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U.S. satisfaction higher among blacks, Hispanics than whites

Staff Writer | July 17, 2016
Nearly half of American blacks (49%) and Hispanics (47%) are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., compared with 28% of whites.
Black business owner
Living in America   Blacks and Hispanics lean heavily Democratic
Satisfaction levels among these three groups have generally been steady in Minority Rights and Relations polls conducted since 2013.

The latest reading, from Gallup's June 7-July 1 Minority Rights and Relations survey, was collected just before recent police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana that once again brought race relations to the forefront of public discussion.

These data were also collected before the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers during a protest march.

Polling conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking earlier in the Obama administration, between 2009 and 2013, shows racial gaps in satisfaction similar to those seen today.

By contrast, throughout the Bush administration from 2001 through 2008, whites were more satisfied with the direction of the country and blacks less satisfied, consistent with each racial groups' political leanings.

Blacks and Hispanics lean heavily Democratic, while whites lean Republican - which appears to influence their views of the way things in the U.S. are going under presidents of their own party versus those of the opposing party.

While two-thirds of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country as a whole, Americans are generally upbeat about the direction of their own lives.

No less than 85% of those in any of the three major racial and ethnic groups say they are very or somewhat satisfied with their lives.

This follows the general truism that Americans tend to be more positive about their personal lives and where they live than they are about the country as a whole. Additionally, personal satisfaction across all racial and ethnic groups is much more consistent than is U.S. satisfaction.

Unlike the racial gaps seen with U.S. satisfaction, there are small differences among whites, blacks and Hispanics in personal satisfaction.

Whites and blacks have virtually identical satisfaction levels, at 89% and 88%, respectively, with Hispanics just slightly lower, at 85%.