Saturday, April 30, 2016


Things have been busy for the last week or two and will be for about another week, but I don't want to disappoint my legions of loyal readers.  CBS News has sometimes asked "In general, who do you think has a better chance of getting ahead in today's society--white people, black people, or do white people and black people have about an equal chance of getting ahead?"  The percent saying black people has been consistently low, about 5%, with no clear changes.  The figure shows the percent saying that white people have a better chance of getting ahead:

It seems to fluctuate without much pattern except for a stretch from October 2008 until about 2010.  Presumably the cause was Barack Obama's election as president (by the second half of October, it seemed pretty clear that he was going to be elected).  Logically, it's not reasonable for the accomplishment of one person to have much affect on views about the chances of blacks and whites in general, but I can understand why it had an impact.  The interesting thing is that the impact doesn't seem to have lasted.

More educated people are more likely to say that whites have a better chance.  For example, in October 2008, 19% of people without a high school diploma and 38% of people with a college degree said that whites had a better chance.  Age (or generation), however, didn't make any clear difference.

[Data from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research]

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