CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economics | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Get in touch to learn more.
1. More than 2 in 3 U.S. adults are at least ‘somewhat concerned’ about income inequality in the United States.
The coverage of two recent maritime disasters has reignited the discussion on income inequality in the United States. According to recent CivicScience data, 96% of Americans were aware of the recent disappearance and subsequent search for the Titan submersible. In contrast, nearly one-third of the population remained unaware of another tragic incident, involving a fishing trawler transporting hundreds of refugees across the Mediterranean, which left 82 confirmed dead, and up to 500 missing and presumed dead.
Ongoing CivicScience tracking data reveal concerns over income inequality spiked dramatically at the height of the pandemic in December 2020, when nearly half (49%) of U.S. adults said they were ‘very concerned.’ Although concerns have mostly stabilized over the past two years, the percentage of those who report being ‘somewhat concerned’ has ticked up to 36%, while those who are most concerned have held steady at 34%.
2. More than 2 in 5 support affirmative action, though a majority believe race should not factor into collegiate admissions.
The Supreme Court wrapped up its latest session last week, issuing several significant rulings, including a landmark decision that struck down affirmative action. According to recent CivicScience data following this ruling, U.S. adults are nine points more likely to say they support affirmative action than oppose it (41% to 32%), with 20% reporting they ‘strongly support’ it. That said, a slight majority (53%) of Americans believe race should not play a role in college admissions.
3. Nearly two-thirds of adults have witnessed or experienced a near miss of a pedestrian by a vehicle.
Recent state data show more than 7,500 were struck and killed by vehicles in the U.S. in 2022, the highest number since 1981. Further analysis revealed pedestrian deaths rose 77% between 2010 and 2021, compared to a 25% rise in all other traffic fatalities.
A staggering 65% of Americans have either personally witnessed a situation where a pedestrian narrowly avoided being hit by a vehicle or have experienced a close call with a vehicle themselves. Additionally, 19% have witnessed someone else being struck by a vehicle, while 8% recall being hit by a vehicle while walking.
Despite such high percentages, nearly 9-in-10 U.S. adults say they feel at least somewhat safe while walking along roadways or crossing streets in their neighborhood. More than 1-in-3 cyclists, however, say they feel ‘not very safe’ or ‘not safe at all’ while bicycling in their neighborhood.
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