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Study: Millennials Discriminate Based On Race When Picking Roommates

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Millennials show "strong racial bias and anti-Blackness" when looking for roommates, a study released Monday by the University of California, Los Angeles suggested.

Researchers replied to 4,000 "roommate wanted" ads on Craigslist using names that suggested the race of the person responding. The researchers kept all other information, such as job and college-degree status, the same as the person who posted the ad.

They found that Asian, Hispanic and Black room seekers receive fewer responses than those who were presumed based on their name to be white. Emails from Black-sounding names received the fewest responses.

Those with white-sounding names received the most responses, and those with "Americanized" first names combined with Asian or Hispanic last names received more responses than those with typically ethnic first names.

"Our study suggests that as millennials continue to gain access to positions of power, they are likely to perpetuate racial inequality rather than enact a post-racial system," the researchers wrote in the study, which was led by U.C.L.A. sociology professor S. Michael Gaddis and focused on millennials looking for roommates in Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Gaddis picked the names by collecting information on race from birth records then testing individuals' perceptions of race from the names.

Other data shows that millennials may be the least racially-biased group in the United States.

"Essentially, when it comes to many racial issues, we cannot just ask people what they think and trust that their response is truthful," Gaddis added.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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