Age at retirement

When I’m 64, or Maybe 63? Public Views about Retirement Age

Many Baby Boomers are facing a difficult decision: when to retire? Their personal choices are being made in the context of a longstanding debate about the appropriate age for workers to leave the workforce. What Americans think about age and retirement, from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research Archives: Mandatory retirement age While in recent years public controversy about retirement age has centered around how long workers need to stay in the workforce to ensure financial stability in retirement, in earlier decades the contentious issue was mandatory retirement – forcing workers to retire before they wished to. In 1955,
Public funds, private education

Public Funds, Private Education: What the Polls Say

Government aid to private schools, vouchers, private educational contractors - the lines between public and private in the world of education are ever-shifting. Policies that push these boundaries are often challenged in both the legal system and the court of public opinion. A look back at how Americans have seen the relationship between the public schools and private education, from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research archives: Federal dollars, private schools The earliest questions on the use of public funding for private education asked if federal education aid should be extended to private and parochial schools. In 1938, a
The American Public and Israel

The American Public and Israel

When Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress at their invitation, many U.S. leaders marked the occasion by affirming their commitment to the special relationship between the States and Israel. But how do the American people feel? Do Americans support their government’s policy toward Israel, and have their feelings changed over the years? (more…)
Selma march

Andrew Kohut on the Anniversary of the Selma March

On March 7, 1965, black Americans marched on Selma, Alabama in an effort to secure the civil rights that had been withheld from them and were met with brutality.  (more…)

Fly Me to the Moon – The Public and NASA

On March 3, 1915, the U.S. government established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA. In 1958, NACA became NASA. In polls in the years since, the American public has shown pride in the country’s accomplishments in space exploration, along with concern about the costs involved. (more…)
cuba diplomatic-relations-lrg

Then and Now: Relations with Cuba

The prospect of the U.S. normalizing relations with Cuba is the latest twist in the long story of the two nations’ interactions since Teddy Roosevelt led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill in July 1898. Following Castro’s rise to power in 1959, the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of 1960 and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 brought the US and Cuba near open conflict and the US and the USSR to the brink of nuclear war. It was not until the early 1970s, following Nixon’s rapprochement with China, that the issue of restoring ties with Cuba came back

The Public, Race, and a Jury of Your Peers

Last year’s jury decisions in racially-charged investigations were only the most recent to reveal the schism in the country’s perceptions of how race intersects with justice. From the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research archives, a look back over more than twenty years of data on race and the jury system: (more…)

A Public Divided: Americans’ Attitudes about Torture

The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA use of torture in interrogations of suspected terrorists has renewed the debate over what the U.S. should or should not do to its prisoners in the war on terror. Where does the public stand – and have their views changed over time? (more…)

Happy Birthday, Tea Party: The Public’s Views on Contemporary Social Movements

February 27, 2015 marks the 6th anniversary of the first nationally organized Tea Party protests. That first day of protests, sparked by Rick Santelli’s call for a “Chicago tea party” on a February 19, 2009 episode of CNBC’s Squawk Box, led to the formation of a loosely organized network of grassroots groups, known collectively as the Tea Party Movement (TPM). (more…)

Then and Now: Terrorism Fears

Terrorism in the modern sense first began to enter the American consciousness with the rise of bombings and hijackings in Europe and the Mideast in the 1970s. (more…)