The AP-NORC Center Update - 2017 Year in Review

Throughout the past year, the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research contributed rigorous and independent data on a variety of policy issues and ensured that voices and opinions of sometimes marginalized populations were heard. Check out our review of some of the important work released this year and the results from our latest surveys.

We want to express heartfelt thanks to our supporters, partners, funders and followers for a terrific year and we promise more great things to come in 2018.

Highlights from 2017

The Center released more than 40 reports this year covering research on topics ranging from health care to taxes to social trends. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Attitudes toward the Trustworthiness and Merit of News Media

The ongoing collaboration with American Press Institute on the Media Insight Project investigates evolving habits of news consumers and their attitudes toward the media. Recent reports include: 

The Influence of Caregiving on Work and Family

Several major research studies and journalism projects, funded by The SCAN Foundation, explore how older Americans feel about the services and support in their community. In 2017, the fifth annual survey took a look at several aspects of long-term care including: 

  • The experiences of older Americans who take on a caregiving role for an aging loved one. An infographic illustrates the responsibilities and burdens of caregivers.
  • A video interactive demonstrates how caregivers juggle obligations to caregiving and their job.
  • The cultural and language barriers in the health care system for older Hispanics.
  • Home health care aides are the subject of a video interactive that explores how they factor into long-term care at home and what’s expected of them.
  • Older Americans’ attitudes about the country’s preparedness to meet the care needs of an aging population and the policies that address the costs of both receiving and providing care.
  • A video outlines what Americans should be thinking about when it comes to the care they may need as they age.

The Impact of Inheritances and Incarceration on Retirement

To get a comprehensive picture of the work and retirement issues facing older Americans, the Center has conducted a series of studies and journalism projects with funding from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation with Americans aged 50 and older. The 2017 survey explored a number of issues, including:

Climate Change, Extreme Weather, and Energy Policy

Between the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement and the spate of destructive hurricanes at the end of the summer, the environment was a frequent topic on AP-NORC Center surveys.

Diversity in America

Immigration was a recurrent subject last year, with presidential orders restricting travel to the U.S., debate about the fate of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and continuing arguments about a wall on the Mexican border.

  • Americans are supportive of the country’s diversity and generally favorable toward immigration. But a survey in February found the public less favorable toward refugees and illegal immigration, and most expressed concern about the country losing its national identity.
  • While most Americans surveyed in June regard President Trump’s executive order on travel motivated by a desire to protect the country from security threats, a majority supported the courts’ actions blocking the order from taking effect.
  • Providing a way for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay in the country legally is supported by most Americans, according to a survey taken in September.

Teenagers and Social Media

Several reports this year were based on a survey of teenagers conducted in December 2016, including: 

Also from the NORC Society, Media, and Public Affairs Research Group


In addition to polling Americans, a survey was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago providing a rare glimpse inside Cuban society to understand its citizens’ daily experiences, their attitudes, and the goals they aspire to for themselves and their country.

Our Latest Reports

The Problem and Impact of Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is viewed by both men and women as a pervasive problem in American society—one that occurs all too regularly and with serious repercussions. According to The AP-NORC Center survey, most Americans are hopeful that the current attention being given to this problem will lead to some positive change. Workplaces are seen as having major trouble with sexual misconduct and as doing too little to address the problem. However, few employed people agree that their own place of work needs to deal with the same issues. Read more

New Year, Same Priorities: The Public's Agenda for 2018

Health care, taxes, immigration, the environment, and education top a long and diverse list of the American public’s policy priorities for the coming year. The public would like to see Washington expend considerable effort dealing with their top concerns for the country. But, even as Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress, Americans have little confidence that much progress will be made on these important problems. Read more

Americans Assess the Progress of the Russia Investigation

Fewer than half of Americans believe President Trump has done something illegal when it comes to his ties with Russia, but more than 6 in 10 say he has tried to impede or obstruct the investigation into these ties, according to a survey by The AP-NORC Center. The survey also finds that confidence in the Justice Department’s investigation has increased among Democrats and decreased among Republicans since June. Read more

Seen and Heard

Beyond The Associated Press, the Center's work has been widely cited throughout the year by many media outlets, ranging from national publications, like The Christian Science Monitor, to internet sites, such as Politico to broadcast networks, including ABC News. Here are some of the recent ones: