Religion and Social Trends

Americans Hold Improving View of Race Relations in U.S.

Majority believes relations are good between major racial and ethnic groups

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Ratings of relations between major racial and ethnic groups in American society show some improvement compared with prior years. Americans give positive overall assessments to the state of relations between whites and blacks, whites and Hispanics, whites and Asians, and blacks and Hispanics, with white-Asian relations viewed most positively and black-Hispanic relations viewed least positively. Similarly, both blacks and whites say that dislike between the two races is not very common. Nevertheless, the proportion of blacks who say they regularly feel discriminated against because of their race outnumbers the proportion who say they never feel discrimination. The reverse is true among Hispanics, who are significantly less likely to feel discriminated against because of their ethnic background.

High Ratings of Race/Ethnic Relations

The Gallup Minority Relations poll, conducted June 12-18, finds large majorities of Americans believing that relations among the races and ethnic groups are good.

  • Sixty-eight percent of Americans rate relations between blacks and whites as good, while 30% say they are bad.
  • A majority of both whites and blacks say relations between the groups are good, but whites are more likely to say this (69%) than are blacks (59%).

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 -- [RANDOM ORDER] -- are very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad, or very bad?

 

Whites and Blacks

Whites and Hispanics

Whites and Asians

Blacks and Hispanics

%

%

%

%

Very/somewhat good

68

73

82

60

Very/somewhat bad

30

24

13

30

No opinion

2

3

5

10



  • Seventy-three percent of Americans believe relations between whites and Hispanics are good, and 24% say they are bad.
  • Hispanics are especially likely to rate these relations positively (84% do) -- even more so than whites, among whom 73% rate relations between these groups positively.
  • Sixty-one percent of blacks say relations between whites and Hispanics are good.
  • Of the four pairs of groups assessed in the poll, Americans give the most positive assessment of relations between whites and Asians. Eighty-two percent of the public says relations between these groups are good, and just 13% say they are bad. This is a slightly more positive assessment than in prior years. For example, in 2002, 77% of Americans said white-Asian relations in the United States were good.
  • Whites (83%) give slightly more positive ratings to white-Asian relations than do blacks (74%) and Hispanics (76%).
  • Black-Hispanic relations receive the lowest ratings of the four pairs assessed, with 60% of Americans giving them a positive review (30% say they are bad). Interestingly, blacks (72%) and Hispanics (71%) give quite positive ratings of black-Hispanic relations. The overall ratings are lower because whites (55%) tend to rate black-Hispanic relations much less positively.
  • The latest ratings on black-Hispanic relations are more positive than in recent years, and ratings have shown a steady increase in the three years the Minority Relations poll has been conducted (from a 49% "good" rating in 2001 to 53% in 2002 and 60% in 2003).

A separate question also reflects the generally positive ratings of race relations in the United States. This question asks Americans to say how many whites dislike blacks, and, separately, how many blacks dislike whites. Roughly 6 in 10 Americans say only a few whites dislike blacks, about where it has been for the last several years. Sixty-two percent of whites and 51% of blacks say only a few whites dislike blacks. Both percentages have been fairly stable over the years.

Do you think only a few white people dislike blacks, many white people dislike blacks, or almost all white people dislike blacks?

Americans are more likely to believe that blacks dislike whites than vice versa; still, a majority believes this is pretty rare. Fifty-two percent say only a few black people dislike whites (1% volunteer that "none" dislike whites), while 44% say "many" or "almost all" blacks feel this way.

Do you think only a few black people dislike whites, many black people dislike whites, or almost all black people dislike whites?

On this question, the responses given by blacks and by whites are pretty similar: 52% of whites say only a few blacks dislike whites, as do 54% of blacks.

The current results among whites are considerably more positive than in the early to mid-1990s, around the time of the 1992 Los Angeles race riots and the 1995 O.J. Simpson verdict, when a majority of whites thought many or almost all blacks disliked whites, and just 37% believed that few blacks disliked whites. Black opinion during those times was generally similar to what it is today.

Hispanics give the same ratings on both questions, with 53% saying only a few whites dislike blacks and 53% saying only a few blacks dislike whites.

Blacks More Likely to Feel Discrimination Than Hispanics

The poll asked blacks and Hispanics how often they "feel discriminated against in public life or employment" because of their race or ethnicity. Hispanics very rarely feel discriminated against -- 41% say they never feel this way, 16% say less than once a year, and 23% say just a few times a year. Only 10% of Hispanics say they feel discriminated against on a weekly or daily basis.

Blacks are much more likely to report feeling discriminated against. Twenty-six percent of blacks say they feel discriminated against on a weekly or daily basis. Only 19% of blacks say they never feel discriminated against, 15% say less than once a year, and 25% say a few times a year.

Next we have a question about your own experiences as [a black/a 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

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

All blacks

2003 Jun 12-18

18

8

13

25

15

19

2

2002 Jun 3-9

15

9

13

31

7

23

2

2001 Jun 11-17

17

7

15

21

16

23

1

Black men

2003 Jun 12-18

23

4

12

27

14

17

3

2002 Jun 3-9

12

10

16

30

6

26

--

2001 Jun 11-17

15

9

17

23

17

18

1

Black women

2003 Jun 12-18

14

10

14

24

16

21

1

2002 Jun 3-9

16

8

11

32

9

21

3

2001 Jun 11-17

19

5

12

20

15

28

1

All Hispanics

2003 Jun 12-18

8

2

10

23

16

41

*

2002 Jun 3-9

10

8

9

19

16

36

2

2001 Jun 11-17

6

12

13

21

12

35

1

Hispanic men

2003 Jun 12-18

2

4

9

24

15

45

1

2002 Jun 3-9

9

7

10

19

14

40

1

2001 Jun 11-17

8

3

15

26

9

39

*

Hispanic women

2003 Jun 12-18

15

1

11

22

16

35

--

2002 Jun 3-9

10

9

8

19

18

32

4

2001 Jun 11-17

5

20

10

16

15

32

2

* Less than 0.5%



Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with -- 1,385 -- national adults, aged 18+, conducted June 12-18, 2003, including oversamples of blacks and Hispanics that are weighted to reflect their proportions in the general population. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Results for the sample of -- 668 -- men, aged 18+, are based on telephone interviews conducted June 12-18, 2003. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Results for the sample of -- 717 -- women, aged 18+, are based on telephone interviews conducted June 12-18, 2003. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Results for the sample of -- 821 -- non-Hispanic whites, aged 18+, are based on telephone interviews conducted June 12-15, 2003. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Results for the sample of -- 241 -- blacks, aged 18+, are based on telephone interviews conducted June 12-18, 2003. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±7 percentage points.

Results for the sample of -- 266 -- Hispanics (including 12 Hispanic respondents who identify their race as black), aged 18+, conducted June 12-18, 2003. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±7 percentage points. (53 out of the 266 interviews with Hispanics were conducted in Spanish).

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.

19. 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 -- [RANDOM ORDER] -- are very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad, or very bad?

A. Whites and blacks

 

Very good

Somewhat good

Somewhat bad

Very bad

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

National adults

2003 Jun 12-18

10

58

24

6

2

2002 Jun 3-9

8

61

23

5

3

2001 Jun 11-17

6

57

28

7

2

Men

2003 Jun 12-18

12

57

24

5

2

2002 Jun 3-9

10

62

21

5

2

2001 Jun 11-17

7

57

28

6

2

Women

2003 Jun 12-18

9

58

24

7

2

2002 Jun 3-9

6

61

25

5

3

2001 Jun 11-17

5

57

29

7

2

Non-Hispanic whites

2003 Jun 12-15

10

59

25

5

1

2002 Jun 3-6

7

63

24

3

3

2001 Jun 11-17

6

56

30

6

2

Blacks

2003 Jun 12-18

9

50

26

13

2

2002 Jun 3-9

9

59

18

13

1

2001 Jun 11-17

8

62

17

11

2

Hispanics

2003 Jun 12-18

11

57

19

9

4

2002 Jun 3-9

9

53

25

9

4

2001 Jun 11-17

8

57

18

14

3



B. Whites and Hispanics

 

Very good

Somewhat good

Somewhat bad

Very bad

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

National adults

2003 Jun 12-18

12

61

20

4

3

2002 Jun 3-9

7

61

22

5

5

2001 Jun 11-17

7

59

26

4

4

Men

2003 Jun 12-18

14

64

17

3

2

2002 Jun 3-9

9

63

21

4

3

2001 Jun 11-17

8

60

24

4

4

Women

2003 Jun 12-18

10

59

23

4

4

2002 Jun 3-9

7

59

23

5

6

2001 Jun 11-17

6

59

27

4

4

Non-Hispanic whites

2003 Jun 12-15

11

61

22

3

3

2002 Jun 3-6

7

61

23

4

5

2001 Jun 11-17

6

61

25

4

4

Blacks

2003 Jun 12-18

9

52

24

6

9

2002 Jun 3-9

8

52

21

11

8

2001 Jun 11-17

7

48

28

9

8

Hispanics

2003 Jun 12-18

16

68

10

5

1

2002 Jun 3-9

10

66

14

6

4

2001 Jun 11-17

14

55

21

7

3



Q.19 CONTINUED

C. Whites and Asians

 

Very good

Somewhat good

Somewhat bad

Very bad

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

National adults

2003 Jun 12-18

20

62

11

2

5

2002 Jun 3-9

14

63

14

2

7

2001 Jun 11-17

14

62

15

4

5

Men

2003 Jun 12-18

22

62

10

2

4

2002 Jun 3-9

17

64

12

2

5

2001 Jun 11-17

15

62

16

4

3

Women

2003 Jun 12-18

18

61

12

3

6

2002 Jun 3-9

11

61

16

3

9

2001 Jun 11-17

12

63

15

3

7

Non-Hispanic whites

2003 Jun 12-15

19

64

11

2

4

2002 Jun 3-6

13

64

15

2

6

2001 Jun 11-17

13

64

16

2

5

Blacks

2003 Jun 12-18

19

55

15

2

9

2002 Jun 3-9

12

60

13

5

10

2001 Jun 11-17

14

52

20

4

10

Hispanics

2003 Jun 12-18

19

57

9

3

12

2002 Jun 3-9

18

56

11

4

11

2001 Jun 11-17

8

57

18

8

9



D. Blacks and Hispanics

 

Very good

Somewhat good

Somewhat bad

Very bad

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

National adults

2003 Jun 12-18

10

50

26

4

10

2002 Jun 3-9

7

46

26

7

14

2001 Jun 11-17

6

43

30

9

12

Men

2003 Jun 12-18

11

50

27

4

8

2002 Jun 3-9

7

49

26

6

12

2001 Jun 11-17

7

40

30

11

12

Women

2003 Jun 12-18

8

49

26

5

12

2002 Jun 3-9

7

44

26

8

15

2001 Jun 11-17

5

45

29

8

13

Non-Hispanic whites

2003 Jun 12-15

7

48

29

4

12

2002 Jun 3-6

4

42

30

7

17

2001 Jun 11-17

4

38

34

10

14

Blacks

2003 Jun 12-18

17

55

19

4

5

2002 Jun 3-9

14

59

18

5

4

2001 Jun 11-17

18

56

17

5

4

Hispanics

2003 Jun 12-18

16

55

19

7

3

2002 Jun 3-9

13

58

16

7

6

2001 Jun 11-17

16

53

22

5

4



SUMMARY TABLE: GROUP RELATIONS (BASED ON "VERY/SOMEWHATGOOD")

 


2003 Jun 12-18
(sorted by "national adults")


National
Adults



Men



Women

Non-
Hi-
span-
ic Whites



Blacks



Hispanics

%

%

%

%

%

%

Whites and Asians

82

84

79

83

74

76

Whites and Hispanics

73

78

69

72

61

84

Whites and blacks

68

69

67

69

59

68

Blacks and Hispanics

60

61

57

55

72

71



27. Next we have a question about your own experiences as [a black/a 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

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

All blacks

2003 Jun 12-18

18

8

13

25

15

19

2

2002 Jun 3-9

15

9

13

31

7

23

2

2001 Jun 11-17

17

7

15

21

16

23

1

Black men

2003 Jun 12-18

23

4

12

27

14

17

3

2002 Jun 3-9

12

10

16

30

6

26

--

2001 Jun 11-17

15

9

17

23

17

18

1

Black women

2003 Jun 12-18

14

10

14

24

16

21

1

2002 Jun 3-9

16

8

11

32

9

21

3

2001 Jun 11-17

19

5

12

20

15

28

1

All Hispanics

2003 Jun 12-18

8

2

10

23

16

41

*

2002 Jun 3-9

10

8

9

19

16

36

2

2001 Jun 11-17

6

12

13

21

12

35

1

Hispanic men

2003 Jun 12-18

2

4

9

24

15

45

1

2002 Jun 3-9

9

7

10

19

14

40

1

2001 Jun 11-17

8

3

15

26

9

39

*

Hispanic women

2003 Jun 12-18

15

1

11

22

16

35

--

2002 Jun 3-9

10

9

8

19

18

32

4

2001 Jun 11-17

5

20

10

16

15

32

2

BASED ON --241-- BLACK ADULTS; MAXIMUM ERROR ±7 PCT. PTS.

BASED ON --111-- BLACK MEN; MAXIMUM ERROR ±10 PCT. PTS.

BASED ON --130-- BLACK WOMEN; MAXIMUM ERROR ±9 PCT. PTS.

BASED ON --266-- HISPANIC ADULTS; MAXIMUM ERROR ±7 PCT. PTS.

BASED ON --131-- HISPANIC MEN; MAXIMUM ERROR ±9 PCT. PTS.

BASED ON --135-- HISPANIC WOMEN; MAXIMUM ERROR ±9 PCT. PTS.

* Less than 0.5%



Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/8725/Americans-Hold-Improving-View-Race-Relations-US.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030