Majority of Americans only have friends of the same race

New survey results from Reuters/Ipsos shows roughly 65% of Americans aren’t friends with someone of a different race:

About 40 percent of white Americans and about 25 percent of non-white Americans are surrounded exclusively by friends of their own race, according to an ongoing Reuters/Ipsos poll…

There are regions and groups where mixing with people of other races is more common, especially in the Hispanic community where only a tenth do not have friends of a different race. About half of Hispanics who have a spouse or partner are in a relationship with non-Hispanics, compared to one tenth of whites and blacks in relationships.

Looking at a broader circle of acquaintances to include coworkers as well as friends and relatives, 30 percent of Americans are not mixing with others of a different race, the poll showed…

Younger American adults appear to confirm this, according to the poll. About one third of Americans under the age of 30 who have a partner or spouse are in a relationship with someone of a different race, compared to one tenth of Americans over 30. And only one in 10 adults under 30 say no one among their families, friends or coworkers is of a different race, less than half the rate for Americans as a whole.

Given America’s racial history plus ongoing concerns like residential segregation and differences in educational achievement, is this much of a surprise? At the same time, it appears younger Americans are significantly different in this regard.

Another note: why not include some longitudinal data on this? This provides a snapshot and the percentages are high. But, is this more or less than 20 or 50 years ago? Even if policy is attempting to close the gap between groups, it may not be trickling down much to relationships where individuals have more control with whom they choose to interact with more.

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