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The Most Striking and Fascinating Facts About Politics, Religion and Society in 2015


A clear distrust of public institutions at the federal level.

To ring in the New Year, the Pew Research Center assembled the top "15 striking findings from 2015" — the most "memorable facts" that provide a lens into public opinion and social developments in a variety of areas, including politics, religion and social media use.

Among the 15 most transformative and notable trends that Pew highlighted, we chose the following five to feature. Here they are:

1) Only 19 percent of Americans say that the U.S. government can be trusted always or most of the time. That's among the lowest levels measured over the past five decades, showing a clear distrust of public institutions at the federal level.

Pew Research Center

2) Islam is poised to experience massive growth over the next 40 years, according to Pew's religious projections, holding the potential to surpass Christianity in the second half of the century as the world's largest religion; this is due to population growth among Muslims.

3) In the U.S., Christians are declining as a share of the overall population, accounting for 78 percent in 2007 and 71 percent in 2014.

4) Likewise, there's been an increase of "nones" — those individuals who are atheist, agnostic or who embrace no specific denomination or religion. That cohort grew from 16 percent in 2007 to nearly 23 percent in 2014.

Pew Research Center

5) When it comes to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Google+, Vine and Tumblr, a majority of American teenagers — 71 percent — use more than one of these social media services, with three-quarters of U.S. teens having access to a smartphone.

See all 15 of the trends here.

(H/T: Pew Research Center)


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