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: A woman crosses an overpass above the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
    Transportation

    Navigation Apps Changed the Politics of Traffic

    In an excerpt from the new book The Future of Transportation, CityLab’s Laura Bliss adds up the “price of anarchy” when it comes to traffic navigation apps.

  2. Three men wearing suits raise shovels full of dirt in front of an American flag.
    Equity

    How Cities and States Can Stop the Incentive Madness

    Economist Timothy Bartik explains why the public costs of tax incentives often outweigh the benefits, and describes a model business-incentive package.

  3. A view of a Harlem corner.
    Equity

    How Ronald Reagan Halted the Early Anti-Gentrification Movement

    An excerpt from Newcomers, a new book by Matthew L. Schuerman, documents the early history of the anti-gentrification and back-to-the-city movements.

  4. Equity

    D.C.’s Vacant Stadium Dilemma

    RFK Stadium is taking up a very desirable plot of federal land in Washington, D.C.—and no one can agree what to do with it.

  5. a bike rider and bus riders in Seattle.
    Perspective

    There’s No App for Getting People Out of Their Cars

    “Mobility as a Service” boosters say that technology can nudge drivers to adopt transit and micromobility. But big mode shifts will take more than a cool app.  

×