Blacks Less Satisfied Than Hispanics With Their Quality of Life

by Lydia Saad

Job equity and crime are of particular concern

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup poll addressing minority rights and relations in the United States finds that the nation's two largest minority groups -- blacks and Hispanics -- have markedly different perceptions of their quality of life in certain respects. According to the June 11-17 Gallup survey, the two groups express similar levels of satisfaction with their housing, health, education and opportunities to succeed in life. Blacks, however, are less satisfied with their family life, personal safety, jobs, and their community as a place in which to live. Also, blacks are much more likely than Hispanics to consider race discrimination in employment to be a problem.

Percentage "Very Satisfied" With Life Dimension

Despite these concerns, the overall assessment from blacks about their lives is positive. Close to nine in 10 blacks as well as Hispanics say they are either very or somewhat satisfied with their lives, while only 12% are dissatisfied. Looking just at the percentage "very satisfied," however, blacks are less positive, with only 42% very satisfied, compared to 49% of Hispanics and 54% of non-Hispanic whites.

The vast majority of blacks and Hispanics say they are at least somewhat satisfied with every specific dimension of their personal lives measured in the new survey. The distinctions between the two groups are seen in the generally lower rate of high satisfaction among blacks.

A majority of blacks are very satisfied with only two of the nine areas measured: their family life (59% are very satisfied) and their personal health. By contrast, a majority of Hispanics are very satisfied with four items: their community and their job -- in addition to family life and health. The non-Hispanic white majority adds housing and physical safety to the list of areas it is highly satisfied with, leaving only three about which whites are less content: their opportunities to succeed, their education and their finances.

Hispanics Don't Share Blacks' Concern About Job Discrimination

The largest differences between blacks and Hispanics in the new survey are seen in attitudes related to employment. Among Hispanics who currently work full or part time, 51% say they are very satisfied with their job or the work they do, compared to only 36% of employed blacks who feel this way -- a 15-point gap.

Even more dramatic is the difference in the two groups' perceptions of race discrimination in the job market or workplace: only 18% of blacks believe that racial minorities have job opportunities equal to those of whites while 79% disagree. By contrast, 46% of all Hispanics -- not far from the 53% recorded among non-Hispanic whites -- perceive that there are equal job opportunities, while 51% disagree.

The poll did not find this same difference between blacks and Hispanics in terms of their personal experiences with discrimination. About two-thirds of Hispanics (64%) say they occasionally feel discriminated against in public life or employment because of their Hispanic ethnicity, compared to three-quarters (76%) of blacks who feel discriminated against because of their race. The gap is similar in terms of the percentage who often feel subject to discrimination (that is, on a monthly or more frequent basis): 39% of blacks and 31% of Hispanics.

Only One-Third of Blacks Seem Free of Crime Worries

Another important distinction between blacks and other groups in society is blacks' lower satisfaction with their safety from physical harm or violence. Only 33% of blacks say they are very satisfied with their level of safety. Another 45% are somewhat satisfied while 10% are somewhat dissatisfied and 11% are very dissatisfied. By contrast, 47% of Hispanics and 59% of non-Hispanic whites are very satisfied with their safety.

A related concern for blacks is their community, with only 42% of blacks feeling very satisfied with their community as a place to live compared to 53% of Hispanics and 61% of whites. Blacks living in urban areas are the least content, with only 36% feeling very satisfied, compared to 48% living in suburban and rural areas. This gap in satisfaction is not evident between urban and non-urban Hispanics.

No Group Raves About Its Finances

A majority of blacks indicate strong contentment with their family life, but the percentage is substantially smaller than that among Hispanics: 59% for blacks vs. 73% for Hispanics.

Blacks and Hispanics are fairly similar in their responses to questions about housing, personal health, education, their financial situation and the opportunities they feel they've had to succeed in life. The last three elicit the lowest levels of satisfaction of all nine items measured, with less than a majority of blacks, Hispanics and whites saying they are very satisfied with each. Only one-quarter of all Americans (26%), including 29% of whites, 23% of Hispanics and 15% of blacks say they are very satisfied with their finances.

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,375 adults, 18 years and older, including oversamples of blacks and Hispanics, weighted to their correct proportion in the population. Telephone interviews were conducted from June 11-17, 2001. An additional night of interviewing on June 18 was conducted for the black oversample. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Results based on the subsample of blacks include interviews with 264 black national adults and have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 7 percentage points. Results based on the subsample of Hispanics include interviews with 247 national Hispanics (including 59 conducted in Spanish) and have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 7 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Next we'd like to know how satisfied are you with each of the following aspects of your life -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. How satisfied are you with -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

A. Your community as a place to live in

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Jun 11-17

         

National Adults

58

30

8

4

*

Men

59

29

8

3

1

Women

57

30

8

5

*

           

Non-Hispanic Whites

61

29

6

4

*

Blacks

42

38

11

8

1

Hispanics

53

31

12

4

*



B. Your current housing

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

           

2001 Jun 11-17

         

National Adults

63

30

5

2

*

Men

63

32

4

*

1

Women

63

27

7

3

*

           

Non-Hispanic Whites

66

27

5

2

*

Blacks

41

43

11

5

*

Hispanics

45

36

11

8

*



C. Your education

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

           

2001 Jun 11-17

         

National Adults

45

42

9

3

1

Men

48

40

9

2

1

Women

44

43

9

3

1

           

Non-Hispanic Whites

48

40

8

3

1

Blacks

38

44

15

3

0

Hispanics

38

41

13

7

1



D. Your family life

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

           

2001 Jun 11-17

         

National Adults

69

25

3

2

1

Men

72

25

1

1

1

Women

67

25

4

3

1

           

Non-Hispanic Whites

72

22

3

2

1

Blacks

59

32

5

3

1

Hispanics

73

21

4

2

0



E. Your financial situation

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

           

2001 Jun 11-17

         

National Adults

26

51

15

7

1

Men

28

52

15

5

*

Women

25

51

14

10

*

           

Whites

29

50

14

7

*

Blacks

15

47

20

17

1

Hispanics

23

47

17

13

*



F. Your personal health

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

           

2001 Jun 11-17

         

National Adults

54

35

6

5

*

Men

57

34

6

3

0

Women

52

35

7

6

*

           

Non-Hispanic Whites

54

34

7

5

*

Blacks

54

35

7

3

1

Hispanics

57

30

8

5

0



G. Your safety from physical harm or violence

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

           

2001 Jun 11-17

         

National Adults

55

33

7

4

1

Men

61

31

5

2

1

Women

50

35

9

6

*

           

Non-Hispanic Whites

59

31

7

3

*

Blacks

33

45

10

11

1

Hispanics

47

32

12

8

1



H. The opportunities you have had to succeed in life

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

           

2001 Jun 11-17

         

National Adults

48

38

10

3

1

Men

53

36

8

2

1

Women

43

40

11

4

2

           

Non-Hispanic Whites

49

37

10

3

1

Blacks

40

43

10

6

1

Hispanics

44

36

10

8

2



I. Your job, or the work you do

 

 

Very
satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very
dissatisfied

No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

           

2001 Jun 11-17^

         

National Adults

50

39

7

4

0

Men

50

39

6

5

0

Women

50

38

8

4

0

           

Non-Hispanic Whites

51

37

7

5

0

Blacks

36

47

9

7

1

Hispanics

51

35

7

7

0

           

^

BASED ON FULL OR PART-TIME EMPLOYED NATIONAL ADULTS: N=646; ±4 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON FULL OR PART-TIME EMPLOYED NATIONAL ADULT MEN: N=343; ±6 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON FULL OR PART-TIME EMPLOYED NATIONAL ADULT WOMEN: N=303; ±6 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON FULL OR PART-TIME EMPLOYED WHITES: N=528; ±5 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON FULL OR PART-TIME EMPLOYED BLACKS: N=169; ±9 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON FULL OR PART-TIME EMPLOYED HISPANICS: N=153; ±9 PCT. PTS.



SATISFACTION SUMMARY TABLE (BASED ON "VERY SATISFIED")

2001 Jun 11-17
(sorted by "national adults")

National Adults

(NA)
Men

(NA)
Women

Non-Hisp.
Whites


Blacks


Hispanics

%

%

%

%

%

%

Family life

69

72

67

72

59

73

Current housing

63

63

63

66

41

45

Community as a place to live in

58

59

57

61

42

53

Safety from physical harm/violence

55

61

50

59

33

47

Personal health

54

57

52

54

54

57

Job/work

50

50

50

51

36

51

Opportunities to succeed in life

48

53

43

49

40

44

Education

45

48

44

48

38

38

Financial situation

26

28

25

29

15

23

(NA) National Adults

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

 

 

Yes

No

No opinion

 

%

%

%

2001 Jun 12-17 ^

     

National Adults

48

50

2

Men

51

48

1

Women

45

52

3

       

Whites

53

45

2

Blacks

18

79

3

Hispanics

46

51

3

   

^

BASED ON NATIONAL ADULTS INTERVIEWED JUNE 12-17: N=849; ±4 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON NATIONAL ADULT MEN INTERVIEWED JUNE 12-17: N=402; ±5 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON NATIONAL ADULT WOMEN INTERVIEWED JUNE 12-17: N=447; ±5 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON WHITES INTERVIEWED JUNE 12-17: N=692; ±4 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON BLACKS INTERVIEWED JUNE 12-17: N=241; ±7 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON HISPANICS INTERVIEWED JUNE 12-17: N=212; ±7 PCT. PTS.



Next we have a question about your own experiences as [a black/an Hispanic]. How often do you feel discriminated against in public life or employment because you are [black/Hispanic] -- [ROTATED: every day, every week, about once a month, a few times a year, less than once a year, (or) never]?

 

 



Every day



Every week


About once a month


A few times a year

Less than once a year




Never



No
opinion

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2001 Jun 11-17 ^

             

All Blacks

17

7

15

21

16

23

1

Black men

15

9

17

23

17

18

1

Black women

19

5

12

20

15

28

1

               

All Hispanics

6

12

13

21

12

35

1

Hispanic men

8

3

15

26

9

39

*

Hispanic women

5

20

10

16

15

32

2

               

^

BASED ON BLACK ADULTS: N=260; ±7 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON BLACK MEN: N=113; ±10 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON BLACK WOMEN: N=147; ±9 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON HISPANIC ADULTS: N=247; ±7 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON HISPANIC MEN: N=125; ±10 PCT. PTS.

 

BASED ON HISPANIC WOMEN: N=122; ±10 PCT. PTS.



* Less than 0.5%

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