In the course of conducting public opinion surveys and demographic analyses, the Pew Research Center found a wide range of data milestones, breakthroughs, peaks and valleys in 2013, including record support for same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana; record levels of distrust of the federal government; record numbers of mothers who were the primary breadwinners for their families; and record numbers of Millennials living with their parents. Here is a look at the highs and lows Americans reached this year, according to Pew’s data.
1… Just over half (51%) of the public now favors same-sex marriage, while 42% are opposed.
2… A majority of Americans (52%) now favor legalizing the use of marijuana.
3… A majority agrees the U.S. should mind its own business internationally, the highest measure in nearly a half century of polling.
4… The share of Americans saying they do not want their own representative in Congress reelected – 38% – is at its highest point in two decades.
5… For the first time, a majority of the public (53%) says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms.
6… 36% of the nation’s young adults ages 18 to 31—the so-called Millennial generation— now live in their parents’ home, the highest share in at least four decades.
7… A record 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.
8… The U.S., which has a total population of 317 million, is now home to a record 40.4 million immigrants.
9… A record seven-in-ten (69%) Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67%) among their white counterparts.
10… The percentage of Americans who say the U.S. plays a more important and powerful role as a world leader than it did 10 years ago has fallen to a 40-year low of just 17%.
11… The percentage of American Catholics calling themselves “strong” Catholics is at a four-decade low.
12… For the first time since Pew Research Center began tracking smartphone adoption, a majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind.
13… 50% of the public now cites the internet as a main source for national and international news.