, July 18, 2016 —

Just under half of white Americans say that life was better for people like them than in the 50s and 60s than it is today.

In recent years, race and the debate over what persists from America’s centuries of white supremacism, has occupied a central place in the national debate.

The 2016 election has only given further prominence to these issues, as American parties increasingly divide not only along racial lines but between those who are comfortable with the new and diverse America, and those who regret the loss of America’s prior cohesion.

YouGov’s latest research shows that white Americans are largely alone in thinking that the 1950s and 1960s were a better time for ‘people like them’. 47% of white Americans say that life was better for people like them in the 50s and 60s, compared to only 21% of black Americans and 22% of Hispanics.

46% of black Americans say that life is better today for people like them than it was a half century ago.


This relative optimism does not carry over to perceptions of racism among white Americans.

While most white Americans (56%) say that racism has declined among them since the 1950s and 1960s, only 26% of black Americans say the same.

43% of black Americans say white Americans today are just as racist as they were in the twilight of Jim Crow.


Full poll results and margin of error available at: