Texas Liberal

All People Matter

America—Not As Black As People Think

A new New York Times survey has Barack Obama leading John McCain by 45% to 39%.

Okay—No surprise.

Reading the polling data, one question did stand out. People were asked what percentage of the country was black.

The Census Bureau reports that in 2006, 12.8% of the American public was black. That number added up to about 38.3 million people.

In the Times survey, 32% of all people said America was between 20% and 30% black. An additional 32% said the number was between 30% and 40%. And 9% of respondents said America was a majority black nation.

Both a majority of black and white folks in the survey got the question wrong.

I guess I should stop being surprised at what people don’t know, but I really don’t see how people can figure the nation is 30% or more black. 

Do whites get it wrong out of a fear of being overrun? Are blacks looking for strength in numbers?

In any case, I don’t get what people are thinking sometimes. Don’t folks have any sense of the world around them?

Here is BlackDemograhics.com with information on blacks in the United States.

July 16, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , ,


  1. And these are the same people that are allowed to vote. Pretty scary; especially the 9%!

    Comment by scottymck | July 16, 2008

  2. Oh no—Let them all vote! Democracy is in the end a roll of the dice and about inclusion. Thank you for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 16, 2008

  3. what did the survey say was the latin population?

    Comment by bill brady | July 17, 2008

  4. do you think the media might have a little to do with the perception of the population? when you watch the news you see white people in office and black people wanted for crimes, do you think that might be where people might think the population of black people is higher? I am thinking that is where the misconception starts.

    Comment by bill brady | July 17, 2008

  5. I’m not too surprised. In my classes, students constantly over or underestimate important numbers (i.e. how many members of Congress are there, how many justices are on the Supreme Court). Despite information at the tip of our fingers, Americans are no more politically aware than pre-Internet.

    Comment by Black Political Analysis | July 17, 2008

  6. I think that people are more aware in general but facts like what is the exact percentage of blacks and whites and hispanics are not as important as who are 1/3 that still thinks bush is doing a good job. are we polling nursing homes and mental institutions? I am a democrat and i admit my party has its issues and its lack of balls but christ 1/3 even 1.10th is too high to think this clown is doing a good job.

    Comment by bill brady | July 17, 2008

  7. Bill—The poll did not ask about any other group but blacks. I do think that whites over estimate black numbers out of fear and it is possible that tv news crime coverage adds to that fear.

    I do feel the internet has not really spread information in the way people may have once figured. I think the unrelenting support of Mr. Bush by some is in some degree due to the echo chamber nature of partisan political coverage you see on talk radio and online.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 18, 2008

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