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Social & Policy Issues
Black Americans Less Likely to Feel Safe in Their Community
Social & Policy Issues

Black Americans Less Likely to Feel Safe in Their Community

by Sofia Kluch and Justin McCarthy
Black Americans Less Likely to Feel Safe in Their Community

Story Highlights

  • Four in 10 Black adults say they do not feel safe walking alone at night
  • Black Americans feel less safe than White, Asian and Hispanic Americans
  • 51% of Black women feel safe walking alone at night in their community

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Black Americans, at 60%, are less likely than all other racial groups in the U.S. to say they feel safe walking alone at night in the area where they live. This leaves four in 10 Black Americans saying they do not feel safe walking alone under those circumstances.

Americans' Sense of Safety When Walking Alone at Night in Their Community, by Racial Group
Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?
Yes No
% %
White Americans 84 16
Hispanic Americans 77 23
Asian Americans 75 25
Black Americans 60 40
Gallup Panel, June 23-July 6, 2020

These findings are from a June 23-July 6 Gallup Panel survey, administered by web in English and conducted as part of the newly launched Gallup Center on Black Voices. The study includes large samples of Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans, weighted to reflect their correct proportions of the U.S. population.

Gallup has tracked this version of the question -- asking about people's sense of safety walking alone at night in their neighborhood -- around the world since 2006, and the question is a component of Gallup's annual Global Law and Order report. From 2017 to 2019, Gallup found between 68% and 69% of people globally saying they felt safe walking alone at night in the area where they live.

However, the latest Gallup Panel findings reveal that Black Americans, specifically, are the only racial group in the U.S. to fall below the worldwide average for this measure.

Half of Black Women Feel Safe Walking Alone at Night

Gallup has consistently found that in the vast majority of countries around the world, including the U.S., men are more likely than women to report feeling safe walking alone at night in their community. This is true within all racial groups in the U.S.

Among Black adults, 51% of women versus 71% of men say they feel safe walking alone at night in the area where they live. But Black women and Black men alike are significantly less likely than their peers in other racial groups to report feeling safe in that situation.

Americans' Sense of Safety When Walking Alone at Night in Their Community, by Race and Gender
Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?
Men Women
% Yes % Yes
White Americans 91 77
Hispanic Americans 87 67
Asian Americans 86 63
Black Americans 71 51
Gallup Panel, June 23-July 6, 2020

Bottom Line

While the U.S. ranks above much of the world in terms of residents' sense of safety in their community, the experience is different for Black Americans. Black women in the U.S., especially, are substantially less likely than women of other races or ethnicities -- and men of any race or ethnicity -- to feel safe walking alone at night.

While Black Americans overwhelmingly support major changes to law enforcement, their greater need for security in their own community helps explain the complexity of their relationship with the police in their neighborhood. It is possible to both have less positive experiences with the police and desire a police presence for safety and security.

Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.


Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/317756/black-americans-less-likely-feel-safe-community.aspx
Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
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