In Depth: Topics A to Z

Race Relations

Trend: How Would You Rate Relations Between Whites and Blacks? By Race

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you would rate relations between various groups in the United States these days. Would you say relations between -- whites and blacks -- are very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad, or very bad?

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you would rate relations between various groups in the United States these days. Would you say relations between -- whites and Hispanics -- are very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad, or very bad?

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you would rate relations between various groups in the United States these days. Would you say relations between -- whites and Asians -- are very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad, or very bad?

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you would rate relations between various groups in the United States these days. Would you say relations between -- blacks and Hispanics -- are very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad, or very bad?

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you would rate relations between various groups in the United States these days. Would you say relations between -- blacks and Asians -- are very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad, or very bad?

Trend by Race/Ethnicity: Overall, how satisfied are you with your life?

Trend: Next we’d like to know how you feel about the way various groups in society are treated. For each of the following groups please say whether you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with the way they are treated. How about … Immigrants?

Trend: Next we’d like to know how you feel about the way various groups in society are treated. For each of the following groups please say whether you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with the way they are treated. How about … Women?

Trend: Next we’d like to know how you feel about the way various groups in society are treated. For each of the following groups please say whether you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with the way they are treated. How about … blacks?

Trend: Next we’d like to know how you feel about the way various groups in society are treated. For each of the following groups please say whether you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with the way they are treated. How about … Hispanics?

Trend: Next we’d like to know how you feel about the way various groups in society are treated. For each of the following groups please say whether you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with the way they are treated. How about … Asians?

Trend: Next we’d like to know how you feel about the way various groups in society are treated. For each of the following groups please say whether you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with the way they are treated. How about … Arabs?

Trend: How much of a role, if any, do you think the government should have in trying to improve the social and economic position of blacks and other minority groups in this country -- a major role, a minor role, or no role at all?

Trend: Do you think that relations between blacks and whites will always be a problem for the United States, or that a solution will eventually be worked out?

Trend: In general, do you think that blacks have as good a chance as whites in your community to get any kind of job for which they are qualified, or don't you think they have as good a chance?

Trend: Again, in general, do you think that blacks have as good a chance as whites in your community to get a good education, or don't you think they have as good a chance?

Trend: Again, in general, do you think that blacks have as good a chance as whites in your community to get any housing they can afford, or don't you think they have as good a chance?

Just your impression, are blacks in your community treated less fairly than whites in the following situations? How about -- on the job or at work?

Just your impression, are blacks in your community treated less fairly than whites in the following situations? How about -- in neighborhood shops?

Just your impression, are blacks in your community treated less fairly than whites in the following situations? How about -- in stores downtown or in the shopping mall?

Just your impression, are blacks in your community treated less fairly than whites in the following situations? How about -- in restaurants, bars, theaters or other entertainment places?

Just your impression, are blacks in your community treated less fairly than whites in the following situations? How about -- in dealing with the police, such as traffic incidents?

Just your impression, are blacks in your community treated less fairly than whites in the following situations? How about -- in getting healthcare from doctors and hospitals?

Do you feel that women in this country have equal job opportunities as men, or not?

Do you feel that racial minorities in this country have equal job opportunities as whites, or not?

Trend: Do you generally favor or oppose affirmative action programs for women?

Trend: Do you generally favor or oppose affirmative action programs for racial minorities?

Trend: Which comes closer to your view about evaluating students for admission into a college or university -- [ROTATED: applicants should be admitted solely on the basis of merit, even if that results in few minority students being admitted (or) an applicant’s racial and ethnic background should be considered to help promote diversity on college campuses, even if that means admitting some minority students who otherwise would not be admitted]?

If two equally qualified students, one white and one black, applied to a major U.S. college or university, who do you think would have the better chance of being accepted to the college -- [ROTATED: the white student, the black student] -- or would they have the same chance?

Now thinking ahead, ten years from now, do you think civil rights for blacks will be -- [ROTATED: greatly improved, somewhat improved, the same, somewhat worse (or) much worse]?

Trend: Do you think racism against blacks is or is not widespread in the U.S.?

Trend: Do you think racism against whites is or is not widespread in the U.S.?

How would you say local police in your area treat racial minorities including blacks -- very fairly, fairly, unfairly or very unfairly?

Trend: Do you think the American justice system is biased against black people?

How do you view Barack Obama's presidency in terms of progress for blacks in the United States -- as the most important advance for blacks in the past one hundred years, as one of the two or three most important advances for blacks in the past one hundred years, but not the most important, important, but not among the most important advances, or not that important?

As a result of Barack Obama's election, do you think race relations in this country have -- [ROTATED: gotten a lot better, gotten a little better, not changed, gotten a little worse (or) gotten a lot worse]?

Next we have a question about a president's policies to help improve the standard of living of blacks in the United States. Do you think the policies of Barack Obama would go too far, would be about right, or would not go far enough in promoting efforts to aid the black community?

Trend: Can you think of any occasion in the last thirty days when you felt you were treated unfairly in the following places because you were black?

Just your opinion, what do you think is the single most important thing that could be done to reduce the number of deadly encounters between black men and police in the U.S.?

Trend: Next, I’m going to read a list of problems facing the country. For each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all? First, how much do you personally worry about race relations?

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about the state of race relations?

Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about the position of blacks and other racial minorities in the nation?

Trend by Race/Ethnicity: How many people of each of the following races or ethnic backgrounds would you say live in your area -- many, some, only a few or none? How about -- whites?

Trend by Race/Ethnicity: How many people of each of the following races or ethnic backgrounds would you say live in your area -- many, some, only a few or none? How about -- blacks?

Trend by Race/Ethnicity: How many people of each of the following races or ethnic backgrounds would you say live in your area -- many, some, only a few or none? How about -- Hispanics?

Trend by Race/Ethnicity: How many people of each of the following races or ethnic backgrounds would you say live in your area -- many, some, only a few or none? How about -- Asians?

Trend by Race/Ethnicity: How many people of each of the following races or ethnic backgrounds would you say live in your area -- many, some, only a few or none? How about -- recent immigrants?

Trend: Do you think new civil rights laws are needed to reduce discrimination against blacks, or not?

Trend: Now thinking ahead, ten years from now, do you think civil rights for blacks will be -- greatly improved, somewhat improved, the same, somewhat worse (or) much worse?

Which would you prefer to see in your local area -- a larger police presence than currently exists, no change or a smaller police presence than currently exists?

Trend: Can you think of any occasion in the last thirty days when you felt you were treated unfairly in the following places because you were Hispanic?

As you may know, a jury recently found George Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter in the death of Trayvon Martin. From what you know about the case, do you think the verdict was right or wrong?

Do you approve or disapprove of marriage between blacks and whites?

Trend: On the average, blacks have worse jobs, income, and housing than whites. Do you think this is mostly due to discrimination against blacks, or is it mostly due to something else?

Trend: On the average, black males are more likely to go to prison than white males. Do you think this is mostly due to discrimination against blacks, or is it mostly due to something else?

Trend: Some people say the term "African-American" should be used instead of the word "black." Which term do you prefer -- "African-American" or "black," or does it not matter to you either way?

Some people say the term "Latino" should be used instead of the word "Hispanic." Which term do you prefer -- "Latino" or "Hispanic," or does it not matter to you either way?

In the years ahead, as a result of Barack Obama's presidency, do you think race relations in this country will -- [ROTATED: get a lot better, get a little better, not change, get a little worse (or) get a lot worse]?

A lot
better

A little
better

Not
change

A little
worse

A little
worse

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

Total

2011 Aug 4-7

12

40

35

8

3

2

2009 Oct 16-19

15

46

25

7

6

1

Non-Hispanic whites

2011 Aug 4-7

9

39

39

7

3

2

2009 Oct 16-19

14

44

26

9

6

1

Blacks

2011 Aug 4-7

24

40

21

10

4

1

2009 Oct 16-19

24

55

14

3

3

*

* Less than 0.5%

As you may know, some U.S. leaders have called for an open national dialogue on race. If blacks and whites honestly expressed their true feelings about race relations, do you think this would do more to -- [ROTATED: bring the races together (or) cause greater racial division]?

Bring races
together

Cause greater
division

No
opinion

%

%

%

Total

2009 Oct 16-19

56

37

7

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

59

34

7

Non-Hispanic whites

2009 Oct 16-19

53

39

8

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

57

35

8

Blacks

2009 Oct 16-19

70

26

4

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

69

27

4

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

64

29

7

In your view, should government programs that are designed to address economic inequality give special consideration to blacks because of past racial discrimination, or should these programs only take into account a person's economic situation?

Give special
consideration
to blacks

Only take
into account
economic
situation

No
opinion

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

9

87

4

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

7

90

3

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

18

78

4

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

15

79

6

Thinking back over the past ten years, how do you think civil rights for blacks have changed in this country -- would you say the situation has -- [ROTATED: greatly improved, somewhat improved, stayed the same, somewhat worsened, (or) greatly worsened]?

Greatly
improved

Somewhat
improved

Stayed
the same

Somewhat
worsened

Greatly
worsened

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

32

47

14

4

1

1

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

35

47

15

3

*

*

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

18

54

12

12

3

1

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

34

43

12

4

3

4

* Less than 0.5%

Do you think racial discrimination against blacks is a major factor, a minor factor, or not a factor in -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Lower average education levels for blacks in the U.S.

Major
factor

Minor
factor

Not a
factor

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

39

33

26

2

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

32

36

29

2

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

64

25

11

*

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

47

28

21

4

* Less than 0.5%

B. Lower average income levels for blacks in the U.S.

Major
factor

Minor
factor

Not a
factor

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

42

36

19

2

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

35

41

22

2

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

71

21

6

1

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

47

29

17

6

C. Lower average life expectancies for blacks

Major
factor

Minor
factor

Not a
factor

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

31

35

28

6

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

25

37

33

5

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

57

29

13

2

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

40

30

22

8

D. A higher percentage of blacks in U.S. prisons

Major
factor

Minor
factor

Not a
factor

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

51

28

18

3

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

44

33

20

2

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

80

11

6

3

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

54

24

14

9

How much confidence do you have in the local police in your area to treat blacks and whites equally -- a great deal, a fair amount, not much, or none at all?

Great
deal

Fair
amount

Not
much

None
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

37

36

17

8

2

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

42

39

14

4

2

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

12

33

34

19

1

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

30

27

25

13

5


(Asked of blacks) If you had to name one individual or leader in the U.S. to speak for you on issues of race, who would that be? [OPEN-ENDED]

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

Blacks

%

Barack Obama

29

Al Sharpton

6

Jesse Jackson

4

Bill Clinton

3

Hillary Clinton

3

Oprah Winfrey

2

Maya Angelou

1

Colin Powell

1

Louis Farrakhan

1

Bill Cosby

1

Tavis Smiley

1

Cornel West

1

My minister/pastor

1

Me/Myself

6

Other

18

No one (vol.)

7

No opinion

16

(Asked of blacks) Everything else being equal, if you had been born white, do you think you would be -- [ROTATED: better off, the same, (or) worse off] than you are now?

Better off

The same

Worse off

No opinion

%

%

%

%

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

48

41

5

5

(Asked of non-Hispanic whites) Everything else being equal, if you had been born black, do you think you would be -- [ROTATED: better off, the same, (or) worse off] than you are now?

Better off

The same

Worse off

No opinion

%

%

%

%

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

6

60

31

3

If Barack Obama is elected president, how will you view it in terms of progress for blacks in the United States -- [ROTATED: as one of the two or three most important advances for blacks in the past one hundred years, as important, but not one of the two or three most important advances for blacks, (or would you view it as) not that important]?

One of most
important advances

Important, but not
one of most important

Not that important

No opinion

%

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

50

24

21

4

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

48

27

22

3

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

59

18

19

4

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

55

21

18

5

If Barack Obama wins the presidential election, do you think race relations in this country will -- [ROTATED: get a lot better, get a little better, not change, get a little worse, (or) get a lot worse]?

Get a lot
better

Get a
little
better

Not
change

Get a
little
worse

Get a lot
worse

No
opinion

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

16

40

23

9

9

3

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

13

41

25

9

11

2

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

23

42

16

10

6

2

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

21

42

21

7

6

3

If Barack Obama loses the presidential election, do you think race relations in this country will -- [ROTATED: get a lot better, get a little better, not change, get a little worse, (or) get a lot worse]?

Get a lot
better

Get a
little
better

Not
change

Get a
little
worse

Get a lot
worse

No
opinion

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

3

12

53

22

8

2

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

2

11

54

25

6

1

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

5

13

45

16

18

3

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

2

12

56

15

11

4

If Barack Obama is elected president, do you think it will or will not -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Be a sign of progress in racial equality in the United States

Yes, will

No, will not

No opinion

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

74

21

5

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

73

22

5

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

85

13

3

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

75

18

6

B. Make it easier for blacks to advance in their own careers

Yes, will

No, will not

No opinion

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

54

41

5

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

51

45

5

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

56

36

8

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

73

21

6

C. Open up opportunities for other blacks in national politics

Yes, will

No, will not

No opinion

%

%

%

Total

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

80

18

2

Non-Hispanic whites

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

79

18

2

Blacks

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

79

18

3

Hispanics

2008 Jun 5-Jul 6

85

12

3

How often do you worry that your total family income will not be enough to meet your family's expenses and bills -- all of the time, most of the time, some of the time, or almost never?

All of
the time

Most of
the time

Some of
the time

Almost
never

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

Total

2007 Jun 4-24

21

13

37

28

1

2006 Jun 8-25

20

12

35

32

*

2005 Jun 6-25

18

11

43

28

*

2004 Jun 9-30

15

10

36

38

1

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

12

14

37

36

1

1998 Apr 23-May 31

9

12

44

34

1

1989 Jun 15-18

13

13

35

38

1

1987 Jan 16-19

15

16

38

30

1

1984 Jan 27-30

20

15

30

34

1

1976 Jan 1-Jun 1

13

13

36

38

--

Non-Hispanic whites

2007 Jun 4-24

18

12

39

31

*

2006 Jun 8-25

18

9

36

36

1

2005 Jun 6-25

16

10

44

30

*

2004 Jun 9-30

12

9

37

42

*

Long-term trend: Whites (including Hispanics)

2007 Jun 4-24

19

13

39

29

*

2006 Jun 8-25

19

12

35

34

1

2005 Jun 6-25

16

11

44

29

*

2004 Jun 9-30

13

9

37

41

*

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

10

15

36

38

1

1998 Apr 23-May 31

9

11

45

35

*

1989 Jun 15-18

12

12

35

40

1

1984 Jan 27-30

18

15

31

36

*

Blacks

2007 Jun 4-24

33

15

27

24

1

2006 Jun 8-25

26

16

36

22

*

2005 Jun 6-25

26

17

36

20

1

2004 Jun 9-30

25

14

33

26

2

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

19

18

35

26

2

1998 Apr 23-May 31

15

16

42

27

*

1989 Jun 15-18

22

20

31

25

2

1984 Jan 27-30

38

21

24

15

2

Hispanics

2007 Jun 4-24

27

18

33

20

1

2006 Jun 8-25

16

22

37

25

1

2005 Jun 6-25

27

14

38

20

1

2004 Jun 9-30

24

15

34

27

*

* Less than 0.5%

Have there been times during the last year when you did not have enough money to buy food your family needed?

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

Total

2007 Jun 4-24

18

82

*

2005 Jun 6-25

16

84

*

2004 Jun 9-30

17

83

*

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

13

86

1

1998 Apr 23-May 31

11

89

--

1989 Jun 15-18

13

87

--

1987 Jan 16-19

16

84

--

1984 Jan 27-30

20

79

1

1976 Jan 1-Jun 1

14

86

--

Non-Hispanic whites

2007 Jun 4-24

10

90

*

2005 Jun 6-25

11

89

--

2004 Jun 9-30

12

88

*

Long-term trend: Whites (including Hispanics)

2007 Jun 4-24

14

86

*

2005 Jun 6-25

13

87

*

2004 Jun 9-30

14

86

*

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

11

88

1

1998 Apr 23-May 31

9

91

--

1989 Jun 15-18

10

89

1

1987 Jan 16-19

14

86

--

1984 Jan 27-30

17

82

1

Blacks

2007 Jun 4-24

36

64

*

2005 Jun 6-25

31

69

*

2004 Jun 9-30

31

67

2

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

28

72

*

1998 Apr 23-May 31

24

76

--

1989 Jun 15-18

36

64

--

1987 Jan 16-19

31

69

--

1984 Jan 27-30

51

47

2

Hispanics

2007 Jun 4-24

39

61

*

2005 Jun 6-25

36

64

*

2004 Jun 9-30

33

67

*

Have there been times during the last year when you did not have enough money to buy clothing your family needed?

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

Total

2007 Jun 4-24

21

79

*

2005 Jun 6-25

23

76

1

2004 Jun 9-30

20

79

1

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

17

83

--

1998 Apr 23-May 31

18

82

--

1989 Jun 15-18

17

83

--

1987 Jan 16-19

19

81

--

1984 Jan 27-30

26

73

1

1976 Jan 1-Jun 1

19

80

1

Non-Hispanic whites

2007 Jun 4-24

12

87

*

2005 Jun 6-25

19

81

*

2004 Jun 9-30

15

84

1

Long-term trend: Whites (including Hispanics)

2007 Jun 4-24

17

83

*

2005 Jun 6-25

20

79

1

2004 Jun 9-30

17

82

1

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

16

84

--

1998 Apr 23-May 31

31

69

*

1989 Jun 15-18

33

67

--

1987 Jan 16-19

37

63

--

1984 Jan 27-30

39

61

--

Blacks

2007 Jun 4-24

40

60

*

2005 Jun 6-25

37

63

*

2004 Jun 9-30

36

62

2

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

28

72

*

1998 Apr 23-May 31

24

76

--

1989 Jun 15-18

36

64

--

1987 Jan 16-19

31

69

--

1984 Jan 27-30

51

47

2

Hispanics

2007 Jun 4-24

43

56

*

2005 Jun 6-25

45

55

*

2004 Jun 9-30

37

63

*

Have there been times during the last year when you did not have enough money to pay for medical or healthcare?

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

Total

2007 Jun 4-24

32

68

*

2005 Jun 6-25

28

71

1

2004 Jun 9-30

28

71

1

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

21

79

*

1998 Apr 23-May 31

22

78

*

1989 Jun 15-18

21

79

--

1987 Jan 16-19

21

78

1

1984 Jan 27-30

25

75

*

1976 Jan 1-Jun 1

15

85

*

Non-Hispanic whites

2007 Jun 4-24

26

74

*

2005 Jun 6-25

24

76

*

2004 Jun 9-30

23

77

*

Long-term trend: Whites (including Hispanics)

2007 Jun 4-24

30

70

*

2005 Jun 6-25

26

74

*

2004 Jun 9-30

25

75

*

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

18

82

*

1998 Apr 23-May 31

19

81

*

1989 Jun 15-18

19

81

--

1987 Jan 16-19

19

80

1

1984 Jan 27-30

22

78

*

Blacks

2007 Jun 4-24

45

55

1

2005 Jun 6-25

42

58

*

2004 Jun 9-30

38

60

2

2002 Dec 9-2003 Feb 11

34

65

1

1998 Apr 23-May 31

39

61

*

1989 Jun 15-18

41

59

--

1987 Jan 16-19

31

68

1

1984 Jan 27-30

51

45

4

Hispanics

2007 Jun 4-24

48

52

*

2005 Jun 6-25

46

53

1

2004 Jun 9-30

44

56

*

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