The idea that Americans of different ethnic backgrounds see the current state of the country in dramatically different ways isn’t exactly surprising, but a newly published survey from the Black Youth Project has confirmed that commonly-held belief with a series of illuminating, data-based facts.
The survey, a collaboration between the Associated Press and the University of Chicago’s NORC research in lab, asked 1,832 adults between the ages of 18-30 from all over America a number of questions like what particular types of social issues they felt were the most important.
“Young adults now represent the largest generation of Americans, and they are by far the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in the country,” the report says. “Thus, to fully understand how young people think about the upcoming election, issues such as terrorism or gun violence, as well as their economic futures, we have to pay attention to characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. ”
The survey’s findings were interesting. Black people, for instance ranked racism, police brutality, education, gun control, and poverty (in that order) as the most important issues in need of greater attention and work. People who identified as Latinx singled out immigration, terrorism, general racism, education, and gun control as their top concerns. Asian Americans ranked education, racism, gun control, income inequality and healthcare as their issues of choice.
For white people, though, the study found something different. Rather than worrying about police brutality or systemic inequality, white people overwhelmingly cited terrorism as their top concern, followed by fear, health care, national debt, and environment.
“Young adults are not a monolithic group, and the issues that young people most care about varies widely across race and ethnicity,” the surveyors said of their findings. “For the [presidential] candidates to mobilize young adults to vote, they should pay greater attention to the vast array of different issues that young people care about.”