In the midst of large changes in marital patterns and rates of formation, the public maintains a positive outlook about the future of the family. When asked if they feel generally optimistic or pessimistic about the institution of marriage and the family, 67% say they are optimistic, 27% are pessimistic and 6% are unsure. Respondents in a Pew Research survey were asked about the future of various dimensions of national life, in addition to the family — moral and ethical standards, the long-term soundness of our economic system, our ability to get along with other nations and our system of education. Family came out on top. A narrow majority expressed optimism about the ability of the United States to get along with other countries (56% optimistic). The public was much more evenly divided over the future prospects of the educational system, the economy, and morals and ethics. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.