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.