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Social & Policy Issues
New Highs Say Black People Treated Less Fairly in Daily Life
Social & Policy Issues

New Highs Say Black People Treated Less Fairly in Daily Life

New Highs Say Black People Treated Less Fairly in Daily Life

Story Highlights

  • 55% say Black people treated less fairly in dealing with police
  • Black adults more likely to say Black people treated less fairly
  • 45% of Black Americans report unfair treatment due to their race

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- At the same time that Americans' satisfaction with the treatment of Black people has fallen to its lowest level, more in the U.S. say Black people are treated unfairly in six everyday situations than at any point in Gallup's trends dating back to 1997. These include visiting stores and neighborhood shops, working, getting healthcare, dealing with the police, and while visiting restaurants, bars, theaters and other entertainment venues.

Yet, dealing with the police, such as in traffic incidents, is the only situation with a majority (55%) saying Black people are treated less fairly. For each of the other five activities, between 31% and 37% of U.S. adults think Black people are treated less fairly than White people.

Black adults are far more likely than White adults to say Black people are treated less fairly in each of the situations. Majorities of Black Americans think inequities occur in police dealings, when shopping at a mall, while working and when obtaining healthcare. Half think neighborhood shops are the sites of such discrimination, and nearly as many say the imbalance occurs at restaurants, bars, theaters or other entertainment venues.

Bar graph. Percentages of total U.S. adults, White adults and Black adults who think Black people are treated less fairly than White people in six situations -- shopping in stores, being at work, getting healthcare, dealing with the police and while visiting restaurants, bars, theaters and other entertainment venues. Each is the highest figure on record for those saying Black people are treated less fairly than White people. Dealing with the police, such as traffic incidents, is the only situation with a majority saying Black people are treated less fairly. For each of the other five activities, between 31% and 37% of U.S. adults think Black people are treated less fairly than White people. Black adults are far more likely than White adults to say Black people are treated less fairly in each of the situations. Majorities of Black Americans think inequities occur in police dealings, shopping at a mall, while working and when obtaining healthcare. Half think neighborhood shops are the sites of such discrimination and nearly as many say the imbalance occurs at restaurants, bars, theaters or other entertainment venues.

Gallup has periodically asked U.S. adults whether they think Black people are treated less fairly than White people in everyday situations. The latest readings are from a June 8-July 24 poll. The poll also asked Black Americans whether they, personally, have experienced unfair treatment in many of these same situations over the past 30 days. About one-quarter of Black Americans report being treated unfairly in a store, while fewer say the same about dealing with police, working, obtaining healthcare, or visiting a restaurant, bar, theater or other entertainment venue.

Bar graph. Black Americans reports of unfair treatment in five situations in the last month. 24% report being treated unfairly in a store, while fewer say the same of dealings with police (19%), in a restaurant, bar, theater or other entertainment place (19%), at work (17%) or while obtaining healthcare (13%).

These readings are similar to, or slightly lower than, the last time Gallup asked these questions in late 2018. This may be due to the fact that amid the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans are limiting their activities outside the home.

Looking at all five situations, 45% of Black respondents say they have been treated unfairly in at least one of the five situations in the past month, including 20% who report unfair treatment in one of the five situations and 25% in more than one.

Bottom Line

As many Americans continue to protest across the country for racial justice, U.S. adults are more likely than at any point since 1997 to say that Black people in their communities are treated less fairly than White people when they go about such activities as shopping, working, obtaining healthcare, interacting with police and enjoying leisure activities. Still, Black Americans are much more likely than White Americans to assert that these inequities occur, and nearly half of Black Americans say they have experienced unfair treatment in the past month.

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.


Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/317564/new-highs-say-black-people-treated-less-fairly-daily-life.aspx
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