4. Views of guns and gun violence

    • June 22, 2017

    Most Americans say gun violence is a problem in the U.S., but fewer see this as a problem in their local community. Overall, half of all U.S adults say gun violence is a very big problem in this country, and an additional 33% say it is a moderately big problem. By comparison, less than half […] Read More

  • 3. Views of gun safety and the key responsibilities of gun owners

    • June 22, 2017

    Just as reasons for owning guns and using them in daily life vary, so do the ways in which gun owners store their guns and the extent to which they see certain measures – such as taking gun safety courses – as essential. Majorities of gun owners and non-owners alike agree that it’s essential for […] Read More

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