A nation in time, in seven charts.

Change is complex, particularly at the scale of a nation 300 million strong.

It doesn't proceed smoothly or at the same rate among all age, racial, or ethnic groups. And yet: some of the movements—like the increase in support of gay marriage or interracial relationships or the decline of religious affiliation—are so clearly defined as to seem inexorable now. 

Pew Research's new report, The Next America, provides a portrait of these demographic and cultural shifts. It's filled with fascinating details about who Americans are, what we believe, and how both of those things have changed over the last several decades. 

We're a nation returning to its immigrant roots

Where more people are marrying outside the racial group they were born into.

We're a nation that increasingly supports gay marriage 

And the legalization of marijuana, though the trend is less clear and the generational differences larger.

Each successive generation has fewer members who are religiously affiliated, but the large majority of people still claim a religion.

And we know that we're a divided nation, politically, financially, racially, and by place of birth.

 

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  2. Equity

    What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

    Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

  3. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

  4. photo: San Francisco skyline
    Equity

    Would Capping Office Space Ease San Francisco’s Housing Crunch?

    Proposition E would put a moratorium on new commercial real estate if affordable housing goals aren’t met. But critics aren’t convinced it would be effective.   

  5. Design

    Before Paris’s Modern-Day Studios, There Were Chambres de Bonne

    Tiny upper-floor “maids’ rooms” have helped drive down local assumptions about exactly how small a livable home can be.

×