WHO ARE WE?
The online survey was answered by 1344 people who self-identify as Polish American. These people came from 47 different states. 60% of all respondents came from five states: Michigan, Illinois, New York, Virginia and New Jersey. Additionally, participants in the survey included Polish American residents from California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Ohio.
Mean age of survey’s respondents is 50.4 years while median age is 53.5. This indicates that older members of the community remain active in Polonia and are technologically savvy. Over 15% of respondents were below 30 years of age.
The survey indicates that most Polish Americans live in urban and suburban areas; only 20% of the respondents indicated living in small towns or rural areas.
54% participants are women and 46% are men; 57% of respondents are married.
Majority of respondents were born in the United States (70%), but a substantial number (26%) were born in Poland. The rest indicated another country as their place of birth. Overwhelming majority are US citizens (95%). Of foreign born respondents only 2% have been in the US for less than 10 years.
About 6% of respondents reported income of less than $20,000 (the Census reports that 6% of Polish Americans live below the poverty line). 45% report incomes between $40,000 and $99,000. 37.5% of Polish Americans report incomes of $100,000 or more. Generally speaking, Polonia is solidly middle class.
The majority of Polish Americans indicated membership in Roman Catholic faith (71%). 15% of respondents indicate affiliation with another Christian religion, such as Polish National Catholic Church and Protestant Churches. Less than 1% of survey respondents are Jewish. Almost 14% indicated no religious preference.
POLITICS / IDEOLOGY
38.5% of Polonia identifies as conservative. 37% of Polonia identifies as liberal. Almost 25% indicates being in the political center. Almost 6% of respondents indicate being very conservative, while 7% indicate being very liberal.
35% of respondents indicate affiliation with the Democratic party. Almost 36% of the respondents indicate that they are independent and 23% of Polish Americans indicate affiliation with the Republican party.
92.5% of Polish Americans surveyed are registered voters. Among them, 5% did not vote in the last Presidential election. Majority (53.1%) of those who voted supported for President Barack Obama. 40% of those who voted preferred Mitt Romney and 6.7% of those who voted supported third parties candidates.
Polish Americans preferred Obama slightly more than voters nationally (53.1% compared to 51.1%), Romney significantly less than voters nationally (40% compared to 47.2%) and third party candidates significantly more than the national electorate (6.7% compared to 1.7%).
The survey asked about political participation of Polish Americans. The results indicate that they are not very involved in the political process. Majority (68%) did not participate in the political process in any way outside of voting. 21% participated by donating money to a party, candidate or a Political Action Committee. 7% both donated and volunteered, while 3% only volunteered for a campaign but did not donate.
This year’s survey introduced questions about Polish politics. Initial analysis reveals that over 10% of the respondents voted in Polish elections in the last decade (26% of respondents were born in Poland). When asked about affiliation with a Polish political party, a substantial majority of respondents (72%) revealed lack of interest in Polish politics and hence no party affiliation.
Once the people who lack enough interest to develop a partisan affiliation are removed from the analysis, 38% identify with Platforma Obywatelska (PO) and 32% with Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS).
In addition to questions on their views on specific issues, the respondents were also asked to examine a list of important issues and rank them in order of importance to them personally. The results are as follow:
In terms of identity, plurality of respondents identify as Polish American. Overwhelming majority (75%) call themselves either Polish American or American of Polish descent. 14% identify as only Polish. 11% identify only as American.
Slightly above 44% of respondents reveal no membership in any Polish American organization. Social and cultural organizations are most popular, with 31%. Least popular are sports organizations, with only 3% of respondents indicating membership in an organization of this type. Only 6% of respondents indicate membership in a Polish American political organization.